Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein, president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America has refused an invitation to undertake complete supervision of Kashruth for members of the Masters Kosher Butchers Association, an organization whose membership is said to be 1,000, which has refused to join the recently organized Kashruth Association of Greater New York as a protest against what is termed “the brutal coercion with which these leaders are attempting to force this system upon the butchers and the public.”
The charges of coercion were made by Aaron Sapiro representing the Master Kosher Butchers Association in the letter extending the invitation to Rabbi Goldstein. The invitation pledged the Association to abide by any rules which Rabbi Goldstein might set up.
Giving as the reason for his refusal, a communal standpoint, Rabbi Goldstein declared:
“I have given this matter much thought and deliberation and find, that from a communal standpoint I cannot accept your offer. I have conferred with the Administrative Committee of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America on this subject and the Committee also feels that it cannot consider the matter until the Kashruth Association has been given greater opportunity to function.”
The invitation extended to Rabbi Goldstein read: “Our Association would like to secure supervision from you, whom we unanimously regard as the highest type of rabbinical authority and rabbinical personality in this city.
“The Association has asked me to write to you formally with the request that you undertake complete supervision of Kashruth for members of the Association. You may want to handle this Kashruth supervision through a committee or directly by yourself.
“Whatever you may set as the rule will be observed; and the Association will undertake, without challenge or question to enforce Kashruth on the highest standard that you may set, which would be the highest standard existing in this country.”
Replying to this refusal today, Aaron Sapiro charges Rabbi Goldstein with yielding to pressure from influential members of the Kashruth Association, such as Samuel Rottenberg, President of the Kashruth Association and to Harry Fischel, who is the father-in-law of Rabbi Goldstein.
“I am not surprised at the conclusion of your letter; but I am rather amazed that it took you eighteen days to reach this conclusion and second that you put it on the ground of ‘communal standpoint’, Mr. Sapiro writes.
“If you mean that the community requires protection so that the community will not be deceived by those who are pretending to sell kosher meat and are not so doing, then you have forgotten the terms of the letter addressed to you, in which you were to be given absolute power as the Rabbi to set up whichever system you would consider proper to prevent the slightest violation of the ritual law and the slightest fraud on the public.
“If by ‘communal standpoint’ you mean persons of influence and what is generally called ‘pull’ you may be right. But we had discussed that point in advance; and it was your own opinion, with which I coincided completely, that