Kosher foods–those produced under rabbinical supervision–are in continuous demand by Jews who adhere to the observance of the traditional laws. Many Jewish families, while not observant in every respect, purchase kosher foods, as they maintain a kosher home. A great number of our Jewish people are not familiar with the requirements of kashruth, and are under the impression that any article displaying Hebrew lettering or the word “Kosher” is bona fide.
Unscrupulous manuf acturers take advantage of this fact, misrepresenting products and utilizing meaningless Hebrew phrases, and so delude the people. They go so far as to induce reputable concerns to offer food products for sale which are misbranded “Kosher for Passover.” Our Food Information Department received a call for information as to cookies for sale at a group of stores. These were displayed as being “Kesher for Passover.” Upon investigation it was learned that the manufacturers selling to these stores claim a rabbi is sometimes at the place of baking but his address or telephone is not known.
As to the rabbinical authority, an effort was made to get in touch with the rabbi in question, which proved unsuccessful. At a visit to one store of the group it was found that the cakes were displayed and two display signs in Hebrew lettering stated “Fresh French Cookers for the Holidays”. Partly covering the cake boxes with a piece of glass another display of non-kosher wafers and candies was shown. One of the men in charge was called and given to understand that the signs were misleading. He immediately removed the signs. I another store on the same street, the same variety of cookies were found with a display card stating in Hebrew. “Kosher for Pesach”.
The proprietors of this group of stores and their managers can not be blamed–during this period of Passover–for trying to sell food products which they are told are kosher for Passover.
Assuming the products in question are kosher, the fact of selling them in the place where they are in actual contact with chometz, makes them unfit for Passover use and not stating the rabbinical authority is in itself faulty.
Conditions of this sort more and more give proof of the necessity of having a sole kashruth authority, such as is anticipated in the present discussions of the President of the Board of Alderman and the leaders of the various groups. It must be clearly stated that New York Jewry and Jewry in general can not look upon the phases of kashruth as of little consideration, because of the fact that so large a group of coreligionists demand it, and the acts of unscrupulous manufacturers, producers and retailers create a situation which blemishes the good name of Jewry with a tendency to bring matters of this type to courts and into the limelight.