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  • OU gets more detailed on Agri

    Following up on my earlier post about Seth Mandel, the OU’s head of meat supervision, we obtained a May 26 e-mail in which Rabbi Mandel lays out in more detail his view of the Agriprocessors situation. The e-mail is quite long, but a few items caught our attention. The first is Mandel’s assertion that Agri… More ▸

  • This Week in Postville: What the OU is telling rabbis

    As always, couple items to note …. The Uri L’tzedek boycott of Agriprocessors has gone into effect. The self-described Orthodox social justice group (which doesn’t like the word boycott) said it would refrain from purchasing Agriprocessors’ products on June 15 if the company didn’t agree to establish a transparent mechanism to ensure compliance with Jewish… More ▸

  • Rabbi calls for Orthodox ‘hechsher tzedek’

    Rabbi Shlomo Levin, spiritual leader of Milwaukee’s Modern Orthodox Lake Park Synagogue, has an opinion piece in J the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle. calling on the Orthodox establishment to start certifying the working conditions at kosher meat companies: The Orthodox Union states clearly that its supervision relates only to whether food is permitted to be eaten…. More ▸

  • This week in Postville

    We’re a little overdue for an Agriprocessors update, and as always, there’s some choice nuggets to report. Bruce Braley, the Iowa Democrat whose district includes part of Postville, made a pointed statement on the Agriprocessors situation, saying the company shouldn’t get any more second chances. Braley was responding to an inquiry concerning Iowa’s decision to… More ▸

  • Conservative rabbi visits Postville

    Rabbi Morris Allen, project director of the Conservative movement’s hekhsher tzedek initiative, made a quiet visit to Postville two weeks ago to talk to some of the workers he’d met on his previous visits in 2007 and ’06. He went with his 19-year-old daughter, not as a representative of his movement, but just to show… More ▸

  • Former prosecutor to help Agriprocessors on compliance

    Just got this announcement from Agriprocessors’ spokesperson: As part of the ongoing effort to enhance compliance with immigration and employment law, Agriprocessors has retained Jim Martin and his compliance specialty group, The Prevene Group, as the company’s outside Corporate Compliance Officer. Martin, a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, will begin his… More ▸

  • Let them eat cake

    That’s what many Jewish Shabbos tables will be serving this week if the reports we’re hearing about the kosher meat supply turn out to be true. But first … Late yesterday we heard that a bunch of Jewish bigs had signed on to the Uri L’tzedek petition, which vows a boycott June 15 if Agriprocessors… More ▸

  • Aaron and Me

    After my frustrating experience with Sholom Rubashkin in Postville, I thought it unlikely that I’d have much more luck with his father Aaron. The elder Rubashkin still runs the original family butcher shop on 14th Avenue in the Brooklyn neighborhood Borough Park. Rubashkin opened the shop in 1953, the same year he emigrated from Russia,… More ▸

  • More on Agriprocessors

    Couple of interesting developments on the Agriprocessors front today. First, my interview with Aaron Rubashkin went live on the site this afternoon, the first response from any Agriprocessors’ official since this story first broke May 12. I’ll have more on that interview tomorrow. Second, we learned about the launch of Postville Voices, a new blog… More ▸

  • Did the OU push Sholom Rubashkin out?

    That’s what the Jewish Star is claiming: It is at the insistence of the Orthodox Union that Sholom Rubashkin is to be replaced as chief executive officer of Agriprocessors, the kosher meatpacking giant his father, Aaron Rubashkin, founded, The Jewish Starhas learned. “We have said that if there were criminal culpability that we would withdraw… More ▸