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  • Sholom and me

    Late last week, Agriprocessors’ owner Aaron Rubashkin announced that he would be replacing his son Sholom as company CEO. This was not totally unexpected. A source close to the family told me he had recommended turning the plant over to professional management and that Aaron had seemed open to the idea. But during my five… More ▸

  • Jewish Labor Committee: Boycott Agriprocessors

    The Jewish Labor Committee is calling for a boycott of Agriprocessors, and says the recent federal raid “buttresses the conviction shared by many undocumented workers that our government is not only indifferent to worker abuse, but works in collusion with management to penalize workers who challenge it.” Here’s the JLC’s full statement: Jewish Labor Committee… More ▸

  • The Conservative movement: We ‘request’ that you think about not eating Rubashkin products

    We’re told that a few Conservative rabbis wanted their movement to declare a boycott of Agriprocessors. Instead, the Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism issued a “request”: “that consumers of kosher meat evaluate whether it is appropriate to buy and eat meat products produced by the Rubashkin’s label.” Here’s the full statement:… More ▸

  • How the raid in Postville unfolded

    Nigel Duara has been reporting for the Des Moines Register on the situation in Postville, Iowa in the aftermath of last week’s arrests at Agriprocessors. Here he talks with JTA’s Ben Harris about how the raid went down. [audio:/images/archive/052008_harris_nigel.mp3] Audio sound funny? Upgrade your Flash player. To subscribe to JTA’s Behind the News podcast, click… More ▸

  • Deportations in Iowa

    Ben Harris is on the on the ground in Iowa, reporting on the aftermath of last week’s federal raid of the country’s largest meatpacking plant. Listen to his report on the first batch of undocumented workers to be deported, with hundreds more still in custody. [audio:/images/archive/051908_eden_harris.mp3] Audio sound funny? Upgrade your Flash player. To subscribe… More ▸

  • More from Agriprocessors

    Agriprocessors’ PR folks just sent us a statement. The company says it’s trying to upgrade its immigration compliance procedures, but the first priority is getting the plant up and running again. No mention made of steps to address charges of illicit drug production on the premises, however, as reported in the government’s affidavit on the… More ▸

  • The rabbi strikes back

    Rabbi Moses Weissmandel, the supervising rabbi at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, called this morning to categorically refute every allegation made this week by government investigators – except the illegal worker business. “That’s not my department,” Weissmandel said. What is his department is the rabbinical staff, some 40 rabbis responsible for the actual slaughter of meat… More ▸

  • Ghostville

    This morning I got the president of Gal Investments, Gabay Menhel, on the phone. The Israeli-born Menhel heads a real-estate company in Postville, Iowa, where federal agents Monday hauled off 390 employees of the country’s largest kosher slaughterhouse on suspected immigration violations. Many of those workers were tenants of Menhel, who says his properties now… More ▸