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  • Torossian: We are defending Kashrut

    5WPR’s founder and president, Ronn Torossian, just issued this statement about the controversy engulfing his company [UPDATE: This is the revised version that the company sent out a few minutes after the first one]: While traveling earlier this week with my family out of the country, my IT department investigated accusations which we have now… More ▸

  • Is Agri’s PR firm impersonating Morris Allen?

    FailedMessiah reports today that two comments attributed to Rabbi Morris Allen, the Minnesota rabbi behind the Conservative movement’s Hekhsher Tzedek project, originated in the office of 5WPR, the public relations firm hired to help kosher meat producer Agriprocessors cope with the fallout from the May 12 raid. We’re still seeking comment from 5W. Shira Dicker,… More ▸

  • BBYO to steer clear of Rubashkin’s

    B’nai Brith Youth Organization will abstain from Agriprocessors meat this summer. Here’s their statement: Camp Food is No Joking Matter BBYO Teens Demand Agriprocessor-Free Camp Programs As a result of the allegations of intolerable injustices at Agriprocessors, the largest producer of kosher meat and poultry in the U.S., BBYO takes major stand by asking its… More ▸

  • Agudah on Agri

    In an op-ed yesterday in the Jerusalem Post, Rabbi Avi Shafran offers the first public statement on the Agriprocessors situation from Agudath Israel of America, the haredi umbrella group whose constituents are probably the company’s most reliable consumers. Shafran writes: Neither I nor Agudath Israel of America has any connection to Agriprocessors. And for all… More ▸

  • Agriprocessors to hold private meeting Tuesday

    It was announced last week that Agriprocessors is to hold an “urgent public meeting” on Tuesday in New York City. The meeting will be held at 4:45 at Bnai Zion on East 39th Street and will feature presentations by Orthodox superlawyer Nat Lewin, company spokesperson Menachem Lubinsky, and Rabbi Menachem Weissmandel, the Postville plant’s chief… More ▸

  • 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 ▸