Sharp criticism of the statement issued by Rabbi Joseph Konvitz last Sunday challenging the authority of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in questions of kashruth regulation was voiced yesterday by William Weiss, president of the Union.
Deploring the “public controversy, which can only result in further confusing the Jewish community,” Weiss declared that the Union of Congregations preferred not to enter into extended discussion.
“This appears to be,” he said. “merely another attempt on the part of the rabbinical groups to assume for its individual rabbis the sole authority to issue kashruth sanctions. During the past few years, the Union has been endeavoring to establish order in the chaotic field of kashruth. The kashruth policy of the Union is a non-commercial one. It is opposed to charging fees for ‘hechsherim’ (kashruth sanctions). The Union feels that the Jewish public should not be given any grounds for a complaint that prices of food products are excessively increased because of kashruth.”
The Union of Orthodox Congregations, founded thirty-six years ago, lists among its members Rabbis Leo Jung, Herbert S. Goldstein, Bernard Drachman, Moses Hyamson, H. Pereira Mendes, David de Sola Pool, Joseph Lookstein and Senator Albert Wald, Harry Fischel, Supreme Court Justice Samuel H. Hofstadter and Isadore Grossman.