Factual but misleading on O.U.


To the Editor:

The headline and lead to the Breaking News item "Orthodox Union, world’s largest kosher certifier, in disarray" may be factual, but they are misleading, to say the least.

To be transparent: I am friendly with some of those connected to the O.U.; I am not Orthodox, to say the least; and I have publicly expressed my feelings that the "hasgacha" business may be out of control — i.e., to the best of my knowledge, every brand of Oysters Crackers has an O.U. kosher certification, or hashgacha.

The O.U. is much more than "world’s largest kosher certifier." The O.U. is to the Modern Orthodox community what the United Synagogue is to Conservative Judaism and the Union for Reform Judaism is to Reform Judaism. The O.U. serves and supports Modern Orthodox synagogues and programs in many ways. That is its main goal. Organizational dysfunction or not, it seems to be doing its job in an extremely effective fashion.

The leadership infighting, if the story is accurate, is unfortunate, but many organizations have gone through the same internal struggles, and have survived and flourished. This will also happen with the O.U.

I understand the need to sell newspapers (blogs, etc.) by reporting on conflicts, but your story would have been more credible if you had reported this situation within the context of the full picture.

Paul Jeser
Los Angeles, Calif.

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