A survey of Conservative clergy released last week found that more than 80 percent eat warmed fish in non-kosher restaurants, prompting the chairman of the movement’s rabbinic kosher subcommittee to begin writing a legal opinion that will likely restrict what Conservative Jews may or may not eat in non-kosher restaurants.
The Vaad Hakashrus of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway has told Gourmet Glatt Emporium that it would resume supervision of the Cedarhurst, L.I., kosher supermarket if the owners brought in a partner it could approve.
"The only way the Vaad will physically supervise the premises wherein Gourmet Glatt is located is if it will have a partner it will trust, [thereby] ensuring kashrut to the Five Towns community," said Franklyn Snitow, the Vaad's lawyer.
An owner of a major kosher supermarket in the Five Towns says he has been given an ultimatum by the organization that provides him with kosher supervision: either sell his business by Feb. 1 or it will withdraw its kosher supervisors.
Mark Bollander, a partner of Gourmet Glatt Kosher Meat Market in Cedarhurst, told The Jewish Week that the threat was made by the Vaad Hakashrus of the Five Towns and Rockaway, which has virtually dominated supervision of kosher establishments in the Five Towns for about 30 years.
In a damning report, a federal investigation in late 2004 found that employees of one of the nation's major kosher slaughterhouses "had engaged in acts of inhumane slaughter," that federal inspectors did nothing to stop it and instead accepted gifts of meat from plant employees.
Further, the inspectors were found in their offices playing video games, the report said.
The pluralism wars that have proved so polarizing in Israel are being played out in another arena locally: a Brooklyn federal courtroom. Attorneys for the state of New York and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are seeking to defend the constitutionality of the state's 117-year-old kosher laws, which are being challenged by a Long Island butcher.
Why can't Long Island support kosher restaurants? That's the question some are asking with the closing this weekend of the fourth of five kosher establishments that opened on the Island in the last three years: the first non-deli kosher restaurants outside of the Five Towns and Great Neck in recent years.
Call it a case of penny wise and kosher pound foolish. Fearful that a federal judge would almost certainly strike down New York State's kosher food enforcement laws as unconstitutional, state officials for years tried to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with two Long Island butchers challenging the century-old statutes.
But in the end, state officials chose not to settle and pay perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal damages.
New York State has announced plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court lower court rulings striking down the stateís kosher laws as unconstitutional. This despite the private concerns of some in the Jewish community that an unsuccessful appeal could potentially upset kosher laws nationwide.
A bottle of wine, a slice of cheese and a package of frozen vegetables are now at the center of a new federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of revised New York State kosher laws.
These foods and others, according to non-Orthodox standards, are inherently kosher and thus do not need a kosher seal. That was the belief of the two Commack, L.I., butchers who in 2000 successfully challenged the state’s century-old kosher laws. The new law, they believed, required only that they post a sign stating the name of their kosher supervisor.
Is it misleading for a food market to suggest in its advertising that "rabbis shop" there when the store's products arenít even kosher?
A New York judge will be asked to decide that question after an Orthodox Jew, David Richmond of Manhattan, filed suit against the Garden of Eden Gourmet alleging that starting on April 3,the store placed advertisements which read: "Do you know where rabbis shop? Passover to the Garden of Eden and find out why."