Tuesday, November 21, 2006

AN OPEN LETTER to the 5 TOWNS COMMUNITY

I am saddened and appalled at the way our 5 towns Vaad has handled the Gourmet Glatt issue. I have the utmost respect for the rabbis of the Vaad; however I can not stand by idly while an injustice is being done. I have spoken to a number of rabbis on the Vaad and have been told that Mr. Bolender was not at the meeting where the Vaad decided his fate (gave the psak that he must sell the store). How is it possible that NOT ONE Rabbi on the Vaad (that signed the letter and attended the meetings) asked or insisted that Mr. Bolender have the opportunity to relay his side of the story???????????? Did the thought of putting this individual (and others supported by this store) out of business without giving him the chance to speak in front of those who are deciding his fate not cross their minds??????? How can a psak like this be enforced or even given? I know the Vaad states in their letter "It should be self-evident that such a decision was not taken lightly." However I am not sure it can get any lighter than not hearing the other side of the story. I would venture to say that if one of the rabbis on the Vaad were being accused of something they would think it is only fair and just that they get an opportunity to be heard. Why was it not done here? This is not a joke; it is the livelihood of 5 families at stake as well as an individual's reputation. The Vaad's letter also calls the acquisition of a second hashgacha an affront to the unity of the community, and states a claim that "When there is one universally recognized and accepted hashgacha in a community, the kashruth standards are clear to all. When one local store takes on multiple hashgachot on their premises, then there is a threat to the uniform standards we have all worked so hard to achieve." Yet the Vaad has a double standard, they allow their own philosophy and statements to be contradicted by a local Rav in the community who has certain "recommended stores". According to the Vaad is this not an affront to the unity of the community? Should we as a community ban him and his shul? Why is the Vaad not writing letters about him? The Vaad seems to be more concerned with the the monopoly they have over all the 5 towns stores rather than the most important issue- Halacha. If the Vaad for whatever reason feels they can't or don't want to supervise this store they don't have to. But why does it bother them so much if another expert in the area of kashrus, a competent halachik authority, a talmid chachom and an individual who has a chezkas kashrus is willing to take that responsibility on his shoulders? Halacha certainly allows this. Why are they making sure this store goes out of business? This is pure rishus (evil) and does not allow me to believe this is being done lishma (for the sake of heaven). I don't recall seeing in the Shulchan Aruch (Jewish Code of Law- written by R' Yosef karo) that all stores in the 5 towns must only be supervised by the 5 towns Vaad. The Vaad has certainly done an excellent PR job of convincing the community that they must have one standard in kashrus, however as stated previously they themselves allow a local Rav to set a second standard. Also the Vaad relies on various different kashrus organizations themselves (OU, Kof k etc.). Are they writing letters and calling for all these organizations to consolidate as well? I am calling upon our community to stand up for what is right and follow Halacha. Halacha tells us that we can shop at Gourmet Glatt under Rav Kravitz's hashgacha. I hope and pray to Hashem that we all come together as one for the sake of Heaven and for the sake of our wonderful community. It will be intriguing to see whether our holy community follows the Shulchan Aruch of Rav Yosef Karo or that of Rav Yosef Eisen. A concerned member of the community

185 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

I'm not speaking from my own personal involvement in the situation, which I assume is the same for you (the original blogger), these are just my impressions and opinions from my limited dealings with both the VAAD and numerous food establishments in the 5 Towns.
I have to agree with you on some of your comments. However, I don't believe that what the VAAD did, is as malicious as you presume.
By stating that, " "When there is one universally recognized and accepted hashgacha in a community, the kashruth standards are clear to all…” they are simply conveying that there is obviously a good reason that we will certify countless other establishments in this neighborhood but not that one. There is no way that the VAAD just made this decision as “lightly” as you exaggerated. Gourmet Glatt was given numerous warnings and it was only after multiple offenses (and quite possibly the Monsey incident) that the VAAD acted. Gourmet Glatt was even given an opportunity to rectify the situation but did not. Do you actually believe that the VAAD just sat down and made a decision like this quickly?
Be very careful what you say. I just love when someone opens with “I have the utmost respect for…” and then goes on to insult, accuse, and offend the very people he has “the utmost respect” for. If you had the utmost respect for these gedolim, you would think before you type. What should the VAAD have done? Turned the other way? They have a responsibility not just to supervise but to guarantee that whatever they certify is strictly kosher. Giving the owner an option to sell the store while still under the VAAD was a very noble offer. The VAAD could have easily stripped the certification immediately and the owners would have been far worse off. I don't believe anyone (including the VAAD) has openly stated that there is anything specifically wrong with the new Hashgacha at Gourmet Glatt. It is a matter of principal. Granted the new hashgacha is fine (possibly even better) but should you trust a store that is capable of the deception and thievery they previously displayed? Why would you WANT to support such an establishment regardless of the Hashgacha? How could you go on to defend someone like this? I'm obviously not alone on this, as you all probably have realized, Gourmet Glatt has been pathetically empty recently. Is there something wrong with their Cheerios? Is their Soda any different? Are they switching labels on the milk too? Obviously not, but people are staying away for a reason.
Furthermore, what good could have come from the owner being present at the meeting? He had plenty of time to defend himself and I'm sure he knew what he had coming. If this was such a big scandal and the VAAD is fabricating information in an argumentum ad hominem, don’t you think the owner would have filed suit or at least made a public statement to his defense? The facts are obvious, the owners of Gourmet Glatt were involved in some “shady business” and who are we to defend them just to be contrary? Unless you have specific evidence to their innocence, that is precisely what you are doing.

As for the hypocrisy of the VAAD, this “local rav” you refer to is NOT on the VAAD Hakashrus of the Five Towns, nor was he at that meeting (no I am not a member of his shul nor do I have any biased reason to defend him). The Rav of a shul has every right to recommend specific establishments that he personally deems appropriate for his congregation to shop at. This is on no way contradictory to the ideals of the VAAD Hakashrus of the Five Towns.

It is one thing to call doubt to the whole situation, but to “call upon our community to stand up for what is right and follow Halacha.”?????!?! Since when is it halacha to shop at a store no matter how good the hashgacha is?

You are “saddened and appalled” by the way this was handled but were not saddened OR appalled by the acts of the owners of Gourmet Glatt??
We thank you for your kind words and are truly grateful to have such “a concerned member of the community” as yourself.

Anonymous said...

The original blogger never said whether the owner of GG is innocent or guilty. The main point I got from it was that a guy deserves a fair trial. Also if there is another eid echad (competent rav) willing to take the hashgacha over why does it bother the Vaad if people continue to go there. I think thats what is meant by following halacha. Ofcourse no one is required to shop there but it certainly isn't proper (possibly against halacha) to ban shopping there.
What good could have come from the owner being present at the Vadd meeting you ask??
Honestly I do not even understand your question. If you were on trial would you think its fair not to be present at the trial to present your case and defend yourself?? We live in America my friend.
Again I have no knowledge about what was done or not done and nor do you, yet you say " The facts are obvious, the owners of Gourmet Glatt were involved in some “shady business” and who are we to defend them just to be contrary? huh?? how do you all of a sudden have so much knowledge?
The reason the store is empty is because all the rabbis signed to the fact that its an affront to he unity of the community to shop there, however many people would shop there but are afraid to be seen there. In last week's jewish week- the jewish week sent a reporter to GG interviewing people in the store even people shopping there were afraid to give their names. So tjhe fact thatits pathetically empty is not a proof or sign of anything. Please think before writing. thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think to call the Rabbis on our VAAD "Gedolim" is a stretch. We have some real Gedolim in our community, but not too many on the VAAD. Since when does becoming a pulpit Rabbi make you a Kashrus expert?

The VAAD is considered a mofia...every store owner will tell you that.

There is no Halachah that we need one VAAD in this comunity. Do we have one shul?

It's funny, the one group that is preaching how importnat it is to have one VAAD in our community is the VAAD itself! Duh! That's like telling all of my customers how importnat my store is and they should only buy from me. There are plenty of wonderful Jewish neighborhoods in this world, including Yerushalayim, that have more than one VAAD.

Competition is a wonderful thing. Certainly, you wouldn't have store owners who feel they're dealing with a mafia. Prices would prably come down too.

Anonymous said...

"The Rav of a shul has every right to recommend specific establishments that he personally deems appropriate for his congregation to shop at. This is on no way contradictory to the ideals of the VAAD Hakashrus of the Five Towns."
I completely agree with this statement however the VAAD calls any certfying organization or individual (rabbi Kravitz) other then themselves an affront to the unity of the community so the original blogger actually has a very valid point. Why is another local rav checking stores himself not a problem with the VAAD does this rav not trust the VAAD or their standards? Please explain.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! that is a very powerful letter that hits upon many key points. This letter must be publicized.
Also I like his style he never discusses or points fingers on who is right with regard to the mislabeling etc. He just points out facts and inconsistencies in the VAAD's actions and that it is now under a reliable hashgacha.
Spread the word!!

Anonymous said...

YOu say "I just love when someone opens with “I have the utmost respect for…” and then goes on to insult, accuse, and offend the very people he has “the utmost respect” for. If you had the utmost respect for these gedolim, you would think before you type."
Actually the Rambam and Ramban oftten disagree and many times they have very strong words about the others opinion. However the Ramban in one of his letters spoke about how he has the highest regard for the Rambam.
When halachik issues are being discussed you can still have utmost respect for the other party and yet state you opinion strongly.

Anonymous said...

The thing that I don't get is that none of the rabbis on the VAAD seem to be on the same page with this whole fiasco. Some still say it is ok to shop there, while others say you can't??? Whats the deal???

Anonymous said...

Is it ok to shop at Gourmet Glatt again?

Anonymous said...

I never stopped! I knew of Rav Kravitz from my "snowbird" days in Miami-if I could eat there-why not here? The Vaad has gone too far-when will the Rabbonim grow some "..." and tell him what they and their kehillahs want, instead of the other way around. S. Stern

Anonymous said...

S. Stern- I don't get it what are you saying? What is it that you think the rabbi's want?

tzaddik1 said...

Wether Rabbi eisen and the Vaad are wrong or GG is wrong is not the issue. If they can't get along let the Vaad just drop the hashgocha and let GG get a new one. The problem is that the Vaad was forcing him to sell the store with no other recourse. what is the Vaad the mafia? If this continues the store will fail along with the parnassah of many families. Having a unified hashgocha in a neighborhood is great but unrealistic. The rabbis on the Vaad are upset that their authority was usurped. Get over it and move on. The split in the community is pitiful and the rabbonim are to blame.

kosherman said...

This is crazy the Vaad doesn't own any of these stores they just supervise the kashrus of them. How in the world can they force a sale?? To me that is unheard of. If I open a store in the 5 towns and I'm a nephew of s/o on the OU I can't use the OU? (On a side note) I know they wouldn't dare come in to this neighborhood b/c like the mafia everyone has their own territories. This is sick. It truly turned from keeping the Torah to just making money. Unfortunately this is a business like any other.

hockmeister said...

Is it public record what the VAAD makes? What they charge? salaries of employees? maybe Kosherman is right its a business and the consumer should be cognizent of different facts.
If su[persol for whatever reason decided that after their contract with the vaad is up they wanna bring in the KOF K- Would the Vaad all of a sudden tell ppl to stop shopping there and claim they don't trust the KOF K???
I should hope the average kosher consumer is smart enough to see through this BS.

5 towns yid said...

Ok where to begin, first off regarding the rabbi Its RABBI REISMAN. He told someone I know who called him from overseas (I'm not sure how they got to him), that Mauzone is not on the agudas yisroel list. My acquaintance told me Reisman made it sound as if he were referring to the Agudas Yisroel of America. Typical of Resiman in my opinion. When confronted he said well Mauzone has only one mashgiach in the facitlity, WELL HELLO McReisman !! so do all your " approved " places some have even less since there is a mashgiach for veggie checking but not full time and the owners have the keys! So thats my piece on HARAv Reisman.

Regarding the Vaad I have a friend who was working on opening a food establishment ( to keep things vague) in the 5 towns. RYE named him a price for hashgacha. My friend said but I know place 1 pays amount A , place 2 pays amount b for the same type of store why are you charging me so much more. Them RYE started to deal with him, this isn't how its done Rabbi Eisen. Formulas are used not your wallet.

hockmeister said...

5 towns yid are you serious? Thats crazy!! Is Rabbi Yosef Eisen even a 5 towner or do we have an ousider running our community?

Anonymous said...

From what I've heard Rabbi Eisen is actually Rabbi reisman's puppet. So eventhough R' Reisman is techinically "not part of the Vaad" he in reality runs the Vaad.
So hockmeister allow me to allay your fears one of our own is running our community (to the ground). hashem Yaazor!

punk27 said...

5 towns yid_ RYE does use a formula. the formula is to make as much money as possible.

Anonymous said...

I heard the 2 sides are very close to cutting a deal. Any updates?

5 Towns Yid said...

RYE is scared of Reisman since he has such a big mouth and some peoples ears including Moshe (Mishkowits, I will need to confirm the last name spelling etc.) Since Moish who is on the vaads layman board or the like and holds many of the purse strings, does daven in Reismans Agudah.

Though Moish will play stupid when asked of his power and reach etc in the Vaad.

5 towns Yid said...

RYE however hates Reisman and is only his puppet via strings whispered into Moish's ears by Reisman.

shorty44 said...

5 towns yid that is really ineteresting how do you know so much inside info?

5 Towns Yid said...

Shorty 44

I can not reveal all my sources but ask me and I will attempt to answer.

shorty44 said...

5 towns yid- why do you think the 5 towns vaad uses mafia tactics? what is it that they have to gain? money? power? etc?

5TownsYid said...

My Dear Short friend,

It is not the Vaad unless the Vaad is RYE. The average Rabbi in our towns though versed in Halachah knows little about the world of Kashruth.

Email me at 5TownsYid@gmail.com if you care to ask more. or anyone with any tidbits to share. Knowledge is power, and the more pieces we know the safer we are. RYE covered up actual Treif meat in Kosher Spot on ave J in flatbush recently in his baby project / second full time job why wouldn't he cover things up in the 5 towns too.

perplexed said...

5 towns yid- very intersting. Please tell more about RYE and the Kosher spot cover up? what excatly went down and is this public knowledge? Also what does that mean that he has a second job? He gets paid an enormous amount from the 5 towns vaad. whats going on???????????????

Anonymous said...

No need for private emails this is a blog its important to tell people the facts. We must know if certain authority figures are corrupt. We are talking about an individuals who run the kashrus for the entire 5 towns. Please speak and do NOT hold back!!!!

Anonymous said...

It look as if our holy community is following the shulchan aruch of Rabbi yosef Eisen. We are on a very low madreiga :(

Anonymous said...

If the Bolenders are forced out of town, I would expect major "legal" ramifications. Look for the "line item-Vaad Legal Fund" on your next shul bill. No joke!

Anonymous said...

yossi eisen has been quoted saying:
I am the choshen mishpast and everybody else is sheker."
this is a real quote he told authorities in the kashrus world.

he is a threat to the way we live. he is stripping us of our respect and peace as one community.

get rid of him before it is to late. the damage might be irreversible.

save the five towns, get rid of this mafia kingpin.

Anonymous said...

I am sickened by this blog. Whoever decided to say loshon hara about certain individuals in the agudah of LI obviously only knows the issues peripherally. R' Eisen is not making a ton of money, despite what you may think. R' Reisman only wants kashrus standards that EVERYONE can hold by. I don't get the problem here. GG is not reliable- haven't we seen that already????

Anonymous said...

I think the point to be made is-things are not always what they seem! Why is GG less reliable than RYE-because RYE looks more frum??? How do you account for Finkel from Monsey? GG has serviced this community for many many years-Eisen has caused friction since his appearance in our 5 towns? But then again-always go with the longer beard-that's the right answer every time!

5 Towns Yid said...

perplexed said...
5 towns yid- very intersting. Please tell more about RYE and the Kosher spot cover up? what excatly went down and is this public knowledge? Also what does that mean that he has a second job? He gets paid an enormous amount from the 5 towns vaad. whats going on???????????????

Kosher Spot was owned and operated by "Moti" Moti is an alumnus of Tora Vodaath RYE's old Alma Mater ( I'm still ascertaining there personal relationship).

It was a Deli-Take-out sort of place with some added items such as yougurts milk OJ etc . Imagine Mauzone or Chap a nosh as they are also selling yogurt leben and milk/OJ. I doubt RYE would let that here!! Not that the fine owners would ever even think to do so.

Moti then started selling repacked meat and chicken to a number of other stores. He even placed freezers into a paper goods store and they sold it there for him. One place he sold to was a large supermarket in Crown heights. G-d bless Lubavitch but these guys who were buying all this stuff from him that was repacked and labeled as under the CHK hashgacha, went and checked the store out. (Rubashkins does have this certification on a portion of there product). i'm still waiting to find out if there was a reason that aroused suspicion or if it was random.

In any case they saw cases (quite a few) of non-glatt meat. They inquired and he said, oh its for a large corporate account. They quickly called Kehila and Kehilla then called RYEs toothpick chewing cowboy/monitoring mashgiach who came over. He is a Rebbe in a yeshiva and suplements his income by checking on businesses for Kehila. (FYI if you ever want to do something non-kosher and you are certified by Kehila do it during school hours please.)

When he got there the boxes were all gone.

Short end of it is... He had stuff delivered to the store brazenly enough then put it into a van and whiske dit to a local home garage where it was put into glatt boxes and carried back into the store for repacking. ( Well at least we know Torah Vodaath grads recycle!)

Rye shouted up and down it was only non-glatt and no treif, however the company he was buying the meat from is banned from selling to O.U. stores due to some funny stories there that are for another post. The company is a non-frum distribution company that deals mostly in treif.

OH AND Moti was a few days away from making a shidduch so he asked RYe and the Rabbis to wait a few days to publicize this so he could get his child engaged!! They agreed !!!!!

P.S. The Machberes in the Jewish Press wrote about this story ( except for the engaged part). Withotu saying the store name just identifying the area. In it he says it was treif meat.

5 Towns Yid said...

The cover-up" is always forgotten in frum-yeshivish brooklyn but the story was widely publicized.

RYE is also an employee f Kehila he has been with them since before he joined the Vaad here.

Anonymous said...

"WOW!!! that is a very powerful letter that hits upon many key points. This letter must be publicized. "

If by powerful you mean long winde and if by letter you mean dull series of run-on sentences, then Indeed!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"If by powerful you mean long winde and if by letter you mean dull series of run-on sentences, then Indeed!"

Come on now why are we getting personal?? I guess the author hit a sore spot with you. Break down his arguments (if you can) not him.

Emes Man said...

"I am sickened by this blog. Whoever decided to say loshon hara about certain individuals in the agudah of LI obviously only knows the issues peripherally. R' Eisen is not making a ton of money, despite what you may think. R' Reisman only wants kashrus standards that EVERYONE can hold by. I don't get the problem here. GG is not reliable- haven't we seen that already????"

I will take your issues point by point.

A- Does the truth sicken you??
B- If we only know the issues peripherally enlighten us please.
C-How do you know how much he makes?
D- Whats wrong with Shulcha aruch standards? also how come he doesn't want standrads R' Resiman can hold by?
E- Do you eat OU products? Well Rabbi Kravitz who ran the OU meat department for 8 years is now giving he hashgacha on GG. Is he all of a sudden not trustworthy?!?!?

5 tOWNS YID said...

"If by powerful you mean long winde and if by letter you mean dull series of run-on sentences, then Indeed!"

December 6, 2006 1:09:00 AM PST

UNLIKE YOURSELF, WHO EITHERS SELLS INSURANCE OR IS IN KASHRUTH. i DO WORK FOR A LIVING AND THE HOUR WAS LATE. IF I HAVE OFFENDED YOUR RESPECT FOR THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, I DO NOT APOLOGIZE.

REALLY DUD GET A LIFE . POKING LITTLE FUN AT MY GRAMMAR. BULLIES ALWAYS DO TRY TO THROW THE BLAME ELSEWHERE.

Kashrus R Us said...

"UNLIKE YOURSELF, WHO EITHERS SELLS INSURANCE OR IS IN KASHRUTH. "

Come on now. Lets not give kashruth a bad name just because of a few corrupt individuals.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard any updates as to what is currently going on with the whole vaad- GG issue? Is GG selling or standing up for themselves?? keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

To the last post;

Keep yourself updated! Ask you Rabbi as well as others. Do not be silent. Keep the pressure on.

Next RYE will tell you how the women at the party need to dress.

Anonymous said...

"Next RYE will tell you how the women at the party need to dress".

HUH??? whats are you talking about??

Anonymous said...

HUH??? whats are you talking about??

In brooklyn for his other hashrus company. RYE tells the staff how to dress.

shorty44 said...

People were handing out a letter outside of Gourmet glatt with points very similar to the one on this blog. Just it was written in a more politically correct fashion. Basically asking the vaad to explain themselves and the actions they took. And asking if after Rabbi kravitz gave his hashghacha the food on the premises all of a sudden magically turned not kosher. :)

Anonymous said...

The following letter is being circulated in the Far Rockaway/Five Towns community.


An Open Letter to the Vaad Harabanim of the
Five Towns and Far Rockaway
The following letter is the result of the combined efforts of concerned citizens of our community. The atmosphere surrounding the Gourmet Glatt controversy has been volatile; because of this, we have chosen to leave this letter unsigned. However, the letter represents the view of a diverse group of individuals. Respectful comments and criticisms may be emailed to gourmetdiscussion@yahoo.com.
To the esteemed rabbanim of the Vaad:
After much contemplation, we have come together as a group of concerned citizens, representing different outlooks but united in a desire for fairness. We have no personal or monetary motivations in the matter of Gourmet Glatt Emporium, and we seek to avoid rather than generate strife.
The recent controversy concerning Gourmet Glatt has disturbed our community greatly. On the one hand, if a store is guilty of deception, consumers have the right to know. On the other hand, if a store is guilty only of an inability to get along with a particular hechsher, the store has the right to acquire alternate supervision.
Rumors have swirled through a neighborhood whose constituents strive mightily to avoid any tinge of lashon hara. And yet when livelihoods and reputations are at stake, one must pursue justice.
In the spirit of the above, we respectfully ask the Vaad the following questions concerning Gourmet Glatt:
1. The Vaad asserts that there were kashrus violations over an extended period of time. What were these violations? How do they differ from the occasional errors that occur at all certified establishments? (A label being switched on a chicken package from Vineland to Empire, if this did indeed occur, is not cause for removal of a hechsher. This sort of error occurs all the time.)
2. When a hechsher is removed, the previous certifier no longer vouches for the kashrus of the establishment. Yet when making the announcement of the hechsher rescission in their shuls, some rabbanim also stated that the Vaad recommends (or insists) that people not buy at Gourmet Glatt. How can the Vaad take a stand on the kashrus at Gourmet Glatt when it no longer gives the hechsher? Moreover, most items in the store have their own certification; some items, such as fruit, do not require a hechsher. Why is it that certain rabbanim announced that nothing at all should be bought at Gourmet Glatt? How does the Vaad have the right to declare an economic boycott of a store? At minimum, the Vaad is an interested party (noge’a badavar). Isn’t it self-evident that an independent decision of a beis din is necessary in order to impose an economic sanction of this nature?
3. The Vaad is disturbed that another hechsher was invited in by Gourmet Glatt. However, the Vaad gave Gourmet Glatt’s owners four months to sell the store or else the hechsher would be pulled. Are the owners required to wait the four months before seeking another hechsher? If they wish to remain in business, don’t they have the right to secure supervision that will be ongoing?
4. The Vaad’s hechsher was removed only after the second hechsher was added. If serious kashrus violations were involved, why did the Vaad act only after Rabbi Yehuda Kravitz added his certification? Did the food suddenly turn not kosher because of the presence of extra supervision?
5. The Vaad claims that Gourmet Glatt violated its contract by taking on another hechsher. When one feels that a wrong has occurred, Jewish law has a procedure for adjudicating the matter. Did the Vaad invite the Gourmet Glatt owners to a din Torah?
6. The Vaad wants a show of support from the community, and of course we want a strong, reliable Vaad. However, the Vaad’s role is not to be the ultimate arbiter of halachic issues or of community conduct. The Vaad has specific tasks to fulfill. It keeps the eiruvin and the mikva’os, and it gives hechsherim on most, but not all, of the stores. Nowhere does it say that a store must use the Vaad for a hechsher, and if the Vaad refuses to give a hechsher to an establishment, nowhere does it say that said establishment must close shop. While we recognize that the Vaad’s rabbanim have an individual responsibility to provide spiritual guidance to their congregants, by what stretch of the imagination can that guidance extend to a concerted effort to close a store?
7. How many of the Vaad rabbanim personally visited Gourmet Glatt to evaluate Rabbi Kravitz’s supervision of the store? A detailed walk-through of the store by one of us indicates that the current hechsher is very strong. And the Kashrus Information Service, a Flatbush-based watchdog agency, has given the store a warm seal of approval. Gourmet Glatt continues to use the same meat sources that are accepted in mehadrin establishments, and the new hechsher has even added some stringencies. For example, not-Jewish employees no longer are permitted to bring not-kosher food into the store for lunch.

To those who have patronized Gourmet Glatt in the past but now have ceased to shop there, we ask the following: After Gourmet Glatt has been available to serve you for so many years, is it proper to suddenly boycott the store? We ask you to look into your hearts for the proper answer.
We have written this letter not to undermine the good work that the Vaad does, but rather in an effort to attain clarity in regards to a matter that we pray will merit a speedy, positive resolution. We pray for the peace of our community.

Avi Goldstein said...

Here is my question to everyone. Rather than getting involved in lashon hara and in being disrespectful: if you feel, as I do, that there is nothing wrong with shopping at GG, why aren't you doing so? I go there at least three or four times a week, specifically to support the store, and all I can say is, if all the people blogging in favor of GG would actually buy there, half the battle would be won. GG will survive if we shop there, not because of our words.

shorty44 said...

"Here is my question to everyone. Rather than getting involved in lashon hara and in being disrespectful: if you feel, as I do, that there is nothing wrong with shopping at GG, why aren't you doing so?"

Getting involved in lashon hara??? We are probably Mchayev to speak up and take a stand we can't just stand idly by when an injustice is being done. And I should hope everyone on this blog that feels the way u do is shopping there.

tzaddik1 said...

"and all I can say is, if all the people blogging in favor of GG would actually buy there, half the battle would be won. GG will survive if we shop there, not because of our words".

It will survive only if we have both. B/c the amount of people blogging is a minority. It would do nothing for GG if every blogger here went in there once a week. However I have spoken to so many people that love the store but are afraid to shop there because of public ridicule or because ppl won't want to eat at their houses if they do. This is precisely the reason we have to speak out and blog and say don't worry you are not alone many ppl feel the same way you do. And you won't be ridiculed by everyone for doing what you belive is right. Speaking out is very important please do not discount it.

Anonymous said...

Does everyone on this blog still shop at GG? Spreading the word not to give into mafia tactics?

Avi Goldstein said...

Re my comment that shopping at GG is what will save it, not talking about it: of course I agree. All I mean is that at the end of the day, words don't pay the bills. I really don't care who sees me shop there; in fact, I want to be seen. I go in there just to buy one or two things, JUST SO PEOPLE WILL SEE THAT A FRUM PERSON IS SHOPPING THERE.
Meanwhile, I have been sending the open letter that was posted here to friends of mine. I hope others will do so.

Avi Goldstein said...

"Getting involved in lashon hara??? We are probably Mchayev to speak up and take a stand we can't just stand idly by when an injustice is being done."

My stand in favor of GG is quite clear from what I have posted. However, there unquestionably is lashon hara on this blog, and it makes me very uncomfortable. In fact, I have to skim through so that I don't read what is forbidden. No, one is not "mechuyav" to make statements about rabbanim. And from what I see, the statements are unsubstantiated or based on hearsay. One has no right to believe the statements.
The only issue before us should be helping Gourmet Glatt.

jack said...

"No, one is not "mechuyav" to make statements about rabbanim. And from what I see, the statements are unsubstantiated or based on hearsay. One has no right to believe the statements.
The only issue before us should be helping Gourmet Glatt."

Avi by you continuing to shop at GG you are basically calling the rabanim liars. Stop trying to be so politically correct and just say it the way it is. Either GG did something wrong or the rabbis are doing something wrong.

Anonymous said...

the rabbonim KNOW they did something wrong! They just dont know how to fix it. I attended a chassanah where many local rabbonim were apologizing to a Bolender present. Heres a list to start with:
Rabbi Lefkowitz
Rabbi Teitelbaum
Rabbi Spiegel
Rabbi Dovid Weinberger
Rav Dovid Feinstein
Rav Yisroel Belsky
Rabbi Binyomin Kamenetsky
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetsky
Is that enough Rabbonim to start with??? Start asking, you'll be surprised at the answers!!!

Anonymous said...

I attended a chassanah where many local rabbonim were apologizing to a Bolender present.

Was it an apology as in an admission of guilt or was it an I feel your pain but what can we do? Something wrong was done and we had to take action. B/c I have spoken to many of the rabbanim you listed and did not get anywhere close to the impression your giving.

Anonymous said...

Rav Dovid Feinstein
Rav Yisroel Belsky
Rabbi Binyomin Kamenetsky
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetsky

these rabbanim aren't on the 5 towns vaad.

5 Towns Yid said...

I do not believe all these Rabbis wanted to apologize. First of all Rav dovid Feinstien wanted to get involved and help settle things peacefully. Rabbi Broffman said that he should stay where he is. That he doesn't know our community and shouldn't mix in.

Also the vaad is now in the process of having GG sign various release documents.

More to come in my next posting.

5 Towns Yid said...

FYI,

GG is selling for less than half what they were offered before the Vaad pulled their hashgacha.

The buyer is only purchasing on condition the Vaad will recertify the store etc.

The Bolenders will therefore need to sign various documents, that will make it impossible for them to ever go after the vaad. Or its Rabbis, for any of the horrible things they did to the GG family.

5 Towns Yid said...

Brachs till recently was using meats from a kosher slaughterhouse down south. This slaughterhouse was OK with the Vaad of the 5 towns. (Some small glatt houses still exist in the US and do a small scale for certain wholesale clients only.)


Brach's is now being made by the vaad to change and will no longer use this Glatt Kosher slaughterhouse.

Guessed why ? Yup it is under Rabbi Kravitz who till now was considered kosher by the Vaad . now that he came into their turf he is Treif.
Rabbi Kravitz actually certifies about 500 items. A number of which were regularly used by Vaad Certified stores. Now of course the Vaad is disallowing them.

How does that make all my fellow community brothers and sisters feel?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I attended a chassanah where many local rabbonim were apologizing to a Bolender present. Heres a list to start with:
.....
.......
Rabbi Binyomin Kamenetsky
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetsky

These 2 Rabbis were trying to save face they were only concerned about losing out on some donations from the Bolanders...

Anonymous said...

GG is selling for less than half what they were offered before the Vaad pulled their hashgacha.

"The buyer is only purchasing on condition the Vaad will recertify the store etc.

The Bolenders will therefore need to sign various documents, that will make it impossible for them to ever go after the vaad. Or its Rabbis, for any of the horrible things they did to the GG family."

5 towns yid- how can we verify your information? You seem to be in the know- but is everything you say confirmed? if so i 'm totally outraged!!!

Anonymous said...

"Guessed why ? Yup it is under Rabbi Kravitz who till now was considered kosher by the Vaad . now that he came into their turf
Rabbi Kravitz actually certifies about 500 items. A number of which were regularly used by Vaad Certified stores. Now of course the Vaad is disallowing them.

How does that make all my fellow community brothers and sisters feel?"

This makes me feel like crap. How can we let this go on? If i call the vaad on this what would their response be? How come Rabbi kravitz isn't speaking up about this? If he were to write a letter to the jewish star or 5 towns jewish I think if they can confirm its him they would publish it?? whats threal deal??

tzaddik1 said...

"Rabbi Kravitz actually certifies about 500 items. A number of which were regularly used by Vaad Certified stores. Now of course the Vaad is disallowing them.

How does that make all my fellow community brothers and sisters feel?"

It is imperative that people know this and realize that the vaad is a business like any other and unfortunately it seems to be that their business is not being run all that ethically. I think the 5 towns community needs a public fast day. Everyone should start questioning and pressing their rabbanan to make sure this (the above) isn't the case. If they are using their power and pulling business from others that use rabbi Kravitz they should all be fired!!!!!!!!!!! This is not the Torah way.
The real problem is many rabbi's were negligent and signed without knowing the facts and are blindly following whatever rabbi Eisen says. this however is not an excuse. After 120 years let them try and tell Gd but rabbi eisen said..... Its not to late start- push your rabbis to investigate and get to the bottom of all this.

5 Towns Yid said...

"5 towns yid- how can we verify your information? You seem to be in the know- but is everything you say confirmed? if so i 'm totally outraged!!!

December 17, 2006 12:19:00 PM PST "

I'm sorry I can not divulge certain sources or answer certain questions that have been emailed to me. To do so would harm certain individuals.

Why do you not call GG ask to get in touch with Rabbi Kravitz and ask him. I'm sure he will be willing to admit that the companies he certifies are now being punished by
RYE / Der Fuhrer .

My email as always is 5TownsYid@gmail.com

shorty44 said...

5 towns yid- who is Der Fuhrer? What is his position?

5 Towns Yid said...

SHORTY 44 I was merely referring to RYE's methods.

shorty44 said...

5 towns yid- I know it was a joke.

Anonymous said...

To put it bluntly,if this crap is not settled by 5PM tomorrow.I am going to contact the NEW YORK TIMES,POST,NEWS,NEWSDAY and several TV stations to let them know what these thug rabbis have perpetrated on us

5 Towns Yid said...

If you go to the news and need some additional info and witnesses for various Vaad/RYE/Reisman related items let me know .

Anonymous said...

5 Towns Yid said...
"If you go to the news and need some additional info and witnesses for various Vaad/RYE/Reisman related items let me know . "

5 towns yid- Why wait for the news? spill it now.

Anonymous said...

If everyone here is so tough and up in arms- why don't you express this to your rabbis and put pressure on them to remedy the situation. I know that in my shul no one even talks about GG anymore whereas when the whole situation first came about thats all anyone was talking about and everyone was questioning the rabbi.

5 Towns Yid said...

OK. For one thing Eisen has a Mashgiach on staff, who has had various complaints made against him. These complaints were made to Eisen . He ignored them and did as the catholic church does. He transferred this Mashgiach to another business.

I myself witnessed one of the incidents warranting a complaint. The problem was one involving females. This Mashgiach obviously being male.

Anonymous said...

Let's call a spade a spade. If as everyone has claimed from day one that "ALL" the Rabbonim in town signed the Vaad letter, then ALL the Rabbonim in town told their Kehillos not to shop in GG. That is calling for a boycott in polite terms, nonetheless it is a boycott anyway you look at it.

Had the Rabbonim not made an announcement in their shuls that Friday, GG would still have a good and healthy amount of business today. Not all that many people in this neighborhood really care that the vaad gives the hechsher or not as long as they have a reliable hechsher. After all, The Katz's aren't under the vaad and everyone uses them. And there are other establishments that are not using the vaad and people continue to patronize them, so let's not get hot under the collar. Not all that many people care that the vaad pulled the hechsher.

The calculated announcements and pronouncements of the Rabbonim is what started the economic punishment of GG. This was clearly and precisely orchestrated by none other than the head ring leader. He went after them with a vengeance and he is enjoying his win. He doesn't care about us or this community. He could care less about the mistrust now or the loshon horah being said about the other Rabbonim here because he is not part of our community and is not a team player. He got what he wanted and feels that he won!! Whoopie for you, you are the big winner, but at what cost? Look what you did to your community. We were fine till you came here. We were a happy community and we loved and appreciated all those Rabbonim who were involved with the vaad hakashrus. We appreciated and respected Rabbi Chait for his hard work and the mashgichim that worked under him.

Now we know so much truth about the vaad and we know nothing about the vaad. We know that it isn't a non-profit organization. We know that the money the vaad collects from us goes to pay for an office that is hardly open, when Rabbi Chait used a space donated by the YI of Woodmere and had no overhead at all.

We know that our money goes to pay an exhorbitant salary to a Mashgiach who we can't seem to find in the neighborhood and whom we suspect is doing other things on our time.

And we also know by his own admission that he knows nothing about nikur and kashering meat.

So we now know that we ARE FORCED to support a vaad that will not answer our questions. That is not forthcoming with information. That is forcing a major player out of business when by their own words "it has nothing to do with kashrus". That is stepping out of the bounderies of Kashrus and into other areas of halacha and our lives if we allow them that power to do so.

We are being FORCED to agree that this is what we ALL want, only ONE supervising agency in the community without having a town hall meeting, shul meetings or private vote about it.

So the questions remain:

What do we ALL want?

Do we standby idly and watch RYE destroy this family and business?

IF he succeeds, who will be his next victim?

Do we want a vaad that doesn't have to answer to anyone? That has no checks and balances, no rules to follow?

Do we want a vaad that is a for profit organization that does not have to open their books to the community for auditing and review?

Do we want a monopoly situation or are we adult enough and smart enough to make our own decisions if we will patronize establishments that don't have proper Kashrus Supervision such as OU, KafK, OK, etc.

Do we turn the tables and make our feelings known and boycott the vaad? Refuse to pay the dues. Call your shul's bookkeeper and ask for a refund on the vaad's fee due to the fact that it is not a non-profit organization and you do not wish to support it. After all, I for one want to know why Rabbi Chait was fired, and what his salary was as compared to what RYE's salary is, and the justification for that and for the additional overhead of a new office.

That is one way of removing our support from the current vaad and letting them know how we feel about their boycott of GG and the way they have handled it. The other thing we can do is get a petition going in each shul or here on the web and then present it to the Rabbonim.

Either way you look at it, unless the Rabbonim come straight out and tell their Kehillos that it is up to each individual to decide whether or not to patronize GG, then each individual will understand that their Rabbi has a "horse in the race" and that is why he can't do it. After all Rabbi Kravitz has the same if not more training and experience as RYE, having both been trained and worked for the OU. Rabbi Kravitz, due to his age, has probably been in the business longer and is therefore more experienced and therefore should at least be given the same if not more respect and trust as they would have you give their own "horse".

Anonymous said...

"Rumor has it that a 100% sale is imminent, waiting for approval and releases from all lawyers"

The family would have to be idiots to sign such a release. They should sue the pants off of everyone and recoup the losses they have already incurred. If it were someone else, they probably would have turned ths store into "treif city" and invited the whole other oilem in for a huge sale. That would have fixed the vaad's wagons.

RYE makes them out to be "treif and untouchable", what if they would have actually done that, and turned it into another Stop and Shop, KeyFood or Food Town? Maybe they should sell it to one of those chains like KEY FOOD to get their money out. How would the vaad feel about that? Would that be better for the community? Wouldn't you just love bringing in yenem chevrah to go shopping in this beautiful store that was built for our convenience?

Would the vaad prefer that kind of treifus in this store smack in the middle of our little piece of heaven on earth? What kind of sheilos would that bring? Let's see.......another store open on Shabbos in the middle of town......more cars riding through town on Shabbos going to the grocery store...... another place for kids to buy beer and other things to go robotripping on........

Gee, I wonder why that nasty Bolender family didn't think of doing that? Maybe they aren't as smart as RYE? Or maybe they are not that cruel and vicious, and they are not looking to destroy our community. Wise up people and go speak to your own Rabbonim before its too late.

Anonymous said...

RABBOSAI,
Wake up !! The rabbis of this community have committed an evil deed.They don't have the guts or the decency to do tshuvah.
Help nullify this evil decree.Ignore these spineless evil men.Shop at GG.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The portrait painted of RYE is, unfortunately, quite accurate.. what is more unfortunate, is that we allowed ourselves to listen to our esteemed rabbis who never got the whole true story.. so, we have ruined the lives of 4 bolenders and over 50 employees.. yes, many of the employees are goyim so maybe we shouldnt count them.. I am ashamed to be part of the five towns now... though i do continue to show my shopping support of GG, some of my less intelligent friends have not shopped there since the boycott. AND YES, MY RABBI STATED CLEARLY WE WERE TO BOYCOTT. I understand the bolenders chose not to sue so as not to bring more negative attention to us jews. I also understand that others are now contacting the NY times and USA Today reporters.. This will bring all the yidden down all across the country.. I can only pray that HaShem will remember those of the Vaadwho perpetrated this action ( as well as those rabbonim who stood idly by) and their dirty actions taken against a family of jews and our community.

9:51 AM

shorty44 said...

"AND YES, MY RABBI STATED CLEARLY WE WERE TO BOYCOTT."

Who is your rabbi?
Also you said the portrait painted of RYE is unfortuantely correct- what do you mean by that. do you have any personal stories?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why Rabbi Chait was removed from heading the vaad?

Anonymous said...

I CANNOT REVEAL THE NAME OF THE RABBI AS HE WOULD ALSO THEN BE NAMED IN A POTENTIAL LAWSUIT...AS FOR PERSONAL DEALINGS WITH RYE... WENT OT THE OFFICE TO ASK HIM QUESTIONS..HE WOULD NOT ANSWER ANY NOR WOULD HE SHOW ME PROOF OF ANY WRONGDOINGS...I WENT TO OTHER SHOPKEEPERS IN TOWN AND THEY REITERATED HOW DIFFICULT RYE WAS.. AGAIN, NOT EVEN ABOUT ANY KASHRUS ISSUE - JUST A NEGATIVE, NASTY, AND CONDESCENDING INDIVIDUAL. PHONE CALLS ARE NEVER RETURNED. GOOD LUCK CATCHING HIM IN HIS OFFICE SINCE HE HAS OTHER SUPERVISIONS TO MAKE IN BROOKLYN.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Does anyone know why Rabbi Chait was removed from heading the vaad?

December 20, 2006 9:12:00 AM PST

Rabbi Chaiet was the original mashgiach in town for many years.. he was summarily "executed" by RYE. RYE took over the controls of the vaad and stripped Rabbi Chaiet of his parnusa and his standing in the community. He was degraded by RYE on an ongoing basis. He was told by RYE that he had to be called every 1/2 hour to check in with RYE. He was so humiliated. He is still unemployed and was devastated by the way he was treated... I understand he was asked to be the mashgiach in the event of the vaad's pullout of their hechser.. His response was that he no longer has the strength to fight with RYE and the vaad.. Rabbi Chaiet was an ehrlicha mensch who did not deserve his treatment by RYE. Ask anyone around town about him....he was a well-respected mashgiach who only looked out for the community. his treatment by RYE pretty much led to a breakdown of sorts.. How saddened we all were by his departure from the five towns. he was always reachable and informative.

Truth said...

"I CANNOT REVEAL THE NAME OF THE RABBI AS HE WOULD ALSO THEN BE NAMED IN A POTENTIAL LAWSUIT."

Well he should be sued for putting a guy out of business and abusing his power. This boycott is outisde of halacha!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Rabbi Chaiet was the original mashgiach in town for many years.. he was summarily "executed" by RYE."

But who gave RYE the power to begin with? and who made the decision to take it away from Rabbi chait?

Anonymous said...

"Rabbi Chaiet was the original mashgiach in town for many years.. he was summarily "executed" by RYE."

Is it because Rabbi chait doesn't have a beard?

No Blind Faith said...

This situation is horrendous. As 5 Town Yid points out, RYE has more skeletons in the closet than GG has bones in their soup.

Kosher Spot, was found with counterfeit Rubashkin labels that they were putting on the non-glatt meat they were selling for glatt.

At almost the same time, RYE was also supervising Nathan's of Flatbush who was caught with TREIF meat and was forced to close down.

I believe that there was an issue that was posted on another blog where it was revieled that Rabbi Kravitz himself, when he was head of the OU meat department told RYE not to give a hechsher to a Nathan's because it was a Treif chain and it would cause problems, but he didn't heed that advice.

It is therefore assumed that there is friction between RYE and Kravitz and that is why RYE is so offended that GG hired Kravitz for position. It just fired him up more and his ego won't let him back down.

Even after Rabbi Belsky, his own RAV, took him to task for doing what he is doing. He was furious that someone called Rabbi Belsky and told him what was going on in the neighborhood.

I have another question to ask. Why did Rabbi Brofman feel it was his place to tell R' Feinstein to stay out of it. Personaly I feel that was tremendous chutzpah considering that he was asked to get involved and did not just choose to step in uninvited.

Anonymous said...

I have another question to ask. Why did Rabbi Brofman feel it was his place to tell R' Feinstein to stay out of it. Personaly I feel that was tremendous chutzpah considering that he was asked to get involved and did not just choose to step in uninvited.

December 20, 2006 12:43:00 PM PST



Of Course the vaad is going to stand together on asking no one else to intercede...then the whole yiddishe world would know how the vaad put a jewish store out of business for no VALID reason..What the vaad doesnt realize is just how many people are incensed over this miscarriage of "kashrus justice" by the vaad. This scenario has made it over to israel's Rabbonim.. Our Vaad is just getting deeper and deeper in "----" The correct stance to now take is.." we didnt realize that the Rabbi we trusted could be so deceitful..we sincerely apologise to GG and to the Five Towns community at large and hope we can put this horrible situation behind us and move on for the good of our community and our children."

HaHa Ha--- like the vaad would ever admit wrongdoing?? has KOLKO or Mondrowitz? so what can we expect from our own Rabbis?

tzadik1 said...

"What the vaad doesnt realize is just how many people are incensed over this miscarriage of "kashrus justice" by the vaad. "

So then why aren't people doing anything about it- like shopping there. If everyone is as incensed as you claim this store shouldn't be hurting the way it is. Unless all these incensed people that you speak of are afraid to do something about this miscarriage of justice in which case we all better take a good look at ourselves in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

I just got back from my weekly shopping trip to GG .I bought everything including meat and chicken.
Shame on you 5 Towns people ,allowing your incompetent rabbis to cause shefichas domim.

Anonymous said...

is it possible that the vaad made a mega mistake in hiring a thug? and a thug that doesnt know a nikkur from a nickel? That, when warned about his supervision of a nathan's hotdog store,,,summarily ignored rabbi kravitz and the nathans was found to be selling Treif? what kind of check did our rabbonim do prior to giving RYE so much money and so much power....what the vaad is guilty of is not verifying RYE's job history. and we give big bucks to the vaad...shouldnt we have some say in who they hire? obviously, anyone can be a mashgiach for the vaad - that is why so many have been fired due to poor training by RYE. wake up five towns...if the poorly trained mashgiach from the vaad are supervising Brach and Supersol I am very worried.. At least Rabbi Kravitz has an impeccable reputation. Speak to any rabbis who have dealt with Rabbi Kravitz.

mr. confused said...

rabbi chait seemed to be much more knowledgble than RYE. What was the story behind his departure?

Anonymous said...

what happened to the sale people were talking about yesterday.
And did that tough guy ever contact the news stations? its past 5 pm. We need some updates guys.

5Towns Yid said...

what kind of check did our rabbonim do prior to giving RYE so much money and so much power....what the vaad is guilty of is not verifying RYE's job history. and we give big bucks to the vaad...shouldnt we have some say in who they hire? obviously, anyone can be a mashgiach for the vaad - that is why so many have been fired due to poor training by RYE. wake up five towns...if the poorly trained mashgiach from the vaad are supervising Brach and Supersol I am very worried.. At least Rabbi Kravitz has an impeccable reputation. Speak to any rabbis who have dealt with Rabbi Kravitz.

December 20, 2006 7:46:00 PM PST

As far as I understand Supersol has no Mashgiach Temidi in the store ( I believe a number of stores do not). RYE allows them to turn on the fires etc. Their is apparently a checklist in the cooking area that they initial or sign every so often or every time they light a fire. (My source was hesitant to go into further details.)

Do you really think if the flame goes out and the Goy is in a rush he is going to go look for a frum authorized yid ?

Don't forget these are the same frum yidden RYE says can not be trusted even for catering a cold bris in a local "Vaad" shul. Because some of the platters are "real" and not disposables a mashgiach must be present. Or since a Frum Manager/staff ( again he is the "mashgiach " in the store)is present people "see" these jobs not as "drop-offs", but as catered events. Again therefore requiring a Mashgiach. If RYE would only see his foolishness the fewer jobs that do need a true mashgiach would have competent ones.

No Blind Faith said...

The Rabbis did make a mistake and I think we should refer to them as "the Rabbis" and to the "Vaad" as RYE or RYE and Rabbi R who started this whole mess by telling RYE that the owners of GG weren't Shomer Shabbos.

Remember that they wanted to post on the certificate who was Shomer Shabbos and who wasn't. Does everyone remember whose brilliant idea that was? This was a witch hunt from the beginning and I am shocked that it has gotten this far. I am also shocked that the intelligent people of this community have not gone back to their own Rabbonim and told them straight out, we love, we respect you, but in this instance we can not and will not back you up. There is no basis for boycotting GG and we don't understand why you did not call for a boycott of Brachs after he raised the prices when we came flocking to his doors.

We don't understand why it was OK for us to shop at Trader Joe's, Key Food, Stop and Shop and Food Town that sell Pork and Ham, but it wasn't OK for us to go into a perfectly ligitimately kosher store that is filled to the brim with Kosher products whose Vaad Mashgiach was still working there because the Vaad was too chicken to fire.

Pride and ego is a terrible thing, you allowed the pride and ego of this man, this employee of this so called Vaad Hakashrus to turn our neighborhood upside down. His pride and ego, Rabbi R's and RYE's need to shut this family down, caused neighbors' to stop sharing meals together, caused loshon horah to keep growing in the community, and caused a huge chilul hashem wherever newspapers are distributed and blogs are read.

This doesn't even cover the chilul hashem that was created among the goyim who have worked side by side with the owners and the customers for years and years. The hole, that our Rabbonim have dug for themselves keeps getting larger and larger and RYE doesn't care. And do you kow who else doesn't care? Rabbi R doesn't care because he isn't a member of the Vaad and he didn't sign the letter.

He is also not part of the negotiations, he is only instigating and controling RYE from the outside. Here is a question for all our inquisitive bloggers. Why did Rabbi R bring RYE to this neighborhood. What did he owe him? What kind of deal did they make at Kehilah after the Stop and Shop and Nathan's disaster?

Anyone who doesn't approach their own Rav about this is a fool. You have all punished GG for far too long. As far as I am concerned, I love the Rebbeim in this community dearly, but they don't know how to run a Vaad Hakashrush. If they really cared about this community, they would just ask the Vaad of Queens to step in and supervise our local stores. Let the Vaad of Queens be the only ONE reliabe hechsher that we accept here in this community. Let them hire the mashgichim. Let them train the mashgichim from right here within this community, and I think we can all agree that they are a well run organization and they can be trusted without a doubt. Anyone that wishes to check them out can look them up on the internet. They have a website that post their rules and rates, etc.

The vaad of 5 towns should close down because no one here is responsible enough to run it and be accountable to the neighborhood for any problems that arise. Let's bring in the Vaad of Queens where there will be the same strict standards for all establishments, no favoritism, and no prejudice. Then the Rabbonim will be happy that there is only ONE focused vaad that all the Rabbonim approve of for their kehillos and they would not have to dirty their hands with any of this mess anymore.

Anonymous said...

this solution of bringing in the vaad of queens is quite funny. like the vaad of the five towns would EVER allow anyone to usurp their dominion.. someone should write a book about this fiasco. if that individual wants an insider interview...please post yur name or email here and i will contact you when i get back from israel.. shabbat shalom.

5 Towns Yid said...

Anonymous said...

someone should write a book about this fiasco. if that individual wants an insider interview...please post yur name or email here and i will contact you when i get back from israel.. shabbat shalom.

December 21, 2006 4:53:00 AM PST

As you know I am privy to certain info and collect additional as well. I would be glad to hear from you when you return from Israel.
My email remains 5townsyid@gmail.com

To the supposed woman who emailed me to "unmask myself". Thanks but no thanks, though your welcome to email me again in Chodesh Adar.

Anonymous said...

"To the supposed woman who emailed me to "unmask myself". Thanks but no thanks, though your welcome to email me again in Chodesh Adar."

Post this "supposed" woman's email. We would all like a good laugh.

tzadik1 said...

No blind faith- Great post. I think you made some great points. We all just have to continue to spread the inconsistencies of the vaad to our friends. Because somehow eventhough the boycott makes no sense. The majority of people in our community are still not shopping there. GG is really hurting.

Anonymous said...

I think one thing we should all do is make copies of the open letter on this site and distribute or leave them in the shuls we daven at. Not enough people I speak to seem to know anything about whats going on. And we can't even get together (as a community in shul) to talk about it beacue all the shul rabbis are on the vaad.

5 Towns Yid said...

2 points I'd like to make.

1) Supersol as i am told does have a mashgiach thoug i'm not sure how temidi he is. Today 12/21/06 there is no Mashgiach in the store. I was told this by someone and went myself to confirm it.
Supersol apparently called the Vaad/RYE about this and shockingly enough they have yet to get a reply.

2) Regarding the request for this womans email who asked I unmask myself. I will not give it out. I have not once yet identified any of my sources, be they in person, over the phone or online.

As always feel free to email me at 5townsyid@gmail.com

P.S. Anyone try and call the number posted as RYE's cell phone?

I bet he does not pick up. i'd be interested in some feedback.

shorty44 said...

"P.S. Anyone try and call the number posted as RYE's cell phone?

I bet he does not pick up. i'd be interested in some feedback."

I would try him but have nothing to say to him. any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

"P.S. Anyone try and call the number posted as RYE's cell phone?"

Whats his #? I didn't see it posted.

Anonymous said...

As far as I understand RYE can be reached at the Vaad office 516 569 4536 or at 646 739 2466. Good luck- and let us know how your conversation goes.

Anonymous said...

I can't post my name here, but I emailed 5 towns yid, because I support GG wholeheartedly and have from day one. I am serious about doing anything I can to help them.

5 Towns yid - if you have been as supportive as I have been, and have been in touch with the family from day one, I am sure that they would confirm to you that I have been a staunch supporter as well.

After confirming with them, you can then answer my email. Maybe together we can figure out some way to go out into the masses and do something productive to turn things around.

Anonymous said...

Why do our Rabbonim need the headache of having a Five Towns vaad? I don't believe that they want it or need it.

I believe, especially after this fiasco, if they were pressured by the community to bring the Queens Vaad in, they would probably agree. The only one that would have a fit would be Rabbi R, but he is running his own one man show regardless.

achdus said...

"I can't post my name here, but I emailed 5 towns yid, because I support GG wholeheartedly and have from day one. I am serious about doing anything I can to help them.

5 Towns yid - if you have been as supportive as I have been, and have been in touch with the family from day one, I am sure that they would confirm to you that I have been a staunch supporter as well."

If your not posting who you are how can we confirm how supportive you have been? And why can't you post your name? What are you afraid of? Also when you and 5 towns yid come up with some ideas let us all know- we are all interested in helping out.
The point of this blog is so we can all work together- post here as opposed to private emails. ok?

tzadik1 said...

"I believe, especially after this fiasco, if they were pressured by the community to bring the Queens Vaad in, they would probably agree. "

Do you know any of these rabbis??? They would never agree to bringing in an outisde vaad. By allowing another vaad in our neighborhood they would think it shows weakness and incompetence on their part. And they would never go for that.

Anonymous said...

"The only one that would have a fit would be Rabbi R, but he is running his own one man show regardless."

Well rabbi R is not even officially part of the vaad.

Anonymous said...

One aspect of this whole saga that i feel has not been mentioned is how wimpy our local jewish newspapers have been in reporting this story. I do not feel any of them really applied pressure on the rabbis for answers or comments. Also they have all fallen off the map they don't even cover the story anymore. This is the biggest issue in the 5 towns right now and there are never any updates. Whats the deal?? Are they afraid to report facts??? If so then they should hang em up now and find new careers.

Anonymous said...

Yes actually I do know many of the Rabbonim and they are very busy with so many other things. I don't really think they would mind giving up the VAAD. The only person really all heated up about the vaad is Rabbi R and RYE who is relying on it for his $$$$. And as mentiioned before Rabbi R has his own game going. So if the Rabbonim wanted just one supervising agency so they can have some control in the community and they can agree that the Vaad of Queens is very reliable, I think they would be happy to give it up.

Look do you really believe that a man like Rabbi Dovid Weinberger has extra time on his hands to play this game, or Rabbi Moshe Weinberger, or Rabbi Leibowitz, or Rabbi Ginzberg or Rabbi Flaum...etc.

All these Rabbonim are so busy with other jobs and individual community commitments and assistance. It is a tircha for them each time they get summoned to hearings and meetings. They do it to service the community, but it backfired in their faces because they were manipulated by the KINGS of manipulation.

At this point, I think they would be happy to let someone else do it.

Anonymous said...

If your not posting who you are how can we confirm how supportive you have been?


It was a private email to 5 towns yid and it is he who knows who I am and it is he who can confirm it. I was foolish to write him from my regular email address. I should have been more careful. I thought he was honest and sincere about helping and didn't know he would use my email to ridicule me.

Anonymous said...

"It was a private email to 5 towns yid and it is he who knows who I am and it is he who can confirm it. I was foolish to write him from my regular email address. I should have been more careful. I thought he was honest and sincere about helping and didn't know he would use my email to ridicule me."

Ridicule you? What did he do? He seems sincere to me.

Anonymous said...

"Look do you really believe that a man like Rabbi Dovid Weinberger has extra time on his hands to play this game, or Rabbi Moshe Weinberger, or Rabbi Leibowitz, or Rabbi Ginzberg or Rabbi Flaum...etc."

Yes, I think they have time in their hands to do this stuff. Part of their jobs as rabbis is to service the community. Also none of those rabbis are involved in day to day operations of the vaad so its not really all that time consuming. And the small amount of time that was needed to make sure things went correctly with this whole situation wasn't even given- they rushed to sign a piece of paper without the facts. Sad and unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

"It was a private email to 5 towns yid and it is he who knows who I am and it is he who can confirm it. I was foolish to write him from my regular email address. I should have been more careful. I thought he was honest and sincere about helping and didn't know he would use my email to ridicule me."

What he respond to you. This is a blog we share all :)

Anonymous said...

Ridicule you? What did he do? He seems sincere to me

Firstly, he announced that I emailed him on this blog and said I should email back in Adar.

Anonymous said...

What he respond to you. This is a blog we share all :)

No actually he gave his email and asked people to privately email him. I'm sorry I did. Let's drop it.

No Blind Faith said...

Also none of those rabbis are involved in day to day operations of the vaad so its not really all that time consuming.


This isn't really the case since with this particular situation, the reason RYE had such a huge file was that he kept shlepping them in before the vaad panel for citings and violations. Each time he did this, a group of vaad Rabbonim had to gather. I believe this was also a calculated ploy on the part of RYE because it was irritating and time consuming for the Rabbonim to have to make time to keep being summoned "only" for the GG improprieties.

So when things came to a head with the "mysterious" chickens that were never produced, the Rabbonim where probably already annoyed at GG and were used to seeing Mark Bolender questioned and put on the spot by RYE. What they saw in him was someone who was fed up and frustrated with being picked on by RYE. He always had an answer and probably came off looking like a know-it-all and looking to put RYE in his place. Instead of someone coming in contrite and ready to oblige and obey whatever the vaad Rabbonim would tell him.

Mark had good reason to come in on the defensive, but what was deffensive behavior for a stressed out individual came across as extremely arrogant and uncooperative in front of any of the numerous Rabbonim that were called upon on various occassions.

That is why, our Rabbonim were so easily manipulated by RYE. The Rabbonim "thought" they knew the whole story, which they didn't. They only saw what they were set up to see. That is why they banned together and where so eager to sign the letter. They were manipulated to do so. The only one who actually "refused" to sign was Rabbi Spiegel.

Anonymous said...

TO NO BLIND FAITH...YOUR LAST POST WAS AMAZING AND RIGHT ON TARGET.. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. SEND THIS POST TO ALL THE RABBIS IN PERSON, IF POSSIBLE, THEY WILL SEE HOW ALL THIS CAME ABOUT...FOR SOMEONE IS NOT A FAMILY MEMBER, YOU SEEM TO HAVE AN UNBELIEVABLE HANDLE ON THE WHOLE SITUATION.. AND I KNOW YOU SO I KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT A BOLENDER..JUST A WONDERFUL, BRIGHT INDIVIDUAL WHO SAW AN INJUSTICE AND TOOK IT AS A PERSONAL MISSION TO CORRECT.. I WISH YOU ONLY THE VERY BEST IN LIFE. GOOD SHABBOS TO A TRUE JEW.

Anonymous said...

"The only one who actually "refused" to sign was Rabbi Spiegel."

Is he part of the vaad? how come his name wasn't blank in the signature area- they just removed his name from the letter to make it look like it was totally unanimous?? Thats low. How come he allowed this? And also did he speak up at the vaad meeting and say why he wasn't signing?
Where is he from? Accolades to him.

Anonymous said...

"That is why, our Rabbonim were so easily manipulated by RYE. The Rabbonim "thought" they knew the whole story, which they didn't. They only saw what they were set up to see."

I hear your assessment and it makes sense- although i should hope that the rabbanim in our community don't take these thinsg so lightly. if they do they should all be removed from the vaad. Because theres no such thing as assuming or thinking you know- they have an obligation to investigate and each one should have made it their buisiness to have spoken to Mr. Bolender or just invite him to the meeting.

Anonymous said...

"Yes actually I do know many of the Rabbonim and they are very busy with so many other things. I don't really think they would mind giving up the VAAD."

Was this supposed to be a tongue in cheek comment...??? You have to be kidding? The Vaad takes in SEVERAL HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS in our donations.. Why would THEY give it up. Do you really think it only pays for the staff and office fees? Are you all that naive about our rabbis? Is any of it ( all the extra $$$ )going back to the community??? wE yidden really are not as intelligent as we think.

Anonymous said...

How about we merge with the vaad of Queens. They have an existing operation that is quite enviable. Our Executive branch (i.e. our Rabbis)
would still call the shots here.

It would save Queens and the 5 towns money.

What does everyone think.

Anonymous said...

"How about we merge with the vaad of Queens. They have an existing operation that is quite enviable. Our Executive branch (i.e. our Rabbis)
would still call the shots here.

It would save Queens and the 5 towns money.

What does everyone think."

Don't like it

No Blind Faith said...

I hear your assessment and it makes sense- although i should hope that the rabbanim in our community don't take these thinsg so lightly. if they do they should all be removed from the vaad.


Unfortunately, NO RAV, can be removed from the vaad, any and all of them make up the vaad. Rabbi Spiegel was the only one who had the guts not to go with the flow.

No Blind Faith said...

How about we merge with the vaad of Queens. They have an existing operation that is quite enviable. Our Executive branch (i.e. our Rabbis)
would still call the shots here.


The Vaad of Queens, would be stupid to dirty their hands with us. On the other hand we would be smart to dissolve this sorry group that calls themselves a vaad of kashrus and hire a real kashrus supervising agency that is organized and has a checks and balance system. Their rules of "engagement" are clearly listed on their website. Questions can be called in and there is always someone to talk to. I believe their qualifications for employment and training are also listed. There is very little wiggle room or room for devisiveness or ego stroking.

It the town and the Rabbonim who seem to be looking out for our BEST INTEREST truly want only one main and legitimate kashrus supervision, this is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

Someone asked what Rabbi Eisens cell number is. I saw it posted here, and did call to confirm it. It is his real number. For those who missed it, it is 646 739 2466.

The vaad office is 516 569 4536 RYE is extension 1.

Good night and enjoy your phone calls.

Petition said...

What does everyone think about signing a petition (hopefully getting 100's or 1000's of signatures) and presenting that to the vaad?
Would everyone here be willing to give their names and stand behind their beliefs? looking forward to hearing your comments.

Anonymous said...

Dear Larry,

With all due respect to the Vaad Harabonim of the community I disagree with you in regard to the boycott of Gourmet Glatt. In all honesty I fully and completely believe that the Rabbonim were completely and totally misled in this regard. I work with at-risk children and parents in the parsha and things are rarely as they seem. I have found that out and taught that countless times. That is something that most people don't realize till they are knee deep into the parsha and over their heads with the issues.

The one thing that is ABSOLUTELY TRUE in ALL cases is that most things stem from LOSHON HORAH and that LOSHON HORAH is a KILLER. It destroys people, families and yes businesses. Also Egos kill. Egos are destructive and we see that when dealing with the children who wind up in the street and we can see that in this instance as well.

WE can not sit back and allow the EGO of one individual, who is supposed to be a Rabbinic leader cause so much chaos in our community. We cannot and must notsit back and allow a business who served this community for so many years crumble by the wayside because an outsider to this community has seen fit to demand this of our Rabbonim. I will say this again, things are not always as it seems. I personally have written and tried to contact many of the local Rabbonim to ask them to review and reconsider their positions. I have asked that they speak to Rabbi Pincus their own Vaad appointed Mashgiach who was placed by their own authority in Gourmet Glatt. Not one Rav spoke or questioned him. What is wrong with this scenario?

How can our Rabbonim send this family to be slaughtered and be hung out to dry only by the so called "fat file" of the one individual RAV who is the Rav Hamachsir they hired? Where are his credentials? What makes him more reliable and more dependable than the OU trained Rabbi Ashkenazy or the Vaad placed Rabbi Pincus who is in the store every single hour the store is in operation? Who sees more of what is going on in the store, Rabbi Eisen or the mashigach Rabbi Pincus? Something just doesn't seem right here. Why wasn't Rabbi Pincus questioned before the fate of this family and this well loved and established store was determined? Who orchestrated this disaster? Was it our well respected and well loved Rabbonim of the Five Towns or was it the outsider to this community who doesn't really care about us? And don't give me that baloney that he is strong and authoritative and that is why people are talking about him this way. He is a bully and his mistakes and reputation in Brooklyn precedes him and follows him around.

Why didn't the community get to vote on whether to accept him or not after the disasters he was involved in back in Brooklyn? Why should he be trusted heading up this issue here with Gourmet Glatt? Why does he have the right to bring in past discrepancies with Gourmet Glatt when the Rabbonim don't look at his past discrepancies to see who is actually telling the truth? And why on earth did he not produce the "chickens" in question from the very start. Did GG have the right to examine the chicken, labels or receipts to determine whether or not it was purchased from their store? Why all the secrecy? Did the issue of who is Shomer Shabbos die when the Shomer Shabbos line was removed from the Vaad Teudot? What right does Rabbi Eisen have to discuss whether or not the Bolenders are Shomer Shabbos or not? That information should be strictly confidential and if asked he should refer the questioner back to the family. Any reply in the negative is being Motzi Shem Rah. If a Rav Hamachsir could be a Motzi Shem Rah, one has to question his commitment to truth and honesty in regard to this family.

Not only that, but where did all the leaks of information come from. The dealings and meetings of the VAAD was supposed to be confidential. In arguing the points with my own neighbors, a neighbor of mine told me that he was at a VAAD meeting. How did that happen? Do you have to have a platinum financial statement to attend? Who determines who gets in and who stays out? I want to go to; I have an opinion and I want to be privy to the workings of the VAAD. I want to know why the salaries of the mashgichim are not on a payroll run by the VAAD. I am very disappointed about what I have heard because I have been a bookkeeper and office manager for almost 20 years of my married life. In addition, when I formed my non-profit I went strictly by the book. One more question about the mashgichim, what kind of training do they get? Why is it that all a high school boy needs is a letter from his Rebbe that he is Shomer Shabbat? Would you trust your 17 year old to be a Masgiach? What does he know about Kashrus?

The boycott has nothing to do with Kashrus and it has nothing to do with trusting Gourmet Glatt. The boycott is just simply whether or not each individual in this community respects their individual RAV. It has nothing to do with whether or not they back the VAAD. It has nothing to do with whether or not they believe there should be a unified VAAD and only one supervising agency in the community as you claimed, Larry. Because that isn't the case at all, we have found out through our own individual research that there are many stores, caterers and various establishments that have different hechshers and supervision. At this point not many people respect the VAAD as a whole; they do however respect each and every RAV as an individual.

Why not then buy whatever we need in Trader Joes, Key Food & Stop and Shop. Why should Supersol and Brach's gain from Gourmet Glatt's loss. How absolutely ridiculous is it to say "boycott" when the only real issue a Rav should have said was "don't buy meat or chicken or prepared foods" until further notice. Everything else should be scrutinized for proper hechsherim. How foolish to allow your kehillos to buy from a goy rather than a Jew. And doesn't a consequence have to come to an end? Everyone except for Rabbi Eisen and the Rabbonim that are too confused understand that this has gone way too far. He has brought shame, humiliation and chilul Hashem to this community. We will never be the same after this. No one will ever respect the VAAD again, it is the laughing stock of all other agencies that call themselves VAAD Hakashrus. The only way to save face for the VAAD of this community, is to get rid of the trouble maker and that would be Rabbi Eisen and hire someone from within the community who would actually care about both the people and the establishments who are feeding the people here.


The worst of it remains that we are very smart and wise consumers. No one reading this is stupid. If anyone of you went into Supersol and told them you bought a "bad" chicken they would tell you to bring it in with the receipt. So right from the start, there was something suspicious. It is very easy to believe that this was a setup from day one, and due to the fact that our Rabbonim are so fine and so ehrlich, they simply fell for it. They believed their employee, because why shouldn't they. Why would they not trust him and believe what he was saying and telling them. I believe he set them up and because they are such exemplary Jews, they were manipulated by a master manipulator. Now you can argue with me and say that I am wrong. Well go ahead and prove it. Prove me wrong. Produce the chicken and speak to the witnesses. There is a long list of VAAD placed mashgichim including Rabbi Pincus (that the VAAD neglected to fire when they pulled their hechsher from the store) that they can speak to. It is not too late to reopen the investigation and start from scratch. Then if you prove I am wrong, I will shut my mouth and sit back down.

There are many questions that have been raised about the workings of the VAAD that no one wants to answer. Only the bloggers are busy talking about it because everyone else is afraid of the Rabbonim and afraid to voice an opinion. If the Rabbonim did this to Gourment Glatt, what will they do to us? I was told to keep my mouth shut because they won't support my organization and they won't help my kids anymore. So if you hear anything bad about me or my organization coming from the local Rabonim, you will know why. It will be because I voice my opinion OUT LOUD.

I sent 2 emails to the President of the vaad, Steve Savitzy when this all started that went unanswered. Not even the courtesy of a pat reply. Everyone is talking about the fact that the Vaad is not a "Non-profit" agency, yet there is no response from the VAAD. Everyone is talking about the fact that Rabbi Eisen is getting an enormous salary, way over $100,000 a year, yet no response from the VAAD. Everyone wants to know why Rabbi Chait was fired, or rather why Rabbi Eisen made him so miserable that he was forced to leave. Everyone is aware that he is still not making a parnasah and that it is a big busha on this community. Why did our Rabbonim allow this to happen to such an Ehrlich man? Who had the authority to do this? Why was this outsider allowed to dirty our name like that?

I personally want to know why the VAAD office was closed on Chol Hamoed Sukkos? All restaurants and "cooking" establishments were open. Who ever heard of such a ridiculous thing? How could the Vaad be closed when it is needed for shaalos the most? During a Yom Tov? I personally was in GG when Rabbi Yosi the second Vaad Mashgiach was no where to be found. I asked Rabbi Pincus how come if the Vaad required two mashgichim why weren't there two there. He answered that Rabbi Yosi had left. It was 2:00. I asked him why he hadn't called Rabbi Eisen. He said he had and look what happens. He called in front of me and left a message at the Vaad office and one on Rabbi Eisen's personal cell phone. At 2:00 the next day I called Rabbi Pincus and asked if Rabbi Yosi had returned to GG the previous day, he answered in the negative. I asked if Rabbi Eisen had returned his call. The answer was also negative. It was 24 hours later. If the Vaad had required that GG maintain 2 Vaad mashgichim at all times, then who is responsible if one of those mashgichim leave, GG or the Vaad? What is an establishment to do if the Mashgiach leaves and the Vaad is closed for the holidays and Rabbi Eisen makes himself unavailable to them? This all happened before the boycott. You can see why GG was already looking into alternative Kashrus Supervision. Rabbi Eisen was setting them up for failure by not answering their calls, and making himself unavailable to them.

You can now all understand why I am upset and why I am writing in to voice my complaint and frustration. I love our Rabbonim and respect them dearly, however I feel they were manipulated to see what Rabbi Eisen wanted them to see. I want to publicly acknowledge my appreciation and respect to those Rabbonim who were working diligently behind the scenes to try to work on a viable solution to the problems. Please don't give up. You see things that others do not. You seem to have Ruach Hakodesh and your eyes are more widely open to the truth. Please continue to search out the truth. It will come out in the end as it always does. I only want you to do whatever you can so that the truth comes out before it is too late to turn the clock around and undo the damage that has already been caused. I know that you believe that Mark is arrogant and full of himself. He may very well be. He also may be very frustrated and stressed out always trying to figure out what his nemesis is up to next, and what his next ploy is going to be. What one person sees as arrogance another more compassionate person might see as frustration, defensiveness and stress, having been pulled into and probably setup in front of local Rabbonim who really don't want to hear his side of the story. The Rabbonim were probably all sick and tired of always congregating to see Mark Bolender "in court". Always being left to ask, why is it always Gourmet Glatt and not Supersol or Brachs that is having all these issues. Good question, and once again I would say that Rabbi Eisen is the master manipulator...once again a job well done.

We don't need a Rav Hamachshir that has doubled the expenses of the Vaad. If the Vaad Harabonim truly wants only one Kashrus Supervising Agency in this neighborhood then choose one that you can all agree on. A suggestion was made on one of the blog sites that I personally think was brilliant. Maybe you should consider bringing in the Queens Vaad to supervise this neighborhood. Check out their website. It seems to be a well-oiled machine. There are no secrets and their rules of operation, training, hiring, and guidelines are listed like a student handbook. If nothing else, maybe you can hire them, to set us up with a working VAAD that actually knows their right hand from their left and one that will not charge fees and salaries off the top of an egotists head saving the consumers some well deserved bucks which can be used towards their huge yeshiva tuitions.

Let's stay focused here. Kol Yisroel areivim zeh la zeh and that includes our fellow Jews at Gourmet Glatt. Let's stop this Chilul Hashem that was perpetrated. Let's stop showing the employees of Gourmet Glatt what one man can do to rip apart an otherwise solid and unified religious community.

I am proudly signing my name both the email I sent Larry Gordon at 5Times Jewish Times and here. I hope you all send letters to the Editor. Deadline for printing is Tuesday.

Sherree Belsky

petition said...

Good letter sherree!!! now we need more people signing their names and lets send the petition to all the local papers as well as the vaad.

Sammy Benoit (Yidwithlid) said...

Great Idea
I would love see everyone involved use their names.

Anonymous said...

Let's face facts.The rabbonim of this community have behaved like a bunch of incompetent gangsters.They are deserving of neither our love or respect.
This lowlife Eisen must be driven from our community and be replaced by a mensh from our community.The books of the Vaad must be opened to be examined by a competent CPA firm and a report issued to the entire community.
As far as the rabbis are concerned they must be made to pay for this chillul hashem.When you sell your chometz three months from now ,take your business elsewhere.Don't give them this opportunity to have cash which they never report to the IRS.

Anonymous said...

Grandparents of friends of mine said that following Rabbis blindly is a very dangerious situation. She pointed back to when she was a little girl and people asked there Rabbis about leaving europe and they were told that they had to stay. With tears in her eyes she said many could have been saved if they did not follow blindly. For years people learned many lessons from the mistakes of our grandparents ( the ones lucky enough to have lived). Now it seems as if those lessons have been lost.
The VAAD has set back our community to a dangerious time.

Anonymous said...

TO THE LETTER WRITER,,,SHERREE BELSKY. YOU DESERVE KUDOS FOR SPEAKING UP AND SIGNING YOUR NAME TO THE LETTER.. THIS LETTER SHOULD BE SENT TO NEWSDAY, THE NEW YORK TIMES, AND THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. I, TOO, WILL SIGN MY NAME..AND I AGREE WITH ALL THE TENETS OF YUR STATEMENTS. SINCERELY, MALKA COHEN..

Anonymous said...

It should be sent to newsday, I do agree, but sadly as a local business person I am scared of the VAAD and I will not sign my name as of now. The VAAD is scary and powerful and does act like gangsters

Yid With Lid said...

I have just posted Sherree Belsky's letter on my site. I intend to pass it along to as many press people as possible along with some of the anonymous postings from people who are afraid to talk because of fear of retribution from the VAAD. If any of you want to be contacted by a reporter please feel free to send me an email (click on my name above or visit my site) and I will pass it along to any reporter who takes on the story.
If there are any lawyers who are upset about the Vaads Tactics why dont you see if what they are doing breaks any restraint of trade laws.

Anonymous said...

I would like to say right here and now that this neighborhood has had enough bad publicity. If at all possible I would like to keep it in the neighborhood and work it out amongst ourselves.

All day long on CNN I watched our School Board meeting over and over again trying to make our Religous neighborhood look evil and greedy.

Let's not bring the outside press into this.

Sherree

Anonymous said...

This may be the only way to save us from this religious Mafia,the talisban.

Yid With Lid said...

Sherree
If you don't want me to bring it to outside press I wont for now. but I will try to bring it to Jewish Press outside of the five towns

RABBI PINCUS said...

BRING IT TO ALL THE PAPERS YID WITH LID-WE NEED THE MOMENTUM NOW..
CHAZAK BAROCH TO YOU, YOU WILL SURELY GO TO GAN EDEN FOR YOUR EFFORTS.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
I would like to say right here and now that this neighborhood has had enough bad publicity. If at all possible I would like to keep it in the neighborhood and work it out amongst ourselves.

All day long on CNN I watched our School Board meeting over and over again trying to make our Religous neighborhood look evil and greedy.

Let's not bring the outside press into this."

Sherree

December 24, 2006 8:30:00 PM PST

dEAR sHERREE, YOU MUST GIVE IT TO THE PRESS, THE NEW YORK TIMES, ETC, OTHERWISE THE TYRANNY OF THE VAAD WILL CONTINUE AND AFTER GG IS SOLD IT WILL BE VISITED UPON ANOTHER LOCAL STORE... TYRANNY OVERRIDES THE GOOD ATTEMPTED BY MENSCHEN ALL OVER THE WORLD(by you in particular) ONCE THE VAAD IS BROKEN,,,TRUE KASHRUS WILL NEED TO BE PUT IN PLACE..GG HAS ALReADY DONE THAT BUT IT IS TOO LATE FOR THEM..WE, AS JEWS, HAVE ALREADY BEEN HURT BY THE VAADS ACTIONS. THEY DUG THEMSELVES INTO A HOLE BY NOT VERIFYING ANY OF RYE FALSE ACCUSATIONS... ASK TO SEE THE LETTER BY RABBI LERNER..HE WAS FIRED WHEN HE REFUSED TO LIE FOR RYE.. RABBONIM OUT THERE???? GO THE BOLENDERS AND ASK FOR THE LETTER. SEE WHAT A VILE SNAKE HAS CAUSED IN OUR COMMUNITY.. BETTER, LET THE NEWSPAPERS IN ON OUR LITTLE SECRETS... I AM ASHAMED. BUT, I DO SUPPORT GG AGAINST MY RAV... RAVS ARE NOT PERFECT..THEY ARE JUST MEN...WE ALL KNOW ABOUT MEN, DONT WE.??

Anonymous said...

The NY Times is the worst enemy of the Jews. They love to spread the worst stories about us. We should all boycott the NY Times.

I would definitely consider posting it in the Jewish Press. If anyone knows how to get it in there, please contact me.

Sherree

Anonymous said...

"I would definitely consider posting it in the Jewish Press. If anyone knows how to get it in there, please contact me."

Sherree,
the jewish press would never print this letter. they would not get involved in bashing rabbis in a particular community. I would be very suprised if the 5tjt prints it either. larry also doesn't want to get his hands dirty. We have no media outlets for this sort of thing.

tzadik1 said...

Did anyone see the letter to the editor in the jewish star this past week www.thejewishstar.com
It was a great letter by a Rabbi Lichtman from FarRockaway. Anyone know him? He has a lot of guts. Great letter!! I hope his peers still talk to him.
He basically said that hes friends with many rabbi's on the vaad but he thinks they made a grave error. They are involved in kashrut- not a political organization. And they diminish themselves getting involved in this political boycott game. Its a must read!

Yid With Lid said...

Sherree
Please email me at Yidwithlid@aol.com

Yid With Lid said...

Tzadik the Good Rabbi's letter is posted on my site, http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

larry also doesn't want to get his hands dirty. We have no media outlets for this sort of thing.


That is not true. Larry has and will continue to post "Letters to the Editor" to post opinions and points of view of the community as long as they are signed. What he can't and won't do is print "articles" which are controversial and cause chaos and discord in the community.

In this case, Larry himself opened the forum for discussion with his on op-ed piece on "boycotts". We can and do have the right to disagree with him. I encourage everyone to bombard him with letters stating your own feelings and opinions on the subject. If the editor of the 5 Towns paper, truly believes and is telling the entire community and all the surrounding communities that read it, that the WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD supports the VAAD in their decision, because the proof is clear by the empty Gourmet Glatt store, then we have an obligation to set the record straight.

Please back me up on this and write to him. Let your voices be heard as well, and tell your neighbors to do the same. Not only to save Gourmet Glatt, but to make sure that nothing like this ever befalls our community again.

Sherree Belsky

Anonymous said...

to Yid with a Lid.

Thank you... you are doing the right thing... The newspapers need to know what illegal activities are being perpetrated in the name of Kashrus here in the five towns.. YOU MUST send everything to the Times. that is the only way the vaad will back down.. Six years ago, RYE told Shula's Falefel store that her tuedah would have a symbol or explanation that she is not "FRUM" enough.. When the reporters from the NYTimes started snooping around and published an article, it was only then that the Vaad(RYE) backed down. She was almost put out of business. this is the way the Vaad operates.. It will be too late for GG. They cannot sustain the massive losses for the past 2 mos..too much longer. But, maybe some other 5 towns businesses can benefit if the Vaad falls apart. Rabbi Kravitz was a more learned mashgiach to begin with.. I trust his supervision over a rabbi that only knows bugs..PLEASE contact the NYTIMES and The NEW YORK POST as well asthe Daily News.. The Vaad is getting away with too much here..They need to be stopped.

Anonymous said...

Guys here is the letter to the Editor that was in last week's Jewish Star:

To the Editor:
Recently, the Vaad of the Five Towns removed their Kashrus Certification from the Gourmet Glatt Emporium Supermarket in Cedarhurst. The owners engaged the services of Rabbi Yehuda Kravitz and his staff of mashgichim to provide the Kashrus Supervision and Certification under the K-1 agency.

Some Rabbis of the Vaad have been advising their congregants not to patronize the Gourmet Glatt Emporium as a sign of solidarity with the Vaad, and indeed, business is down. There have been Rabbonic pronouncements and exhortations in the local print media to "follow the Vaad"- though no rationalization for their position is offered. No responsible person has ever suggested that the Kashrus at Gourmet Glatt is compromised in any way, or that the supervision of Rabbi Kravitz is in any way inferior to that of the Vaad.

The community at large is left with the choice of "marching with the Vaad" or shopping where they please, kashrus not being the issue. Now, I enjoy the personal friendship of many of the local Rabbonim, and there is no question as to the integrity of all of the Vaad membership. However, and with all due respect, I must state that they have committed a grave error, and it remains for the community to extricate them from this predicament.

It is beyond the scope of the Vaad's mandate to deal with anything other than Kashrus. It is beneath the dignity of the Rabbonim to dictate to storekeepers on political grounds. It is the role of the Rabbis to serve the community and advance their interests. Without a doubt, the community is better off with a variety of kosher stores to shop at, and to the competitive advantage of the consumer. The community cannot abide a Vaad that is political, that acts arbitrarily and capriciously, and that is autocratic and unreasonable. The present situation is harmful to an important business in the Five Towns, and will discourage other businesses from venturing here. But it also threatens the future of the Vaad, which may lose its credibility, as people come to understand what has really transpired here.

The owners of Gourmet Glatt have indicated their readiness to meet the requirements of the Vaad for the reinstatement of their certification. This should be pursued and brought to a satisfactory resolution expeditiously! Perhaps if the Vaad saw that the community continues to patronize Gourmet Glatt and relies on Rabbi Kravitz and the kashrus supervision of the K-1 agency, they would have the incentive to act and rectify their mistake.

To those who read these remarks, I ask you that you not be distracted by the question "Who is Rabbi Lichtman anyway?", but rather, heed my words, and respond with fairmindedness and good-will-in the spirit that these remarks were made and with courage and good sense.
RABBI YECHEZKEL LICHTMAN Far Rockaway

shorty44 said...

Did anyone hear about a group shop at Gourmet? The idea was to have everyone that still shops there to go at once so the owners get a feel that people are behind them. Anyone know how that went?

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a good idea and you can count me in. Let me know when that is to take place. And I will encourage anyone who was afraid to go because of the boycott to go at this time to show that although they respect their RAV, if the whole community is willing to do something as a community, they will take part as well.

Sherree

Anonymous said...

The group shop should be on Thursday this week.. let the community know by all mean s possible.. GG is in dire straits at this moment...

shorty44 said...

I heard s/o was trying to arrange one not sure whether it ever happened. But we can arrange our own- What day and time do you guys think is the best to get the maximum amount of people?

Anonymous said...

Great idea. Maybe we can get this Rabbi Lichtman to lead the pack at our group shop. Anyone here know him?

Anonymous said...

please arrrange a showing on thursday....it will help GG at least stay open another week or two.. things are dead there thanks to RYE and our esteemed Rabbonim. Thursday was their busy day due to shabbos and it is a late night, please send this to yur friends and shul members. To all those who have supported GG, there will be a place for you in Gan Eden: to those who have not come in, but knew in their hearts that what the vaad was doing was wrong - shop there on thurs.. to those who aided the vaad in their quest to shut down a JEWISH-OWNED business you will have to answer to HaShem.

Mishpat26 said...

Inorder to get an idea of how many people will be there on thursday night starting from 6:00pm (and on) for the group shop- please email me at mishpat26@hotmail.com
And i will let everyone know if we will have a large showing. thannks.

Anonymous said...

i spoke to GG on the group shop meet.. of course, they loved the support we were planning on showing to the community!! is there any way to do an earlier meet as well? lets say around 11am or 1pm. some of us with kids need to be home for homework and study time and dinner... why not have two meeting times. good luck to all of us in keeping gg afloat.

mishpat26 said...

"is there any way to do an earlier meet as well? lets say around 11am or 1pm. "

We most certainly can. Please email mishpat26@hotmail.com
If you are able to attend this thursday and please specify the time you think you will be able to make it. I will then let everyone know the feedback we have gotten for both times. Lets say afternoon 11:00-1:00 And evening starting from 6:00pm.

Anonymous said...

Please call all your friends and neighbors. Start sending emails, this is our very last chance to do something. I know there is a rumor out that the VAAD is giving back the Hechsher on Thursday because that is when GG is changing hands. I ASKED GG TODAY IF THAT IS TRUE, THEY SAID "NO".

However, they will have to give up shortly and we don't have much time left. Start spreading the word.

Sherree Belsky

Anonymous said...

Is there any part of that rumor that is true? Is there a transfer of ownership that will take place on Thursday, Vaad approval notwithstanding?

Yid With Lid said...

The "shop=in" is great. Invite friends from other neighborhoods

Anonymous said...

THE VAAD IS ONLY RUMORED TO BE GIVING ITS HECHSER ON THURS..WE SHOULD ALL SHOP THERE ON THURS REGARDLESS OF THE VAAD. 11AM - 1PM SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN. THANKS TO THE ORGANIZER.

Anonymous said...

It appears the group shop is moot at this point. Newspapers have gone to print with the story of the sale of Gourmet Glatt. And if the sale is effective Thursday, all we will be doing is supporting the new ownership as well as showing support for the Vaad which will be back as overseers of Gourmet Glatt.

Yid With Lid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yid With Lid said...

A Tragedy on Too many Acts. Folks I decided to write one more post trying to tell the story from my perspective. Please take a look at it and put on your own comments and corrections.Please not I will not post any anonymous comments. So if you cant tell everyone your name. You cant participate.
It is the top story at
http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I just read the article- according to the jewish Star Gourmet Glatt is being sold. has anyone spoken to the owners to confirm this? Baiscally this means that we didn't do our job. We let the Vaad drive these guys out of business. Our community should be ashamed of themselves. This is a sad day to be a 5 towner.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
It appears the group shop is moot at this point. Newspapers have gone to print with the story of the sale of Gourmet Glatt. And if the sale is effective Thursday, all we will be doing is supporting the new ownership as well as showing support for the Vaad which will be back as overseers of Gourmet Glatt.

December 27, 2006 8:13:00 AM PST


A group shop would still help the current owners ( the bolenders) show them that they were respected and cared about and that the store they worked so hard to be the best, was, actually, the best.. They would appreciate that. I am also stating for the record.. the new owners should not be penalized by us; they did not createe the horrible situation- RYE and the vaad did.. penalize the vaad by not permitting your hard earned $ to pay for vaad abuses. tell your shul NOT to Charge you for the vaad "donations". at least not until the vaad submits to all a n audited annual report of their donations and expenses. Say hi to a bolender tomorrow...Malkie

Anonymous said...

"A group shop would still help the current owners ( the bolenders) show them that they were respected and cared about and that the store they worked so hard to be the best, was, actually, the best.. They would appreciate that. "

Its a little too late to show the Bolenders how respected and cared about they were. I agree with the poster previously that stated our community failed.

mishpat26 said...

Ok heres the deal I said I would update everyone on the group shop for this thursday. WEll only 2 people responded- not much of a group.
And also according to the Jewish Star the store is being sold. So everyone can now shop where they please- all local stores will once again be under the vaad (pretty soon). Whatever the case If a deal is imminent I'm not sure a group shop is necessery.

Anonymous said...

Dear Yid with Lid,

I just read your blogsite. I know that I will get bashed for this, and I can't post it on your blog for obvious reasons. But that is how I see it too.

Sherree

Anonymous said...

"I just read your blogsite. I know that I will get bashed for this, and I can't post it on your blog for obvious reasons. But that is how I see it too."
Sherree

Why can't you post it on Yid's site?

Anonymous said...

Read orthomom and see how she is getting shafted over there.

Anonymous said...

I'm feeling very frustrated now with the demise of Gourmet Glatt as we knew it resulting from the usual strongarming tactics of the Orthodox rabbinate. Can someone prepare a list of Rabbis other than Rabbi Spiegel who didn't join the bandwagon? I seriously need to look for another shul with a more respectable Rabbi. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

please do not punish the new owner..please return tomorrow and show gg owners that they will be missed...

Anonymous said...

"please do not punish the new owner..please return tomorrow and show gg owners that they will be missed... "

The opportunity was there we blew it. Showing up tomorrow shows nobody anything.

Yid With Lid said...

Orthomom is not getting Shafted, I have the utmost respect for her...so what do you mean shafted? because I disagree with her. This is about the worst thing I said about her
"Through out this horrible couple of months Orthomom who commented above has done the best job of keeping everyone informed of the facts of what is going on. She will readily admit that she has the Vaad perspective of the facts, and I will readily admit my perspective is for the underdog"

Anonymous said...

please be aware of a typical business sale... it usually involves the sellers accepting notes for payment of that business. i dont know if this is the case here, or not, however, not shopping with the new owners may mean that the old owners lose even more money. I am told that the new owners are ehrlicha menschen and should not be punished by those who supported GG. GG wants to see their new owners succeed,,two of the bolenders will still be there.

Anonymous said...

"please be aware of a typical business sale... it usually involves the sellers accepting notes for payment of that business. i dont know if this is the case here, or not, however, not shopping with the new owners may mean that the old owners lose even more money. I am told that the new owners are ehrlicha menschen and should not be punished by those who supported GG. GG wants to see their new owners succeed,,two of the bolenders will still be there."

Please note that no one is punishing the new owners. i personally shop elsewhere after the vaad fiasco I wanted to help support a store that had an injustice done to them and needed the help. But now that there are new owners and it will be under the vaad again They will get their share of the business back. I in no way have to go out of my way anymore. Also they know business is slow now b/c of the issues at hand, and yes it may take longer to getback to where they were. people may have liked shopping elsewhere etc. The new owners- if they have the money to buy the store they know business and know this whole situation could have lost them customers or on the flip side all the old customers can come back plus some. These are business risks. The point is the fight is over- I don't feel anyone has to make extra efforts anymore. It can go to to business as usual.

Anonymous said...

...
The Only Solution
By Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum

As the news of another meat scandal spread rapidly through the city of
Chelm an emergency meeting was called by the Vaad Haletzonim to make
takones that would prevent such a catastrophe from happening again.
Speaker after speaker got up to let off steam, shouting at the top of his
lungs, and waving his hands frantically, putting the blame on everyone
but himself. Some claimed that they must hire an additional mashgiach to
keep check on the mashgiach while others claimed that they must raise the
salary of the supervising rabbi so that it would make it worthwhile and
profitable for him to go check up on the food establishment more often.
This last suggestion was unanimously accepted by a nodding of heads.
Some blamed the water on the floor for the rabbi slipping up on the job
while others decided that each piece of meat must be wrapped with five
additional wrappers so that it would make repackaging much too difficult
and time consuming for anyone to bother with. Some suggested that more
numbers must be added to the code on the box containing the meat and
special x-ray machines would have to be installed at the entrance and
exit of every food establishment that would automatically detect any
non-kosher meat that they would try to smuggle in. One clever Chelemite
that owned a fruit and vegetable store suggested that meat be completely
banned and that everyone become a vegetarian. There was much hissing and
booing at this suggestion which was declared out of order and was
immediately rejected since it would put the shochtim and supervisors out
of business. They were already suffering a great loss because of the
recent wedding takones that had been implemented. Others rightfully
claimed that the eating of vegetables was far worse since for each bug
one transgresses many sins and not only one. The best suggestion came
from a well known elderly Chelemite rabbi who proposed that from now on
people use only paper dishes and metal pots for cooking since this will
minimize the eating of treif and avoid having to constantly buy new
dishes and kashering the pots which can be very expensive. The Chelemite
Paperific distributor immediately seconded the motion. Another
respectable rabbi with a flowing white beard proposed that from now on
these matters must be kept silent and swept under the carpet and not
publicized since it just causes a chilul Hashem and gets people to speak
loshon horah. Another Chelemite rabbi, greatly respected by the entire
city of Chelm for his great wisdom, claimed that the story never happened
and was only staged in order to bring shame upon Chelm's chief rabbi who
had provided his endorsement on the store. Some conspirator theorists
claimed that the entire problem was set up by some hardware store owners
whose business was now booming with the sale of pots and dishes flying
off the shelves like never before.

The meeting went on until late into the night with charges and
countercharges and with questions about the price of tea in China. It
finally ended with the last speaker addressing an audience which was
already half asleep by then. When it came time to sum up the resolutions
one could only hear the sound of snoring echoing throughout the hall and
therefore it was decided that perhaps another meeting be held on Shevuos
night when everyone would be fully awake. The presiding rabbi thereupon
took out a copy of all the takonos passed at the last years meeting and
seconded them once again. Everyone walked out happily that the meeting
had finally ended without anyone having been put on the hot seat. By
popular demand, it was decided to hold the next meeting on the following
Purim with the Purim rav presiding over the meeting.

And so everyone lived happily ever after and the only thing that changed
a few months later when the next scandal was uncovered and sent shock
waves throughout the town was the place, time, and date, as well as the scenery.

P.S. Unfortunately it's a "bittere gelechter," and it's time we take
the matter more seriously and perhaps put the Shomrim in charge.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I am concerned about Rabbi Pincus because he is an innocent bystander as much as Rabbi Chait was. The GG issue is over and should be put to rest but the VAAD issue isn't. There are many concerns that arose here and should be addressed before another disaster happens. Point in quesion. If Savitsky claims that that the VAAd should be funded by the community, and why he needs more than the $100,000 that the establishments already generate I don't personally understand, since the mashgichim generate their own salaries vis a vis the establishments they work for, then he has an obligation to this community to answer the questions we have and explain how exactly the VAAD is set up and run.

Let me explain something in regard to other institutions who claim to be community based and community related. There was a local Yeshiva that closed recently who "claimed" to be a community yeshiva as all the others do. They kept coming back to the community for finacial and moral support. Yet when I had to go in and advocate for a local child there was no one to talk to. The administration was so closed minded and had absolutely no respect for any of the Rabbonim here in the community. They ran they Yeshiva as they felt and answered to no one. There were no checks and balances set forth and they were extremely difficutl to make headway with. It was only at the point that I threatened to write an article in the 5 towns paper, that they finally backed off from the child. Again, when I asked for assistance from local Rabbonim, I was told that the administration of this school did not RESPECT the authority of any of the community Rabbonim. This came from a local RAV in the community the school claimed to be part of. They of course are not the only ones to say they are a community school and then proceed to reject the community children for whatever reasons they can come up with.

My point being, it is really chutzpadik to claim to be a community organization, demanding community funds, chizuk and support yet telling the community to mind there own business when it comes to imparting information or explaining how the organization is set up and run. If it is a regular business and its transactions are between their clients/customers, vis as vis the stores who hire them and themselves, then they are correct. It is not our concern. However, when they reach into our pockets and demand that we pay "dues and donations" to this same organization, then we have a right and an obligation to check them out and make sure that everything is run as proper and as above board as any tzedaka or shul organization in the neighborhood.

I am not an accountant or lawyer, but I have over 25 years of experience as an office manager and bookkeeper, as well as working in yeshivas, an accounting firm and setting up my own organization. Most of the members of my family are CPA's and many are deeply involved in chessed. You just can't have it both ways. I would ask that some of the professionals in this community, CPA's and Lawyers, step up to the plate and form a committee to check into this. I would be happy to serve on the committee as well, but I am deeply rooted into helping children, and cannot organize and head such a committee. The committee should hold an open forum for the community to gather all the questions they have and then meet with the President of the VAAD, Mr. Steve Savitzky to address these issues. We cannot have a VAAD that should be held up to the highest standards of Halacha and Kashrus, demanding that we all follow the highest standards of Halacha, yet portray to the community that they are not following the Laws of the Land.

In addition, it is a conflict of interest to have the stores pay the mashgichim directly. In this particular incident with GG and this can happen again in any store, the Rabbonim might have felt that a mashgiach who is paid by the owner of the store might have loyalty to that person. In that case would he really be capable of giving truthful and honest "eidus", eyewitness testimony. If a mashgiach cannot be trusted to give "eidus", how can we trust him to uphold kashrus? If he is not honest in one area how can we expect him to be honest in another. The mashgichim can have only one loyalty and that is to the VAAD, therefore in my humble opinion, they should be getting paid directly from the VAAD, so there is no chance of conflict of interest and they have no feelings of loyalty to their employers, the store owners, because then they would truly have only one employer and that would be the VAAD.

I am not looking to start a new conflict here. I am looking to settle a situation that has come to light. We cannot bury it under the rug and it has nothing to do with RYE, that is a totally different issue that needs to be addressed and should be addressed privately and personally to each RAV by any individual that has an opinion on the subject. However, if the Five Towns wishes to uphold the standards of community, continuity, Kashrus and achdus. We should really make sure that the VAAD lives up to OUR standards.

Sherree

Anonymous said...

Orthomom is not getting Shafted, I have the utmost respect for her...so what do you mean shafted? because I disagree with her. This is about the worst thing I said about her


Yid,

They meant me, that I was getting shafted for agreeing with you, and sticking up for your version of the story.

Sherree

Anonymous said...

Gourmet Glatt is now under new ownership and once again under the vaad, my question is what did they do with the meat in the store from the former owners?? Did they just throw it away? Are they now selling it and trusting Rabbi Kravitz?? Whats the deal?

Anonymous said...

GG bought only pre-kashered boxed meet for the past 3 weeks or so and had already used up everything in their freezers. They have not been purchasing any "new" meat since this started and had not been kashering any meat for the past 3 weeks. All the meat left in the showcase during the switch was boxed pre-kashered meat that was repackaged by the store and was under the supervision of Rabbi Kravitz and Rabbi Pincus who was the VAAD mashgiach prior to the boycott.

It would be yashrus for the VAAD to recertify him since he was innocent in this whole mess, he is superbly qualified and he needs the job. Also due to the fact that they have no other qualified mashgichim and he did nothing wrong and has been supervising and doing his job all along. The fact that he won't lie for anyone proves that he is trustworthy and upstanding.

Sherree

Sherree

shorty44 said...

"It would be yashrus for the VAAD to recertify him since he was innocent in this whole mess, he is superbly qualified and he needs the job. Also due to the fact that they have no other qualified mashgichim and he did nothing wrong and has been supervising and doing his job all along. The fact that he won't lie for anyone proves that he is trustworthy and upstanding."

Sherree what do you mean? they asked him to lie? about what?

Anonymous said...

"GG bought only pre-kashered boxed meet for the past 3 weeks or so and had already used up everything in their freezers. They have not been purchasing any "new" meat since this started and had not been kashering any meat for the past 3 weeks. All the meat left in the showcase during the switch was boxed pre-kashered meat that was repackaged by the store and was under the supervision of Rabbi Kravitz and Rabbi Pincus who was the VAAD mashgiach prior to the boycott."

I was there last week and 2 weeks ago- the meats ere their regular meats that they always have. theres's no way they sold out. Even meats from tjheir freezer from months ago. where did it go?
Tjhe Vaad was claiming that the kashrus wasn't good so i would be very suprised if the new owners are selling that meat. whats the deal?

Anonymous said...

was there last week and 2 weeks ago- the meats ere their regular meats that they always have. theres's no way they sold out. Even meats from tjheir freezer from months ago. where did it go?
Tjhe Vaad was claiming that the kashrus wasn't good so i would be very suprised if the new owners are selling that meat. whats the deal?


The meat is not cut into the individual portions and then frozen. Big sides of meat are deep forzen and stored. It is then defrosted and butchered and put in the showcase. They used up everything in the freezer.

Flatbush Fresser said...

I'm surprised at all the ignorant posts here. Rabbi Eisen is only an outside consultant with Kehilla Kashrus. Kehilla is a pathetic organization that badly bungled the treif incident on Ave J and then tried to cover it up. If you knew some of the idiots running that ship, you would understand why. If you have any grievances against Rabbi Eisen, please stick to 5 Towns issues as he had nothing to do with the Brooklyn story. If anything, I am surprised at the long list of Flatbush shul rabbis who continue to lend their names to Kehilla. They should bail out to salvage their reputations like R' Hillel David did long ago.

One thing I will say about Rabbi Eisen is that until he came along, there was no one connected to Kehilla that you could even go to about a problem. Kehilla would only fix a problem if they were publicly embarassed or pressured by rabbonim from the outside who mentioned what the problem was in a drosho. Then you would have Kehilla's Moishe Scheinerman, the man throwing stones in his glass house, get up and trash other hashgochos in his droshos. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Did Rabbi Kravitz who was the head of the OU meat department at the time that Rabbi Eisen gave a hechsher to Nathan's, tell him not to do it? I was told that he was asked specifically and was told that because it was a "treif chain" it would only breed problems therefore stay away. And that is why he had an issue with Rabbi Kravitz.

In addition, another person wanted to open such a "kosher" chain franchise in the five towns and not only did he deny him a hechsher but he told him if he tried it he would personally "run him out of town".

Anon, YOUR RYE is not a funny, he might be a JOKE if you want to look at him that way, but we certainly don't think anything he is doing is funny, we feel he is dangerous and it is only a matter of time before the good people in this neighborhood wake up and smell the Kosher Koffee.

Flatbush Fresser said...

There were grumblings about problems with Nathan's being a treif chain. I wasn't aware that Rabbi Kravetz was behind it. I do know that at the time, Moishe Scheinerman went to Rav Elyashev about it, as the Kings Hwy outlet was also under Kehilla. According to Scheinerman, Rav Elyashev said to just make the kashrus logo on the store sign as large as the name Nathan's. I won't deny that problems did later crop up with other franchises passing themselves off as kosher when they weren't. A Long Island franchise was actually sued by 3 parties: the OU, the Flatbush Syrian baal habos and Nathan's head office.

Speaking of confusing situations, there is currently an item offered at The Coffee Bar in Lawrence, Starbucks Caramel Macchiato, that is only kosher there, but not at any other Starbucks location.

Are you going to trash a long list of other hashgochos who are machshir various McDonalds, Burger Kings, Dunkin Donuts, etc ?