Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bodies to probe kosher meat plant

Two key national bodies of Conservative Judaism have created a task force to investigate and respond to complaints of substandard working conditions at US largest kosher slaughterhouse, first described in a Forward investigation.

Separately, initial steps have been taken by national bodies of Orthodox Judaism to examine the validity of the allegations and explore possible responses. Sources among Orthodox leadership said the steps came in response to expressions of alarm from "members and constituents."

The Conservative movement's task force, spearheaded by Rabbi Morris Allen, will begin its work with a fact-finding mission to Postville, Iowa, the home of the kosher slaughterhouse AgriProcessors. The task force is a joint project of the movement's two national bodies, the Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Allen co-chairs the United Synagogue's social action committee.

"We are major consumers of this meat," said Allen, who has made past visits to the Iowa slaughterhouse from his base in nearby Minnesota. "To remain silent in the face of what may be inappropriate business practices is totally inappropriate on our part."

Initial steps within the Orthodox community have been less decisive. The largest organization of Orthodox rabbis, the Rabbinical Council of America, sent a representative earlier this month to investigate working conditions at the plant, but no findings had been released at press time.

Several sources inside the Orthodox Union, the main Orthodox congregational association and the nation's largest kosher certifying organization, said there has been disagreement about how to assess the conditions and what the movement's response should be.


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Chaptzem! Blog