Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shame on the RCBC! Disgusting behavior from Teaneck's Kashruth Vaad!

According to the Jewish Standard a small kosher restaurant in Teaneck is in danger of being run out of business by the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County, the local kashruth Vaad.

The facts of the case, as reported in the paper, are as follows:
  • IMA hired the RCBC to provide kashrus certification.
  • After something undisclosed went wrong, the RCBC severed the relationship, effectivly declaring the IMA was no longer a kosher restaurant.
  • Unwilling to shut down, or serve treif, IMA went to the OK, a second kashrus agency. The OK provided certification to the restaurant after the kitchen was rekashered and all the locks were changed.  The only set of keys are in the possession of the OK's full-time mashigiach. 
And this is where it should have ended. Only the RCBC decided to get nasty.
An e-mail from the RCBC circulated among Orthodox synagogues early last month, however, warned that even under OK supervision, Ima did not satisfy RCBC standards.

“While the OK standards are generally reliable, we regret to say that in this particular instance, its hashgacha does not meet the parameters of the RCBC nor the standards to which our community has become accustomed,” the e-mail read.
The problems with this RCBC statement are as follows:
  1. The RCBC has absolutely no way of knowing if the restaurant does or does not meets RCBC standards. They haven't inspected, or investigated. Whatever problems may have existed in the past, may have been solved under the OK's direction. 
  2. The RCBC hasn't been asked to supervise IMA. Whether or not the restaurant meets RCBC standards is irrelevant.  The RCBS has no standing and no right to say anything about IMA at all.
  3. The OK is a responsible, reputable Orthodox Jewish kashrus organization. If they say the restaurant is kosher, the restaurant is kosher. The end.
What the RCBS has done is unconscionable. They have absolutely no right to cast aspersions on their former client, or on a competing kashrus organization. By saying the OK isn't good enough, they are undermining our whole system of kosher supervision, and their public challenge of IMA's status appears to be a naked attempt to drive their former client out of business. Though I'd like to say the RCBC took this terrible step for good reasons, I fear its more likely that the RCBS is acting out of vengeance and/or from a desire to protect their share of the local kosher supervision business.

Right thinking residents of Teaneck must complain.

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