Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Kosher Hoax Keeps Growing As The Kashruth Agencies Get More Corrupt!


UOJ Archives -- Sunday, December 18, 2005

Why The OU-Yisroel Belsky & Star K-Moshe Heinemann Are Blasting Each Other!

Kosher craze sweeping U.S.

Major food manufacturers, grocery chains compete for 9 billion dollar kosher market; analysts say market for kosher products growing at 15 percent per year

Associated Press

When U.S. supermarket giant Albertsons hired Yaakov Yarmove more than three years ago, the company found a point man to navigate what might seem like an unlikely market for a grocery chain with stores in places like Cheyenne, Wyo., and Evanston, Ill.: kosher food.

Albertsons, one of America's largest grocery chains, has since dramatically expanded kosher aisles at hundreds of its supermarkets across the country.

The company has also launched more than two dozen kosher destination stores that include everything from bakeries to delis.

"There's a kosher awakening," said Yarmove, an observant Jew who is Albertson's corporate kosher, marketing and operations manager.

"Kosher was perceived as scary and foreign. Now it's perceived as chic. I think everybody is realizing that there is an opportunity," he added.

Bringing matzah to church

The Idaho-based Albertsons is just one of many companies around the country competing to get a lucrative slice of an approximately USD9 billion kosher industry that is growing at a rate of 15 percent a year.

Experts say the boom is being fueled by several factors, including vegetarians and younger customers looking for healthier and safer food – the same demographic that has helped the organic market take off. Plenty of these customers are not Jewish.

"When I take the matzahs to the church, they love it," said Ursula Torres, of Manhattan, who was buying 100 percent wheat matzos recently at Streit's, a Jewish landmark on New York's Lower East Side.

Marcia Mogelonsky, a senior research analyst with Mintel International Group, a Chicago-based consulting firm, recently completed a nationwide study in April that produced some surprising results about the kosher craze.

She found 55 percent of the people who buy kosher products believed the food was better for them – almost double the number in a similar study Mogelonsky conducted in 2003.

"They trust the kosher symbol like they'd trust the Good Housekeeping seal," she said.

Part of the trust, Mogelonsky said, is derived from how the animals are raised. There is a popularly-held myth that Jewish law forbids the use of antibiotics, additives, hormones or feeding animal byproducts to animals raised for kosher slaughter. But Jewish law has no such regulations.

Jewish for 'good food'

Manischewitz, one of the best-known kosher food companies in the world, is developing an advertising campaign that says their name is "Jewish for good food."

Hebrew National, a division of ConAgra Foods, has always touted that famous tagline found on its packages: "We answer to a higher authority." But over the summer, the company decided to move the "Finest Kosher Quality" seal to a more prominent spot on certain product packaging.

Lou Nieto, president of packaged meats at ConAgra, said two things are driving the double-digit growth at Hebrew National, which recently opened a new state-of-the-art kosher facility in Michigan.

"First and foremost is taste but number two is that it's 100 percent kosher beef – nothing artificial," said Nieto, who oversees the Hebrew National brand.

He added that sales were being bolstered by non-Jewish customers, who devour the company's popular hot dogs at hundreds of venues across the United States.

To meet demand, the industry has undergone radical changes, recognizing that kosher food is more than matzo, gefilte fish and borscht.

The transformation was on display last month in New York at Kosherfest 2005, a convention that drew more than 6,100 retail and foodservice buyers, manufacturers and distributors from 36 countries.

"Anything that can be made kosher, is being made kosher," said Menachem Lubinsky, who founded Kosherfest. "Even the Chinese are going kosher."

Kosher dumpling wrappers – no problem. Asian sesame ginger noodle and Thai chili sauce? They got it. Italian kosher. It's in abundance. Penne rigate, lasagna, angel hair, and all enriched with soy protein. There is also a kosher energy drink called "Kabbalah."

And it seemed like almost everyone was selling humous, creating a war of the chick pea. If any one food is leading the kosher charge, it might be humous.

One of the biggest humous makers is Sabra Go Mediterranean, produced by Blue & White Food Products in New York.

"Today, all the hippies buy this stuff," said Nissim Ohana, who distributes Sabra products and has been selling kosher food for 20 years in the United States. "Humous has become a very hot item.

At Streit's, the venerable New York company is adapting to the changing environment, producing Mediterranean, Spelt and five-grain matzos, along with spreads like sundried tomato morsels.

"Chains carry it," said Alan Adler, director of operations at Streit's, which has been making matzos since 1925. "Our products are on the shelf year round. We are having trouble baking enough matzos."

In two decades, Ohana, an Israeli, has seen the number of Brooklyn stores purchasing his kosher food rise from 16 to more than 200.

"Five years ago, it wouldn't have sold," said Frank Widdi of Met Foodmarkets in Brooklyn. Widdi, a Palestinian, now has two separate refrigerators with humous, including one for Sabra which he gets from Ohana.

A Palestinian selling kosher humous?

"Business is business," Ohana says.

Rabbis Rule Romaine Lettuce Off Limits to Kosher Consumers

Kosher Today-New York

A cross-section of Orthodox rabbis ruled last week that “it is forbidden” to eat romaine lettuce and several other packaged vegetables, including Spring Mix and Baby Spinach, because of insect infestation. The 30 rabbis, however, noted that “this prohibition does not apply to iceberg lettuce, cabbage or greenhouse vegetables provided they are under a reliable, expert hashgacha.” According to several rabbis reached by Kosher Today, a key target of the edict published in many Jewish newspapers was Fresh Express, whose certifying rabbis have since withdrawn their certification. A spokesman for the Orthodox Union said that while the US grown romaine lettuce was off limits, it approved the romaine lettuce grown in hothouses by Alei Katif, which after having being evicted from the Gaza Strip was said to have resumed production in Israel’s Negev Desert. The letter by the rabbis singled out pre-washed romaine lettuce, romaine hearts, romaine mixes (European, Italian, Greener Selection) and Fresh Leafy Salads (such as Spring Mix and Baby Spinach).

The letter noted: “It is unfortunately our duty to inform you that insect infestation was found in most packages, regardless of the company or the supervising authority…Caterers, restaurants and stores that offer these products are guilty of offering food that is forbidden by Torah law.”

UOJ comments

The OU lead by Yisroel Belsky was on the attack. The Star-K, Moshe Heinneman's organization was permitting it. As we can see from the numbers, "Kosher" is a multi-billion dollar business.

Moshe Heinneman was relying on a p'sak "he said" was told to him by Rabbi Aron Kotler z"l. UOJ called the Kotler & Schwartzman families and none of them knew of this psak by RAK, which would permit eating lettuce that normally had bug infestation in excess of ten percent of the time checked; providing that a particular batch of lettuce was checked and found bug free.

In other words, Heinnemann claims RAK told him you can go by a particular batch; if there is less than ten percent of bugs found, you may eat them. The OU and gang, say you go by the type of vegetable, if generally there are bugs, you must clean them all or throw them out.

I called Heinneman and asked him the following.

1-When did RAK tell you about this p'sak?
2-How old were you at the time of the p'sak?
3-Why would you have asked this shaila, if the shaila of bugs in Romaine lettuce was on no one's radar screen in the early sixties?(thinking he had asked him in the sixties)

Moshe Heinneman is 67 years old, RAK was niftar in 1962. Assuming Heinemann asked him the shaila that "no one knows about" in 1962, that would put Heinemann at 24 years old. The problem is Heinemann said he asked RAK this shaila the year he came to Lakewood, when he was 18 years old. Counting backwards, this would be circa 1956.

Who in the world was thinking about bugs in lettuce in 1956?????

The whole bug "epidemic" is maybe ten years old!!!

The OU is losing market share to Heinemann, they seem way to eager to do him in. Heinemann's p'sak from RAK sounds really questionable to me at best, and a lie at worst.

When money is involved everything is possible.

Tell me what you think!



Yerachmiel Lopin said...

Joke based on true events. In the aftermath of the death of the Satmar Rebbe (Joel T) his old monopoly in the Eidah Charedith in Jerusalem was challenged by Belz. As happens a point was reached when Satmar banned Belz shechitah and vice versa. A Satmar Chasid dies and his will specifies he be buried in a Belz cemetary, Why?

Version 1- Belz worms wont eat my flesh
Version 2 (spitefully)Lets make those Belz worms eat Satmar meat.

Menachem Lipkin said...

I know one of the head Rabbinic coordinators at the OU very well. (He was my Rav, Mora D'asra for many years until we made Aliya, He's still a close friend and someone I turn to.) His integrity is beyond reproach. Though I don't know him personally, I understand that Rabbi Genack is also on a high level ethically.

Rav Belsky does not "lead" the OU. He and Rav Hershel Schachter are the poskim to whom the OU turns for Halachic guidance.

Over the years my Rav would regale us with stories of differences between the OU and the other Kashrut organizations. He never gave the impression of any of these differences being anything other than L'shem Shamayim.

I'm as concerned about the Chumraization of Judaism as the next guy. I find more that, though these things make for great fodder in the blog world, L'maase,they generally blow over.

The bottom line, as always, just ask your LOR.

PROTEST Dayanim at EJF conference said...

Tropper's sickening chutzpa and fraudulence are being exposed and his so-called major backer R REUVEN Feinstein will have to explain in court and bais din what he did with the 3 million dollars Guma Aguiar gave him, heed the call to boycott and stop any all upcoming EJF events and put Tropper out of action for all time:

Concerned Jews who fear the consequences of a fanatical and unstable Tropper hegemony over all Orthodox conversions are called to protest the upcoming Fourth Eternal Jewish Family Dayanim Conference Scheduled for November 8-10 in New Jersey. See full ad below.

If you know any of the noted speakers in the ad below, contact them and make your strong opposition to Tropper and his EJF scheme known loud and clear. Do not allow Tropper's personal power's to spread. Once he has them he wield's them ruthlessly.

Some of the slated speakers, such as R REUVEN Feinstein have allegedly been paid at least three million dollars to help Tropper and EJF, they are not trustworthy!

Urge your local rabbi, rov, posek or dayan on any Bais Din NOT to attend and to make their own protets heard. By now many rabbis are sick and tired of Tropper's antics and his controversial EJF scheme. Do not submit to Tropper's dictates under any cirmstances!

Urge your rabbis and rabbonim to RETAIN THEIR INDEPENDENCE as any self-respecting person should. Do not submit to Tropper who is a notorious control freak!

It has now been revealed that Tropper cynically uses bribes (given as "grants") to his favored rabbis to attend his free EJF events, thus entirely corrupting the integrity of the Halachic process and forcing those accepting his bribes to adhere to his extreme views that have been criticized and condemned by rabbis from the right (Badatz of Eidah Chareidis) and the left (RCA).

If you are able to, please join a vigil and protest outside of the hotel Novemebr 8-10 at the Sheraton Meadowlands in Secaucus NJ.

Full text of Tropper's and EJF's ad:

"Fourth Eternal Jewish Family Dayanim Conference Scheduled for November 8-10 in New Jersey

Written by Admin on October 13, 2009 – 12:06 pm -

PREPARATIONS WENT into high gear for the fourth EJF Dayanim Conference, which is scheduled to take place November 8-10 at the Sheraton Meadowlands in Secaucus NJ. Some 40 dayanim and Roshei Yeshiva will gather to confront crucial halachic issues that arise involving universally accepted Jewish conversion standards in intermarriage.

Most of the dayanim are part of a growing network of independent batei din in North America that have adopted the Jewish Conversion standards of leading poskim, as is being promulgated by EJF International. The Batei Din function in cities such as Baltimore, Monsey, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Montreal, Miami, Lakewood, Dallas, Toronto, Houston, and Vancouver. Last year’s conference was addressed by such prominent Torah personalities as:

Harav Shmuel Kaminetsky, Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Philadelphia and a member of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudas Yisroel

Harav Reuven Feinstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta of Staten Island and Chairman of the Halachic Committee of EJF

Harav Dovid Olewski, Rosh Yeshiva of the Gerer Mesivta (Brooklyn)

Harav Betzalel Tuvia Wettenstein (Belzer Dayan of Monsey)

Rabbi Eliyahu Levin (Lakewood)"

Tropper is Troubled said...

Tropper fights the heat.

The heat is on Tropper and he knows it. He's fighting back, but there can be no question that he is paying a big price for his and EJF's survival.

Tropper has one of the biggest egos and voices off of a Broadway stage. His ego and voice projection rival any actor's solos on any stage anywhere, and Tropper is always on center stage and he has to be numero uno all the time.

Whenever he runs his highly paid ads through Menachem Lubinsky's LUBICOM and whenever he gets his paid lawyer pal Dennis Rapps Esq to put out yet another EJF PR self-glorification display ad in The Jewish Press, the name Tropper has to somehow always be in it ten times at least and with a variety of titles as if he were an insecure despot like Haile Selasie with titles like "Lion Of Judah" "King Of Kings" "Font Of Wisdom" "God's Gift to Mankind and Womankind" etc, you get the drift.

So now Tropper is taking a huge hammering in the media and in his pocket where it hurts most. His numbers are diving as badly as Obama's. People out there in the world, many who secretly despise and want to get rid of Tropper but would not dare say it, watch all this commotion and take heart. It's just not good for him.

His key disciple of the last few years is Guma Aguiar, second only to Tom Kaplan, is gone and attacking him fiercely and rivaling the world that Tropper lives in for attention seeking.

Guma Aguiar has the elements of being Tropper's greatest lost disciple because he is till young, 31 or 32 while Kaplan is already a little older and has the air of a retired "what me worry" gent, while Guma is still hot and on fire and on the lookout for a mission in life.

So now Guma sues Trpper and wants him to come not just to Beth Din but to court as well to answer for missing tens of millions of dollars from the money that Guma gave Tropper to hand to rabbis and he didn't.

In addition bloggers from all sectors are hammering away at Tropper and EJF making the Jewish blogosphere a battlefront against Tropper that he can't control with his highly paid PR minions.

And everyone in the Torah world knows that already over two years ago Rav Moshe Strenbuch and the Beth din of the Eidah Charedit in Jerusalme sent out three letters on their official stationary agaainst what Tropper was doing through EJF the notion of recruiting goyim to come to be converted like a missionary and they asked all rabbis not to attend his conferences. This has been like a ball and chain ever since the seven judges of the Beth din ruled against him.

Tropper is Troubled said...

UOJ adds his voice to the rising anger and frustration with Tropper's charades.

As will be pointed out, Tropper has also been hit hard by the negative PR against him and EJF generated by UOJ's lazer focus on the Tropper/EJF scheme triggered by the legal and Beth Din troubles that Tropper simultaneously faces with his ex-talmid and his recently converted wife suing and dragging Tropper to secular court and Beth Din.

As Tropper gets involved with legal cases and dinei Torah from Tom Kaplan's side attacking Guma he is being painted into an ever decreasing corner. It's a big mess and one wonders when Tropper has time to run around looking for gentiles to convert when he must be doing a lot of thinking, talking and counseling with teams of lawyers in the cases that he and Tom Kaplan are involved with either supporting Tom Kaplan and his wife Daphne Recanati or fighting Guma Aguiar and his wife Jamie.

Tropper also faced another huge hole to the bottom of his EJF boat when a tape was found, delivered and transcribed at Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn's blog supposedly exposing the "true" view of Rav REUVEN Feinstein in his own words opposing Tropper's and EJF's work to do unhindered missionizing to "evangelize" to gentiles and get them to convert, who even though Rav Reuven, has received millions of dollars from Guma Aguiar and Tom Kaplan over the years through Tropper's milking them, yet supposedly behind the scenes resisted the Tropper/Kaplan/Guma/EJf agenda of unashamedly launching a full court press to reach out to any and all gentiles remotely connected to Jews, worthy of the worst Christian missionary tactics, and pay the gentiles if that's what it took to come and hear a couple of EJF lectures at fancy shmancy hotels to get converted by EJF "approved" dayanim and Beth Dins all under the eye of one man, the almighty Tropper who would then set himself up as a kind of "pope of conversions according to 'universal standards'" and rule over his far flung kingdom with the help of Tom Kaplan's tens of millions and by issuing threats of revenge and terror against any rabbi or convert who would dare to defy this new self-created "false pope of conversions" who in all his years could never get a yeshiva or outreach program off the ground but who now wanted to be, in his words, "the OU of conversions"! As if he had any respect for the OU which he does not. Just sheer cynicism all the time.

So what happens next is panic city.

Tropper needs shelter wherever he can get it, and as words from Rav Reuven Feinstein are revealed to say that he always opposed Tropper's/EJF's agenda of reaching out to goyim by the millions, Rav Reuven bites the bullet and finally issues a lukewarm fuzzy "haskoma" that he should have done years ago, but for Tropper it is not a victory, just a phyric victory, because the new document does not give any dispensation to do mass outreach to gentiles, just to help intermarrieds and NO MENTION OF REACHING OUT TO THEM LIKE EJF WANTED which almost all outreach organizations have been doing de facto and de jure for many years now.

Now Tropper is stuck, so what does he do when under fire, he runs for cover. Where? He seeks shelter in the forests he knows so well, the world of kiruv organizations that he sends tenatcles out to, presumably with lots of lures from his mister mone-bags Tom Kaplan to run joint outreach seminars with other kiruv organizations either despetare or stupid enough or cynical enough, or all of the above to tango with Tropper and EJF with Tom Kaplan and Daphne Recanati calling the tunes with their flow of soothing cash that ails all ills and that corrupts all in its wake especially when the Tropper factor is involved, with his non-existent sense of justice and fairness.

Leah Roberts said...

The AJOP Follows has tracked down Mrs. Leah Roberts:

I am th wife of a magid shiur. But that has not stopped from getting involved with shady organizations. I was the secretary of AJOP when it fell apart after that crook (oh I never dared call him that to his face, but we all knew it) Hershel Leiner took over AJOP and moved the office to Monsey when Monsey has no real similarity to the conditions of where almost every kiruv worker in North America finds themselves.

When Rabbi Leiner left, yes you see, we're very proper, we always called him Rabbi even if he was a crook, so when he left under fire from those other gruff kiruv rabbis like that guy Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, I could never bring myself to call him "Ephy" it just sounded so cheap and familiar for a Rebbetzin like me, anyhow, we ran out of money, even to pay my salary and I wanted to shut down the office for good.

I can't tell who gave me the order or plan to decide on my own to shut down a former multi-million organization on my own, but I WAS going to do it, I promise. Oh well, some people stopped me and then in the nic of time the NIRC nerds who weren't in Monsey in any case, decided to wake up for a change and do a recall of the junked AJOP and it went on its slow journey to the holy NIRC grounds of Baltimore, with a pit stop at the NCYI where two NIRC cut-throats, Pesach Chometz Lerner and Shmuel serial husband Stauber were hauled in and they went to work revampimg AJOP, until once and for all when the world saw what AJOP looked like, not even a skeleton, just a bone or two, it was taken down to Baltimore for good. I do not have any fond memories.

But coming back to Monsey. You know some time after I stopped working for AJOP, I went to work for that very nice Rabbi Tropper. We had so much in common. We were both very frum and we listen to our gedoilim.

I can't reveal to you what connections Rabbi Leiner and Rabbi Tropper had when AJOP was in Monsey. It is under my lock and key. Rabbi Tropper was on the AJOP board then, and I can't say if he hated or liked AJOP. Maybe he liked it just enough like a predator likes its victim to hate it and helped to guide Leiner and me to kill it.

I will never tell you the truth of what happened. Why should I? I am Mrs. Leah Roberts and Rabbi Tropper pays my salary now.

Who is Menachem Lipkin kidding? said...

Genack is "highly ethical"?

This is Menachem Genack who brought his friend Simcha / Steve Katz on as Chairman of OU Kashrus to rehabilitate him with the public after he got caught red handed with treif at the former Central Glatt.

And this is Menachem Genack who lies to the public to cover up various OU scandals.

Ethics panel said...

I have seen Shmarya been accused of censoring posts.

I have never posted on Failed Messiah before but had some questions about the fundraising to cover the Rubashkin trial which I think is fishy and in need of some answers.

Almost immediately after posting my first and only comment, Comrade Shmarya swooped in like a hawk to promptly remove it from view.

UOJ Should Go After This Clown! said...

Jerusalem - “Ideally one should be prudent and not conduct transactions starting Thursday afternoon,” Rav Avraham Yosef, the chief rabbi of Holon and a member of the Chief Rabbinate Council told radio Kol Chai listeners in a recent broadcast.

Data is fed into the banks’ computers by Jewish workers on Shabbos Night, he explained. Although account holders would be permitted to gain benefit from any deposits recorded on Shabbos – since the work was performed at that time for the bank’s own benefit, meaning the depositor is not a partner in the act – still bank customers should try to avoid causing others to stumble, said Rav Yosef.

Deposits made late Thursday, and even more so on Friday morning, are almost certain to be entered into the computer on Shabbos, he noted.

Margo's Consigliere said...


Jeffry M. Picower, a prominent philanthropist accused of reaping about $7 billion in profit from Bernard L. Madoff’s vast Ponzi scheme, was found dead on Sunday afternoon in a swimming pool at his mansion in Palm Beach, Fla.

In the last year, Mr. Picower’s life had become a tangle of litigation arising from his disputed role in the Ponzi scheme operated by Mr. Madoff, who was arrested in December and pleaded guilty in March to operating a long-running fraud that cost thousands of victims billions of dollars.

The cause of Mr. Picower’s death is being investigated. According to a statement from the Palm Beach police, emergency personnel responded at 12:09 p.m. on Sunday to a call from Mr. Picower’s wife, Barbara. She said that she had found her husband at the bottom of the pool at the family home, an oceanfront property on South Ocean Boulevard. He could not be revived and was pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m. at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again. Hogging the blog space with Tropper stuff.

The bug infestation issue for romaine lettuce is not a recent thing. I'm in my 50's. I recall watching the adults in the family spending many hours soaking, washing, and checking the romaine lettuce on erev Pesach afternoon. I was around 7-8. In fact, we always checked iceberg lettuce at home. But it was a simple process. The romaine was more complicated because of its texture and the types of bugs generally found on it. The bug infestation issue that captured the attention of the frum community may be a decade old, but it addresses far more serious infestations and on many more types of fruits and vegetables than we realized back when.

It may be interesting to note that the subject of "bedikas tola'im" is discussed in poskim for centuries. What's so new? It is perfectly conceivable that Rav Heineman asked Rav Aharon Kotler ZT"L about this subject.

Tropper's Hogs said...

Anonymous said "Hogging the blog space with Tropper stuff."

Hey, brilliant vort and great pun, very tsugepast for a hog like Tropper whos EJF is just plain chazer treif while Tropper shows off his new Reuven Feinstein hog fisslach "haskoma" for making goyim into Yidden by sprinkling Tropper's magical hog water on them at free hog fressing meetings paid for by Tom Kaplan who still has hog and eggs for breakfast because he's not frum!

Tropper is Troubled said...

The Tropper-Feinstein dance, a deeper dig.

"Recipients and Publicity @ daattorah.blogspot.com

Silver lining? (I)

There may be a huge silver lining in the latest developments of Rav Reuven Feinstein being exposed for saying he opposes EJF's outright proselytization and that he never believed there was any sort of "heter" permitting it whatsoever, and trying to reconcile it with his bland letter of "haskoma" to EJF in very parev and neutral terms.

One should pay attention to a few things.

One, is that Rav Reuven, until now, never gave an outright written haskoma to Tropper or EJF, he may have put his toe in the water when they put out a little general devar Torah essay in his name, but never an outright "haskoma" until now.

Two, is that Tropper must have been salivating for such a "haskoma" from day one that EJF came into public view. Anyone could see how poster Roni/Tropper used to do backwards somersaults and "explain" that Rav Reuven's "haskoma" was that he "attended" EJF events, that that was somehow a "haskama" which he and everyone knows is a perfect shtus, that while showing up somewhere is significant it does not have the power or importance of a written haskoma.

Thirdly, now Tropper is in big trouble. His former disciple Guma Aguiar has revealed correspondence that is damaging to Tropper and he is going to take Tropper both to court and to dinei Torah over questions about what happened to the big money Guma gave to Tropper over the years. So Tropper is scared and under fire. He knows what happened to his ally in the anti-Slifkin scandal, Leib Pinter who is now sitting in jail for fraud and misuse of money. So now Tropper needs Rav Reuven badly.

Fourthly, Rav Reuven Feinstein also needs Tropper to keep him controlled and not to damage Rav Reuven's reputation as all the bloggers and rabbis who keep on asking and posting more and more questions that the whole world can read and now that there are official legal cases and dinei Torah, Rav Reuven needs to keep Tropper under control for his own sake."

Tropper is Troubled said...

"Recipients and Publicity @ daattorah.blogspot.com

Silver lining? (II)

Fifthly, there was obviously a very strong difference of opinion behind the scenes between Rav Reuven and Rabbi Tropper over how far to go with outright proselytization. The delicate variable here is Tom Kaplan and Guma Aguiar when he was involved with them. Obviously, Tom Kaplan and his nephew wanted to go all out in proselytization. They are not rabbis and they do not see anything wrong with it. In fact it helps them greatly personally. Rabbi Tropper is won over to their side, he knows on which side of the bread the tens of millions are buttered on to, but Rav Reuven, while partially drawn in and getting benefits still resists and it remains a struggle behind the scenes.

Sixthly, in the meantime Guma Aguiar jumps ship big time, Tropper gets into a war with Bomzer over Jamie's conversion, at least that is the nominal issue it probably goes far deeper than just Jamie over whom it is hard to believe Tropper cares so much in any case, and drags Rav Reuven into that too in this regard the role of Rav Eisenstein comes in as he also exerts pressure on Tropper and Rav Reuven not realizing the difference between Israel and the USA that attacks on the RCA do not play well in America, and now legal cases and dinei Torah are popping up like popcorn all around Tropper, Tom Kaplan and Daphne Recanati Kaplan that will impact Rav Reuven and raise questions he wants to avoid.

Finally, at this point, now, the present, at this time, IT WOULD APPEAR that Tropper has acceded and caved in to Rav Reuven Feinstein's demands that EJF curb its plans and intentions and any messages to further point blank proselutizaions. Rav Reuven agrees to issue a letter of haskoma when Tropper needs it most, when Guma is hammering him and when the bloggers are closing in with more and more deadly arguments, Tropper agrees to Rav Reuven's rules that from now on EJF will only be a more mainstream kind of "servicing agency" for people who wish to choose a charedi conversion, meaning those willing to go thru with this via EJF.

Rav Reuven must have issued his late-in-the-day haskoma with VERY STRONG CONDTIONS and PROVISOS and that he expects to be more in command of EJF than ever before.

This clips Tropper's wings badly, but he has no choice, he is under siege.

Time will tell if EJF will now moderate and STOP its outright proselytization goals and if Kaplan will go along with it and still put his money into EJF and if Tropper will be able to live with this kind of situation, of not manipulating Rav Reuven Feinstein but of taking direct and clear-cut orders, a tall order for him.

This is how it seems now.

The silver lining is that Rav Reuven Feinstein will definitely impose a NON-proselytization agenda upon EJF, but it remains to be seen if Tropper has the will and interest in running a reformed and lessened organization.

Sure they will still talk about higher universal standards to rabbonim like preaching to the converted choir, but the other controversial issue of the proselytization that EJF used to do/does/will do will be a hard habit to kick and only time and monitering of advertizing will tell.

Meaning it must be seen what EJF tries to sell to goyim in relationships with Jews in its forthcoming ads, that is if it is not shut down entirely by the legal challenges and dinei Torah being rained down on Tropper that will drag Rav Reuven Feinstein into court and bais din more times than he will apprecaite it now that he has issued the "kesuva" between him and EJF via this haskoma to officially consecrate their union after having lived without a legal Halachic document for so many years.

By the way, the haskoma is not "retroactive" it can only be seen in light of the current situation."

Tropper is Troubled said...

Tropper under the gun tries to call in his Sephardic chips, too little too late.

As Rabbi Eidensohn's reports on his Daat Torah blog based on a news story from YWN: "Rav Ovadia Yosef is claimed to approve EJF seminars in a press
release apparently from EJF itself it is claimed that Rav Yosef
approves of EJF seminars - but no actual letter was published. Yeshiva World News. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef yesterday issued a halachic ruling that it is a "great mitzvah to conduct seminars for intermarried couples" interested in building a Jewish home. October 23, 2009. Rabbi Yosef was referring to seminars sponsored by the Eternal Jewish Family for intermarried couples that include a non-Jew seeking a halachic conversion and a Jew who agrees to become a baal teshuva. Rav Yosef's ruling is consistent with many p'sakim of previous and contemporary Gedolei Hatorah who say that unlike ordinary geyrus, it is permitted to be "mekarev" such a couple, particularly where the Jew will be atoning for his/her mistake by becoming a baal teshuva. [...]

mekubal said...If he approves of this why hasn't he simply written a haskama?

If he will write a haskama for an internet learning program(not that I am criticizing the learning program)
it seems only logical that he would write one of EJF.

Funnily enough this appears on neither of R' Ovadiah Yosef's official websits:

Verification it never happened.

A world without yeshivaworld said...YWN is a for-profit entity that is influenced by who places ads, etc.

The owner of the site, Eckstein, has previously taken anything passed along to him to promote Rubashkin by PR agent Menachem Lubinsky, who is currently on Tropper's payroll.

Be forewarned that Eckstein does not like being criticized or exposed. He has waged public battles with R' Yudel Shain and others who have dared to call him out on the carpet. When he got angry at the Lakewood yeshiva this past year, he started another blog to attack them. After BMG hired techies who outed him, the yeshiva asked several advertisers to stop doing business with him."

Tropper is Troubled said...

Tropper asks Rav Ovadia Yosef for a good word for the decaying EJF, nu nu.

Rabbi Eidensohn's Daat Torah blog reports:

"Recipients and Publicity said...If you read the words carefully, you see that EJF is being cautious to note that Rav Yosef is NOT approving of proselytizing nor reaching out to goyim who have expressed NO interest in Judaism in an almost random fashion by EJF style advertising to lure in goyim to become Yidden.

Rather, it has to be assumed that Rav Yosef is talking about intermarried couples who come voluntarily or have been attending kiruv programs and now wish to take the next step.

Nowhere in this press release, obviously coming mostly from EJF itself, does it state that its most controversial efforts of proselytizing, for which it was specifically condemned by Rav Shternbuch and the BADATS, is in any way allowed.

This has to be seen as yet another weakening of Rabbi Tropper's and Tom Kaplan's original "vision" of outright unapologetic proselytization to gentiles hitched to Jews that they know full well is outright assur and that is why they covered it up with their talk of "universal standards" of stressing chumras in geirus which any Charedi bais din would agree with and would not need Tropper or EJF to remind them or teach them of that.

So this is just another open manifestation of Tropper's hand at the helm of EJF being eased off, while Rav Reuven Feinstein thinks he can get a handle on it, and in turn it allows Rav Yosef to say a nice thing or two that has been obvious and practiced by kiruv workers in any case for the last 20 years since Rav Dovid Cohen of Brooklyn, the official posek of AJOP, the Association for Jewish Outreach Professionals/Programs started to openly give the pesak that IN THE COURSE OF NATURAL KIRUV WORK (NOT RUNNING AFTER GOYIM LIKE EJF SUBSEQUENTLY DID) THAT IT IS MUTTAR TO WORK AND TRY TO MEGAYER THE GOY IN ORDER TO MEKAREV THE YID, he held it was not just muttar but also poshut as a matter of doing kiruv otherwise it would be impossible to mekarev the Jew in such a situation."

Tropper is Troubled said...

Tropper sets the Torah blogosphere against him and EJF.

Reading from Rabbi Eidensohn's Daat Torah blog:

Recipients and Publicity said...What sounded radical 20 years ago when Rav Dovid Cohen said it berabim is now finally becoming a mainstream view as we read that Rav Yosef and Rav Reuven Feinstein are saying "the obvious" because lema'ase that is what has been going on in any case in the world of kiruv rechokim when the matzav is that almost all secular Jews are intermarried today and plain kiruv to born Jews only, of the olden days, is long gone in a world where almost every marrying secular Jew in America and many from the former USSR are either intermarried or products of intermarriage.

So even if Rav Yosef comes up with something in writing, it would not be a chiddush and it is basically of NO help to Rabbi Tropper and EJF because everyone in kiruv today is doing this in any case.

The point for which Rabbi Tropper and EJF were called on the carpet for and correctly accused of was of going beyond the intermarriage situation and creating heavy handed expensive active advertising to the gentiles missionary and evangelical style and then hosting them at expensive retreats when they had no real interest in conversion that is nothing but proselytization.

Of late rabbi Tropper seems to understand his problems very well and following the split with Guma Aguiar, rabbi Tropper and EJF have been nudging themselves into aligment with more mainstream kiruv organizations and institutions like Gateways and Ohr Somayach in Israel, moving away from dealing with intermarrieds only as was EJF's original mission and now getting in sync with more conventional kiruv types like Nota Schiller of OS, Jerus. and Mordechai Suchard of Gways, which probably irritates Rabbi Tropper since once upon a time he was supposed to have been such a big kiruv name himself but his own programs and yeshiva never grew beyond a very narrow and limited group and then he went on to take up the EJF plan funded by the Kaplan family hoping to work exclusively with intermarried couples and conversions issues, which he still is trying to keep up behind the scenes but his hands are being tied slowly but surely as he wriggles, so now he joins with seminars of other groups who have their own rabbis and their own ways and their own agendas and their own histories and he has to somehow blend into that, oh well, he comes along and yells' marry Jewish blah, blah -- what else does he think the other kiruv rabbis have been saying all along, "eat chullent"? -- which he is doing in the hope of keeping the EJF flame and his own name alive and afloat as he backs off from outright proselytization which brought him huge condemnation from none less than the BADATS and Rav Shternbuch, a huge potsch for him, and then the breakup with Guma Aguiar with revelations of inner hypocrisy, double standards and double dealing, so now EJF and Tropper are backing off and de-emphasizing their proselytization agenda and trying to recast themselves as being conjoined with the conventional Charedi kiruv movement, which is where Tropper had once started but that he left when he went into business with Tom Kaplan and Guma Aguiar to push the EJF missionary and evangelical work to "save the world" to any and all missing billions of gentiles and Jews as their own Internet advertising revealed."

Tropper is Troubled said...

Tropper/EJF and Suchard/Gateways climb into bed together and imagine that the world can't see them cheating.

The posters on Rabbi Eidensohn's Daat Torah blog are in no mood for Tropper's and Suchard's baloney:

"Conventional kiruv said...RAP is in error for lumping Suchard's Gateways in this group.

Gateways has speakers that double as EJF operatives like Mordechai Neugroschel.

Gateways, like EJF, is beholden to money. Suchard has been criticized for allowing Senator Joe Lieberman to get up at their shul bima (they maintain a shul in Westchester) to address the crowd during Yomtov davening. Instead of divrei Torah from one of Gateways many upstanding talmidei chochomim, they get partisan anti-Republican propaganda that is against the Torah. Lieberman, who is pro-toyeva, pro-abortion and pro-intermarriage, has pushed these agendas in his words from the Gateways shul bima. Because he is a smooth talking politician, he knows how to not speak these ugly ideas befeirush there. What he does is give a pep talk to gain support for opposing Conservative judicial appointments (that would spell trouble for his immoral agenda).

Gateways is a big clump of hypocrisy for speaking kiruv and immorality out of both sides their mouth.

October 25, 2009 4:04 PM

Aaron S. said...To "A world without yeshivaworld":

Is there anything online documenting that Eckstein from YWN was behind the anonymous attack on the Lakewood Yeshiva, and that he was outed as such?

I would appreciate being directed to anything pointing in that direction.


October 25, 2009 4:08 PM

"Observant" Jew said...Joe Lieberman has publicly stated that he is "not orthodox", that he prefers to be classified as "observant".

His current wife was formerly married to a Conservative "rabbi" and none of their children are frum. Joe switches off on Shabbosos between attending modern orthodox and Conservative services."

Tropper is Troubled said...

EJF and YWN, a perfect shidduch, in reporting fake news from Rav Ovadia Yosef.

Bloggers saying it as it is at Rabbi Eidensohn's Daat Torah blog:

"A world without yeshivaworld said...Eckstein's machlokes with Beis Medrash Govoha of Lakewood was followed by the blogs Yudelstake & UOJ.

Eckstein's motivation was that his brother was employed by the faction at the girl's school that the yeshiva was trying to neutralize.

Eckstein was not savvy enough to cover up the electronic trail that techies discovered led back to him.

Eckstein's attack blog, since taken down, was digging up every piece of nasty shmutz he could find on the yeshiva administration. And although the Agudah & Yated have been passing along press releases they want Eckstein to publicize, there are some Moetzes members who are in favor of shutting him down for good.

In a separate machlokes Eckstein had with R' Yudel Shain, R' Yudel contacted him to complain about pritzusdik ads on YWN. Because Eckstein ignored him, R' Yudel went public about it. Eckstein then wrote him a very threatening email which R' Yudel posted on his website. Eckstein called him all kinds of nasty names in an otherwise vile email that warned he "would bring R' Yudel to his knees".

October 25, 2009 4:42 PM

Tzad hashoveh said...Anonymous attacks on the internet. Doing things for money. Using below the belt tactics and nasty language.

Sounds like EJF and YWN are a good shidduch.

October 25, 2009 4:57 PM

mekubal said...When a Rav (which is what we consider someone like Rav Ovadiah Yosef) supports something, or issues a psak in its favor, or any other means of granting it legitimacy (meaning saying what they are doing is OK) he will write a letter, an actual physical letter, with a pen (an somewhat dated writing instrument I know) on a piece of paper (an equally dated medium... sorry big word... but I am not too good at monosyllabic communication) so that it can be presented when asked, and demonstrate to the world that he actually did say what everyone is saying that he said.

Hence the comparison, that and being familiar with the learning program, I know the controversy that surrounded them when they started.

Do you understand now? If not let put it to you in words that my two year old will understand:
If no paper with signature from big big rabbi, it no happen.

October 25, 2009 7:39 PM"

R' Steve Phillips said...

ESPN fired Steve Phillips on Sunday, less than a week after a newspaper revealed that he had had an affair with a 22-year-old production assistant with the network.

“Steve Phillips is no longer working for ESPN,” the network said in a statement. “His ability to be an effective representative for ESPN has been significantly and irreparably damaged, and it became evident it was time to part ways.”

Last week, The New York Post’s report about the short affair between Phillips and Brooke Hundley became a nationwide story, creating a serious public problem for the network. Before this season, he was elevated from work as a full-time studio analyst into the “Sunday Night Baseball” booth with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan.

Steve Lefkowitz, Phillips’s agent, said in a statement, “Steve Phillips is voluntarily admitting himself to an inpatient treatment facility to address his personal issues.” Lefkowitz said he informed ESPN on Friday of Phillips’s intention.

ESPN took action against Phillips when it learned of the affair, then announced last week that it had granted him a leave of absence. But since Wednesday, the affair became front-page news and an object of ridicule for ESPN, particularly on Deadspin.com.

A letter from Hundley to Phillips’s wife, Marni, which became part of a report filed with the police in Wilton, Conn., turned into salacious fodder.

When Phillips was the general manager of the Mets, he was forced to take a leave of absence in 1998 because of a series of affairs and an accusation of sexual harassment by a Mets employee. He entered counseling and returned to the Mets, but was eventually fired in 2003.

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