“Erroneous claims” from the NSWJBD says the Kashrut Authority

November 6, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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A statement issued by The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies attempting to work towards clearing the impasse between the Kashrut Authority and caterer Amaze in Taste has been described as “largely erroneous” by the KA.

In the meantime, the Rabbinical Council of NSW has said it will shortly announce a new peace plan…

Yesterday’s announcement from the NSWJBD stated: “NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president Yair Miller has urged the Rabbinical Council of NSW to find an urgent interim solution to the impasse over Amaze in Taste and to find a long-term solution which restores community confidence in corporate governance and transparency around kosher catering in NSW.

The current uncertainty around kosher certification has led to an untenable situation,” he said. “There is a widespread lack of confidence in the current corporate governance around kashrut provision in NSW.

There is a unanimous view that this situation needs to be resolved in a manner that is in the best long-term interests of the community and is done in a manner that ensures complete communal confidence in the provision of kashrut in NSW. There is also an urgent need for an interim solution to be found.”

Miller emphasised that “there is no attempt to pass judgment on either the Kashrut Authority of NSW (KA) or any kosher provider, nor do we claim to be making a judgment on the kashrut status of any entity”.

However, “as the lay leadership of the community, it appears that the current dispute is primarily focused on financial and commercial considerations only and not on the kashrut status of the entity involved. After discussions with many senior communal leaders, we are looking to work with the RCNSW to find an urgent interim solution. “

A number of communal organisations and individual have upcoming major events, school camps and smachot, yet are concerned that none of the other kosher-certified caterers in NSW have the capacity to meet the demand, Miller added. “They are therefore left with the options of using AIT, bringing in a caterer from Melbourne or cancelling events. This is clearly not an ideal situation and cannot continue. We are calling for an urgent interim solution to be found and have offered to work with the RCNSW to find a long-term solution that ensures communal confidence and the integrity of the entire kashrut system, including food standards and corporate governance.”

But Baron Revelman, president of the Kashrut Authority has responded by saying: “At the time when AIT refused to sign a license agreement, the only points of disagreement were the bond and Director’s guarantee, both standard conditions of our licence agreement to which ALL other KA licensees agree.   This is also clear from much of the correspondence.

Our meat policy is clearly explained in the “Myths & Facts” piece sent to you last week, and to repeat, endorsed by the ACCC.   Not only that, it has been known to the Kahns for many years, just as it has to all other KA licensees.

We presume you will incorporate into your article the various other points from the “Myths & Facts” article, as relevant.kashrut

If this is a new company, no-one has any idea as to whether or not they can fulfil the community’s needs.   If they are a rebirth of the old company – as clearly appears to be the community’s view –  how hypocritical that they dredge up false issues of corporate governance at The KA, when it is they that left approximately $1m in unpaid unsecured debt, including to creditors in the Jewish community.

Many already licensed  caterers, who willingly abide by KA terms and conditions, can fulfil the needs of the community and yes, if necessary, so can Melbourne caterers also under KA supervision, as has happened in the past – all at least as economically as AIT.    This caterer should not be allowed to hold the KA and the community to ransom and receive preferential treatment.

The KA is extremely surprised that the BOD saw fit to issue a statement without first consulting with The KA, and only two days before a scheduled meeting with The KA that was arranged two weeks ago, by the BOD, to discuss these matters.”

The Rabbinical Council of NSW is expected to shortly present a peace plan to calm the waters currently stirred up by functions catered in Sydney by Amaze in Taste which is currently working outside the jurisdiction of the Kashrut Authority.

The two parties have been unable to seal a deal for a KA license. The caterer has been working under the guidance of an experienced mashgiach and has been importing meat from Kosher sources in Melbourne.

Rabbi Chaim Ingram has told J-Wire that a meeting of the council to which two senior rabbis were invited  has “come up with a workable interim solution which if implemented will bring peace to the community.”

He said that the Council had a back-up plan and had pledged to find a long-term solution.

In the meantime, John Mulligan of L’Amour Catering has assured J-Wire his company is more than capable of catering to over 700 guests. He said: “Despite advertising in the local Jewish paper, int the three years we have been trading we have not attracted any communal business…only private functions. But I have had experience in working in the industry catering to functions of up 2,000 guests including the launch of the Museum of Contemporary Art at which there were 1800 guests. I have been a chef for 23 years and now operate a Kosher kitchen in Bondi. A community function of over 700 would present no problem but I have not been approached.”

Deena Miller of Kosherlicious told J-Wire that she would have to amalgamate with another caterer in order to provide meals for 700 guests.She added: “On Sunday I will cater a function for more than 450 guests and I have been feeding school camps for te years providing meals for 200 kids three times a day for four days using the help of volunteers. Amalgamation is what the caterers did in the past in order to deal with big functions.”




9 Responses to ““Erroneous claims” from the NSWJBD says the Kashrut Authority”
  1. harry says:

    only a few years ago when the KA suspended the kosher licence of a sydney cafe for unpaid fees owed to it, the Trade Practices Commission (as it was known the)conducted an investigation into the monopolistic practices ofthew KA.
    It made no specific findings but in its reasons regarding the KA expressed concern as to whether the KA may be in breach of the Trade Practises Act ( as it was known then). It reserved the right to re-open its investigation and allowed some time for the community to resolve the concerns it had regarding the KA.

    I recommend the investigation be re-opened with the hope that the monopolistic practises of the KA be properly investigated.

    from numerous conversations I have had with members of the Jewish Community, there is very little confidence expressed in the KA.

  2. Steven says:

    Admin do you have more clarity now – shame on the Sydney community for letting it come to this .

  3. Steven says:

    Experienced Mashgiach = …., Does this make him a Rav Hamachshir.

    When was the last time he actually opened a Shulchan Aruch..

    • Sam says:

      Ther is no need for him to open a shulchan oruch when he’s got a Rav who is a poisek that is giving him clear and precise instructions. I suggest you get your facts in order before posting stupid comments on this specific topic.

      • Steven says:

        Ha, Laughable Sam, no need for a mashgiach too open a Shulchan Aruch – do you even hear yourself. I guess as a mashgiach you don’t need Yiras Shomayim either as long as the so called ‘Poisek'(Stanley or Felisha) is giving direction.

        Would love to see if you have the gall to write who the ‘Poisek’ is on this forum..

        • Steven says:

          Sam, I guess Jwire beat you to it.

          I was surprised to see Rabbi Rogut’s name but Feldman is the obvious choice.. The man doesn’t miss a beat to try and look like Jesus’

          This all leads me to the question – Jwire why the quick take down of the article could it be you were fed false information ?

  4. Michael says:

    Same old…..always fun to have a go at the KA…..don’t people realise how lucky we are that we don’t have the same machloket that comes from divided kashrut agencies in other cities around the world? In my opinion AIT are being irresponsible. Pay the bond and let life move on.

    • Benseon Apple says:

      Well said Michael!

      People seem to have short memories: The situation with the two kashrus authorities up to the early 1990s (Sydney Beth Din and the Yeshiva) was never ideal and led to much infighting and politics. Having one, unified authority since that time has improved kashrus standards and brought much needed stability.

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