Rabbi Yosef Feldman replaced as hechsher provider

February 24, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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Following his appearance the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse  Souther Synagogue’s Rabbi Yosef Feldman is no longer providing a hechsher for Sydney caterer Amaze in Taste.

Rabbi Yosef Feldman

Rabbi Yosef Feldman

South Head Synagogue’s Rabbi Benzion Milecki, Jewish Learning Centre’s Rabbi David Blackman and Kehillat Masada’s Rabbi Gad Krebs are  now currently  providing a new interim hechsher for AIT.

Rabbi Yosef Feldman has provided the interim hechsher to AIT for the past year but has decided in the interests of the community he would agree to an alternative hechsher solution for AIT following the bad publicity he received resulting from his evidence at the Commission

A spokesperson for AIT said: “To ensure that the community would have no disruption of service he did not do so until a suitable alternative was found.

The new alternative became available after the Council of Orthodox Synagogues of New South Wales (COSNSW) asked Rabbis Milecki, Blackman and Krebsare to provide the interim hechsher pending the outcome of the recommendations made under the Kashrut Commission of Inquiry Report (KCI).”

He added: “AIT would like to publicly acknowledge and praise Rabbi Feldman for his valuable services for the past year.

Rabbi Feldman stepped in to assist AIT with an interim hechsher during a difficult time for the company and we are forever indebted to him for his friendship and support.

Whilst it is not in the purview of a catering company to comment about the recent publicity, we can emphatically state that Rabbi Feldman’s knowledge and integrity in the area of Kashrut have been an immeasurable asset to the company and allowed AIT to operate with the highest standards of both catering and Kashrut.

AIT welcomes the recommendations of the KCI report and looks forward to the implementation thereof at the earliest opportunity for the benefit of the entire community.”

Rabbi Yosef Feldman, currently spiritual head of Southern Sydney Synagogue in Allawah, has, as previously reported, resigned from all official and teaching positions within Chabad at the Sydney Yeshiva.


6 Responses to “Rabbi Yosef Feldman replaced as hechsher provider”
  1. Schneur Naji says:

    RabbiMotel Gutnick is excellent, he administers the Halochic side of Kashrut Australia Melbourne, the business side is run by a board appointed professional.
    He would be perfect as the senior Rav of a united Kashrut.

  2. Schneur Naji says:

    Our Kosher market is very small on a world scale.
    We need a unified Kashrut Authority between Melbourne and Sydney together with the smaller cities.
    I was in the US recently, it is dominated by national bodies like OU and OK.
    The costs of kosher in Australia are outrageous , twice to three time that of New York, Los Angeles or Miami.
    We need to create better economies of scale i.e. at the moment meat is slaughtered by four bodies it could be done by one and the list goes on and on.
    The old city by city supervision is broken and unnecessary.
    Even a new more open authority in Sydney will not achieve the goal of reducing prices, the consumers will still be asked to pay excessive amounts for the foods and especially their catering.
    I attended a wedding in LA it cost $55.00 a head, a top class meal in a great upscale venue, the same would cost $120.00 a head in Sydney, no wonder so few people are interested in Kosher.

    • Stephen Lewis says:

      Mr Naji,your comments are very interesting to say the least .where you refer to the cost of kosher in Australia being outrageous ,I am not sure which specific items you are REFERING to .
      If it’s meat ,perhaps you should look at a few web sites in the states & check out the prices .You will soon see that the australian product is extremely competative and generally a class above the US product .The range and variety far exceeds what is available in the US .One needs to be extremely mindful of the US minimum wage of around $5 per hour and the great proliferation of illegal labour at often even less than this whilst keeping in mind that our wage rates are around 4 times plus this rate before the addition of the realavant penalty rates where applicable .Therefore your consumption of CHEAPER products came as a result of your fellow man being paid a less than subsistance wage .
      I am not 100% sure if a unified Kashrus body sees better scales of economy or not .One would think that following the outcomes of the COSNSW inquiry that it is evident that there are potential cost saving ideas that have been proposed that if implemented & embraced would see a lowered price of some goods & services .Altough perhaps not ideal ,the availability of multiple hechsherim ,at least offers competition in the marketplace and a choice for consumers regarding various rabbinical standards to suit each individual’s needs .Your mention of a domination in the US of the supervision
      Business by the OU & the OK is perhaps a little simplistic .One needs to google kosher Authorities in the US and you will a virtual plethora of authorising authorities .

      • Schneur Naji says:

        Mr Lewis, as a frequent visitor to the US I am very aware of the Kosher market there. I shop at the Kosher supermarkets all the time.
        The national brands under Hechsher are very similar to those in Australia quality wise, however they are a 30-80% percent cheaper and obviously as the market size is huge the variety is many times larger.
        Regarding meat, lamb is of a superior quality in Australia, beef is superior in the States and chicken is on par.
        Last April I bought a chicken in Brooklyn for $9.25c two weeks later I bought in Australia exactly the same size for $21.50c.
        There many competing small Hechsherim in America, you are correct, you must appreciate however that there over one million kosher consumers there,in Australia I doubt there are more than 10,000.
        I believe competition is excellent as you do, however in the Australian Kosher it has not led to higher quality or lower prices.
        Specifically with Kosher slaughter, prices would be reduced if there was a bigger Schichtah in one location and there was some sort of communal oversight.
        The Addas community will always keep a separate Kashrut, they basically serve their own community in Melbourne.
        Bringing the dominant authorities together from Melbourne and Sydney would I sense help the consumer, there would beless Rabbinic costs, less back office costs.
        It goes without saying that workers should be paid fairly, as be both know President Obama is fighting for a substantial increase in the minimum wage.
        Strictly orthodox families, especially the larger ones are finding it increasingly impossible to pay their food bills in our communities.
        Making a wedding or Bar/Bat Mitzva costs an outrageous amount, I know “traditional” people who opt for an non kosher fish event because they cannot afford the price asked by the Kosher caters especially in
        Not everyone lives in Toorak or Vaucluse

  3. Schneur Naji says:

    The replacement of Rabbi Yosef Feldman was to be expected.
    I would like to know what indepth knowledge of practical Kashrut the three interim rabbis have.
    Where were they trained to supervise and oversee such a complex Halachic area.
    Because they are community rabbis and a learning centre director does not give them automatic expertise.
    Is it a case of “in the land of the blind, the one eyed is king”.
    An international organization like the OU should be asked to assist in the process as it moves forward.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      yes, Schneur, go for it, don’t let them foolya, next you be going to a simcha and the pretzels will be soggy or, woyse, the gefilte fish swimming in or WITH the horse radish !!!

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