Yudel Shain on Doheny Kosher Scandal in LA

In a set of two posts (here and here) Yudel Shain makes some interesting points about the Doheny kosher meat scandal in Los Angeles. Shain makes a good case for negligent lax kosher supervision driven by profit concerns. He suggests that the kosher supervision agency at fault, the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) minimized the violation when it was detected and rushed through the sale to Rechnitz, the son-in-law of Rabbi Yisroel Belsky for financial motives. If Doheny was out of business for a while, the competing kosher purveyors under supervision of other agencies would have picked up too much of the business thereby depriving the RCC of their income from kosher supervision. I do not know the truth but I find the allegation very plausible.

While kosher agencies make it a fetish to pronounce themselves not-for-profits, Shain points out the income of the operations still funds agency salaries, and the more income the higher the salaries can go, especially for those in charge. I would add that the same is increasingly true of yeshivas in the haredi world. Legally they are not-for-profits. However they are always inherited by the founding families even if there is no formal legal basis for this practice. In contrast many more modern orthodox institutions are not-for-profits genuinely controlled by their boards. But most haredi yeshivas are businesses disguised at not-for-profits for tax purposes.

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3 thoughts on “Yudel Shain on Doheny Kosher Scandal in LA

  1. It is well known that the RCC requires all its vendors to purchase ONLY from an RCC approved butcher. I.e., all the resturants, caterers and hotels were required, as a condition of receiving RCC hechsher, to purchase from a particular butcher. The only RCC butcher in LA is Doheny. Moreover, as a result, Doheny was the biggest meat distributor in LA. A resturant that purchased from another vendor would lose RCC hechsher. Thus, there is only one logical conclusion. RCC saw the immense financial loss as a result of not having a butcher. Therefore, they requested Rechnitz to purchase so that Doheny can remain operational and the RCC doesnt lose its kickback.

    • This is an interesting fact I did not know. Thank you. It is outrageous. I understand an approved list of sources, but not an exclusive list. Surely there must be some other hasgachoh they can trust, maybe even one whose mashgichim are not AWOL.

      But of course this not about kashrus but about power and money.

  2. “…But of course this not about kashrus but about power and money…..”

    Sickening isn’t it? Basically an extortion racket. They are exemplars of every miserable, rotten characteristic that antisemites nonselectively attribute to Jews in general. Holiness and/or morality is noteworthy for its absence from such people’s lives and dealings.

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