To our Beloved Five Towns and Far Rockaway Community,

Our community is very unique in that we have a hashgocha where the kashrus professionals work under the auspices of the community Rabbonim. In the day to day running of our Vaad, the kashrus professionals answer to a rotating board of community Rabbonim and lay leaders reflecting a broad cross-section of the community.

There is a great advantage in having a single universally recognized hashgocha in a community. In communities with competing hashgochas, the consumer is often ill informed of the specific reliability of each kashrus organization, which leads to confusion, and inevitably lower standards of kashrus. Our community is unique in that any community
resident or visitor, who sees the certificate of the Vaad Hakashrus of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway, can eat without any hesitation as to the quality of the kashrus. Due to the transparency through which the Vaad operates, even a consumer who accepts stricter standards, can know with certainty whether a given establishment is appropriate for him.

Two Rabbonim in the community have recently formed a new hashgocha, the “Mehadrin of the Five Towns” which certifies FiveFifty Restaurant and Shoppe, Chimichurri Charcoal Chicken, and Keneret Fresh Market.

We have no personal ill feeling toward the Rabbonim who provide the hashgocha, and are always open to consider and incorporate opposing views to enhance the kashrus standards of our community. However, after careful consideration, we cannot in good conscience, recommend that one rely on this hashgocha.

We are aware that kashrus issues are often contentious, and can easily lead to discord within a community. However, we feel strongly that maintaining high standards of kashrus is best accomplished when the vast majority of the community Rabbonim volunteer their time to direct our kashrus professionals, with no motive other than ensuring the best interest of our community. This is done by Rabbonim who have nothing to gain other than enhancing the religious life in our community. When the field of kashrus is opened up to those who do not collaborate with the vast majority of community Rabbonim, there will be an inevitable decline in both standards and unity. We therefore discourage the members of our community in the strongest terms, from patronizing local food establishments that are
not under the hashgocha of the Vaad of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway.

As a rule, it is worthwhile to remember that if one sees an unfamiliar hashgocha it is wisest to consult with your trusted local Rabbonim for guidance, just as you do for all religious matters. The established Rabbonim of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway have earned the trust of its residents over many decades of selfless service and dedication.

It would be tragic to throw this valuable relationship away in one of the most important areas of Judaism. With heartfelt prayers that our sincere efforts to enhance kashrus and religious life in our community are successful.

We, the 53 undersigned Rabbonim,
Rav Shalom Axelrod
Rav Hershel Billet
Rav Yaakov Bender
Rav Dovid Bender
Rav Eli Biegeleisen
Rav Yisroel Meir Blumenkrantz
Rav Meir Braunstein
Rav Moshe Brown
Rav Dov Bressler

Rav Pinchas Chatzinoff
Rav Shaul Chill
Rav Shaya Cohen
Rav Ariel Edelstein
Rav Aaron Feigenbaum
Rav Eytan Feiner
Rav Yaakov Feitman
Rav Binyomin Forst
Rav Yitzchok D. Frankel
Rav David Friedman
Rav Aryeh Zev Ginzberg
Rav Daniel Glatstein
Rav Dr. Aaron Glatt
Rav Kenneth Hain
Rav Simcha Hopkovitz
Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Horowitz
Rav Yudi Jeger
Rav Yehuda Kamravapour
Rav Mottel Katz
Rav Moshe Zev Katzenstein
Rav Aryeh Lebowitz
Rav Simcha Lefkowitz
Rav Yoni Levin Rav Avi Miller
Rav Jonathan Muskat
Rav Motti Neuburger
Rav Uri Orlian
Rav Ephraim Polakoff
Rav Zvi Ralbag
Rav Isaac Rice
Rav Shay Schachter
Rav Pesach Schmerling
Rav Yehuda Septimus
Rav Dovid Spiegel
Rav Mordechai Stern
Rav Moshe Teitelbaum
Rav Ya’akov Trump
Rav Moshe Weinberger
Rav Pinchus Weinberger
Rav Akiva Willig
Rav Shmuel Witkin
Rav Eliyahu Wolf
Rav Zalman Wolowik
Rav Mordechai Yaffe

8 COMMENTS

  1. This article is an abhorrence and should be taken down!!! The fact is, that some of the signing Rabbonim were not even told who the Rabbonim comprising the Mehadrin Vaad are – they are absolute geonim! One of which is the Rav Hamachshir for the Bayswater Eruv and sits on the Halacha Hotline, the other is a Dayan on the Choshen Mishpat Beis Din of Brooklyn. Their resume is long and deep…much longer than some of the bar mitzvah boys who signed on the letter…..With the exception of the real Rabonim that did NOT sign the letter, it is fair to say, that Rav Eliyahu and Rav Silberberg are head and shoulders above the ones that actually did sign the letter.
    At least BH they got the season right….sinas chinam is a Tamuz / Av celebration……SHAME ON ALL OF YOU!!!

  2. Disgusting. Shameful. Mafia. Scare tactics. And people wanna know why the world is going crazy. Orthodox Jews are crazy. I live in the 5 Towns for 30 years; new levels of BS for the Rabbonim.

  3. All the rabbis that signed should step down they are not real rabbis on start of 3 weeks to sign.and sent out such a letter.a letter of hatred to other rabbis this is why there is still a 3 weeks
    Rabbis should be leading not acting like this
    New leadership is needed in 5 towns

  4. It’s not horrible comments about Rabbonim, as you should be aware that in in the kashrus arena “the players must be very nizhar in “netilas-yu’dayim”
    Where one hand washes the other hand.
    53 Rabbonim signed, so what does that say?

  5. The best way to upgrade a kashrus Organization is with serious competition, not with being observant in “Ne’tilas-yu’dayim” where one hand washes the other hand.

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