Yes folks if its wednesday it means that Jewish Week Reporter Stewart Ain has posted his weekly story on the adventures of the 5Towns Vaad and their battle to strong arm Gourmet Glatt out of Business. After weeks of this on going controversy we still do not know why the Vaad is trying to put this family owned business out on the street.
Ain confirms that the Five Towns Vaad has told Gourmet Glatt Emporium that it would resume supervision of the kosher supermarket if the owners brought in a partner it could approve.
And the best part about it is that someone representing the Vaad actually spoke out in the open instead of using the rumor method that they have been practicing over the last few weeks:
“The only way the Vaad will physically supervise the premises wherein Gourmet Glatt is located is if it will have a partner it will trust, [thereby] ensuring kashrut to the Five Towns community,” said Franklyn Snitow, the Vaad’s lawyer.
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In the meantime, the once-bustling store is largely empty as area rabbis who make up the Vaad counsel against shopping there — and two other area kosher supermarkets appear to have benefited.
Mark Bolender, a partner in the store, said at the time that the owners acted after the Vaad threatened to pull their supervisors on Feb. 1 unless they sold their store. He attributed the threat to a “personality” conflict.
But Snitow suggested otherwise when asked about an article last week that quoted a family representative as complaining about the “Vaad’s growing stringencies” that Bolender considered unnecessary.
Hey Rabbis which stringencies? Maybe it will help your community trust you more if you explained…and as Rabbis not behind the cloak of an attorny. At the very least it is an opportunity to teach more about Kasrut. How bout it Rabbis? The Talmud is an open document, why isn’t the reason for this ruling made public. Or is there something you are trying to hide?
Some of those shopping at his store recently declined to give their names to a reporter who stopped them to ask about the controversy. But they all appeared indignant about the Vaad’s decision.
“How could the Vaad force them to sell?” said one elderly woman. “They just renovated this store and they are honest. Of course I trust them. My husband was a rabbi and I’ve been shopping here 14 years. … I just feel so badly for them.”
Another person who refused to give his name said simply, “Maybe because the store is bigger they thought they could get more money from him.”
“The ayatollah has come,” another woman said sarcastically as she pushed a basket full of groceries and several rib roasts. “I’m here today just because of this controversy.”
Lenny Koegel of Oceanside said it might have been simply that “the rabbis were insulted” that another kosher supervisor was hired. “The food here is kosher,” he said. “[The conflict is] going to leave a bad taste in the mouths of the more modern people in this community.”
Hey Lenny if I didn’t live a few hundred miles away…I would join you! The Best Comment in Ain’s story was:
“It goes to the sociology and economy of this community and of how you practice your Judaism,” she said. “Integrity is just not about whether you shortchange people, it’s about how you treat people. … It’s an embarrassment to the community because it’s Jew against Jew.”
Do you hear that Vaad Rabbis ! It is an embarrasment to your community, you take away someone’s livelyhood,a family that has been part of the community for 40+ years, you do it in a public manner and you won’t tell your community why!