Lawsuit From Rabbi Claims Manischewitz Has Been Compromising Its Kosher Standards

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Rabbi Horowitz, the longtime kosher supervisor for Manischewitz, claims that the company has weakened its kosher guidelines

According to a lawsuit filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court, Manischewitz began relaxing its kosher standards in 2009, and its certification company looked the other way.

Manischewitz, the New Jersey-based, longtime maker of kosher products including matzo and wine, has been sued by its former kosher supervisor, Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz, for compromising its kosher guidelines since at least 2009.

Furthermore, according to documents filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the certification company that employed the rabbi, consciously ignored the decline in standards because it feared that Manischewitz would simply find another certification organization.

Before his termination, Horowitz was the kosher supervisor for Manischewitz for more than 20 years.

The “Orthodox Union has violated the public trust by failing and refusing to abide by its established guidelines for certifying certain products manufactured by Manischewitz as kosher,” the lawsuit alleges.

When the rabbi attempted to voice his concerns, Manischewitz reportedly responded by making his “performance impossible.” If he intended to keep his job, Rabbi Horowitz was given the “clear, but unstated message” that he should continue to do everything in his power to keep Manischewitz happy, even if this meant compromising his personal religious principles.”

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The Orthodox Union Kosher Division responded to the lawsuit by calling it “suspiciously timed” and “entirely without merit.”