Kosher Scandal Hits Los Angeles Market

This piece was first published in the Forward.

Is it Kosher?: Meat at the popular Los Angeles market, Doheny, may not be kosher.

Is it Kosher?: Meat at the popular Los Angeles market, Doheny, may not be kosher.

Los Angeles Jews are reeling from a kosher meat scandal that hit the community on Sunday, just a day before the beginning of Passover.

In what The Jewish Journal is calling “the biggest kosher scandal to hit Los Angeles in 20 years,” Doheny Glatt Kosher Meats on Pico Boulevard, in the heart of the city’s Orthodox neighborhood, lost its kosher certification from the Rabbinical Council of California after owner Mike Engelman was videotaped instructing workers to bring boxes of product in to the store when a mashgiach (kashrut supervisor) was not present.

The news of Doheny’s being stripped of its certification made the local 10 p.m. television news on Sunday. The KTLA report showed the surveillance video made by private investigator Eric Agaki, who had been looking into operations at the market for several months in response to rumors that had been circulating about problems there. Agaki, who also uncovered 5,000 fraudulent “glatt kosher” stickers that could be affixed to any package, conducted his investigation independent of the RCC.

RCC staff members, Rabbi Kalman Topp, the spiritual leader of Beth Jacob, the largest Orthodox synagogue in Pico-Robertson, Rabbi Elazar Muskin of Young Israel of Century City and Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky of B’nai David-Judea gathered with other Orthodox leaders to view the videotapes only hours before they were set to be broadcast on KTLA.

Engelman, who was called in to speak with the rabbis, admitted to bringing unsupervised food into the store, which as been in business for 28 years. However, he maintained that he never brought un-kosher meat into the store, and that the boxes seen on the video contained kosher chicken.

The RCC issued an email announcement that it had “removed its kosher supervision, for cause, from Doheny Kosher Meats,” but that all meat purchased before 3 p.m. on Sunday was still considered kosher.

Click here to read more.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

 

 

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/174029/kosher-scandal-hits-los-angeles-market/#ixzz2OxbHDhqU

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