The Kashrus scandal in the Chinese Restaurant
Are our restaurants and Kosher establishments really Kosher?
What can we do to ensure that these incidents don’t happen again?
Yom Hadin comes early for our Yeshivos!!
The New York State Board of Regents vote
How are we supposed to look at it?
Hear both sides of the debate
|My name is Yonah Gross and I am the Kashrus Administrator for Community Kashrus of Greater Philadelphia, sometimes known as the Keystone-K.This is the recognized kashrus organization of Philadelphia. Its Board consists of a number of its well-known community rabbis, including the Av Beis Din of Philadelphia, Rabbi Dov Brisman zt”l, who served as its president until his untimely passing this past week. We are proud members of AKO and are listed on the CRC and Kosherquest lists as a reliable hechsher.
I also happen to be the Rav of Congregation Beth Hamedrosh in Wynnewood, PA.
In the podcast that dropped this morning, around the 27:00 mark, Rabbi Shain made several statements about the Chinese restaurant in Cherry Hill. He was referring to Cherry Grill which we currently certify. We took over this hashgacha from the OK over a year ago with the support of the local rabbonim in Cherry Hill.
I would like to correct some of the comments that were made.
1. Cherry Grill is owned by Chao Lin. He started the restaurant, is the sole owner, and there are no outside investors. This was the understanding that the OK had when they owned it and it was confirmed to me by Chao after the Manalapan scandal broke. As this issue has come up again, I have asked him if he can find a document supporting this.
2. The certification of Cherry Grill has the full support of the Cherry Hill Rabbonim.
3. The certification was not ‘dropped’ by the OK. The OK transferred the hashgacha to us for reasons not related to kashrus. The OK has no record of any kashrus violations at Cherry Grill. They simply found it out of their range to easily check on regularly.
One more point that I would like to share is that the owner is rarely, if ever, in the restaurant. It is run by a manager. Our mashgiach is the only one with keys to the kitchen and the locks were redone recently.
There were some other issues that Rabbi Shain mentioned as being tricks that owners sometimes try, some of which surprised me. Our mashgiach shared with me how he accounts for the issues that were mentioned. Since the incident, we have taken steps to tighten the certification, particularly around the meat, and will continue to look for ways to strengthen it more.
Bottom line is that the rabbonim in Philadelphia and Cherry Grill stand behind our certification of Cherry Grill. I ask that you publicize this clarification. I have already communicated this to our local community but Cherry Grill has many customers from outside the Philadelphia/Cherry Hill Community.
I look forward to continuing to watch and learn from your efforts l’hagdil torah ulehadira.
I wish you a good Shabbos and a Chasima v’chasima tova.
I didn’t read the NYT article. One of the obvious reasons for so many on the dole is the fact that the dole is available. If it were not, they’d be earning for their families. (I will ignore that a certain percentage are earning but not reporting income). These able bodied people simply make the logical decision that accepting government monies and learning in kolel works for them and their families. The NYT simply doesn’t fargin them! When NYT advocates for greater government giveaways it has the black and brown communities in mind. How dare the chassidim take advantage of the publics generosity!
Also, with a strong small business environment in our communities it is easier for many to purposely structure their income in a fashion that allows the availing of snap Medicaid etc. This structuring and gaming the system is simply not available to most of america. Don’t Blame Kiyas yoel. Blame the system. Lo achbira ganiv, chura ganiv!
Gmar chasima tova