Chassidishe Rabbonim Sign Kol Koreh Against Pre-Pesach Price Gouging


kol-koreh-smallAssemblyman Dov Hikind and Mr. Alexander Rapaport of Masbia Soup Kitchen have joined forces to draft a ban prohibiting Pesach price gouging in the Orthodox Jewish community. This kol koreh, signed by 30 rabbonim – almost all chassidish – employs strong language. The headline declares, “One must be extra careful in circumstances where a monetary loss will be incurred.” States the kol koreh, “Now before Pesach, especially when the economy is so bad, we are reminding people of the halacha concerning monopolies.” The rabbonim further caution store owners to have mercy on the consumer all year around, but particularly at Pesach when there is so much need.

“And it is forbidden to take advantage of market prices before the Yom Tov and to raise prices without a justifiable reason,” warns the kol koreh.

In addition to the kol koreh, as reported here on, Hikind has secured commitments from major distributors to sell Pesach items at or below cost. Golden Flow, Mehadrin Dairy, Ahava Foods, and World Cheese Co., Inc. (Ha’olam) have all agreed to maintain their year-round pricing for Pesach. Reisman Bakery and Materna (the Israeli baby formula and food company) have each announced a 15 percent discount on all their kosher-for- Pesach products.

These distributors are among those praised in the kol koreh. “We were happy to hear that some stores and manufacturers listened to the poor in our community, and have either brought down prices or agreed not to raise them. The Ribono Shel Olam should bless their efforts and people should learn from them and replicate their actions.”

In explaining his reasoning behind the need for this kol koreh, Hikind said, “I do not begrudge any storeowner from making a living. I am just asking owners to have compassion and not to take advantage of people just because they can get away with it. I am hoping those who determine the prices will adhere to the kol koreh.”

The kol koreh organizers say that it was read and signed by each rov listed, following is a list of rabbonim who have affixed their names to the kol koreh:

-Rav Moshe Freidman, Satmar Dayan

-Rav Yechiel Mechil Steinmetz, Skver Dayan

-Rav Shlomo Gross, Belzer Dayan

-Rav Yecheskel Roth, Karlesburger Rov

-Rav Yitzchok Stein, Foltishan Dayan

-Rav Tzvi Hirsh Friedlander, Liske Rov

-Rav Avraham Friedlander, Hivnover Rov

-Rav Pinchas Shulom Hager, Viznitzer Rov

-Rav Menachem Mendel Rosenberg, Viznitzer Dayan

-Rav Shrage Favish Hager, Kosover Rebbe

-Rav Moshe Fogel, Gerer Dayan

-Rav Elya Fischer, Gerer rosh kollel

-Rav Yaakov Miller, Eizenshtater Rov

-Rav Avroham Chaim Steinwurtzel, Matei Efrayim Rov

-Rav Gavriel Tzinner, mechaber of Neitei Gavriel

-Rav Chaim Eluzer Freidman, Tenke Rov

-Rav Aron Glick, Kameniz Rov

-Rav Chaim Yeshuah Konig, Yokeh Rov

-Rav Moshe Menachem Weiss, Pupa Dayan

-Rav Yechiel Kaufman, Sfardish Shul Rov and Executive Director of BPJCC    -Rav Yakov Perlow, Novominsker Rebbe

-Rav Moshe Wolfson, rov of Emunas Yisroel and mashgiach of Torah Voda’as           – Rav Yaakov Yisroel Rubin, Brizdovitzer Rov

-Rav Psachaya Fried, rov of Bnei Yisroel

-Rav Shulem Yosef Chaim Hacohen Fried, Krasne Rov

-Rav Aron Wieder, Linzer Rov

-Rav Yisroel Dovid Bik, Nachlas Moshe

-Rav Benzion Hacohen Strasser, Nitra Dayan

-Rav Gershon Tenenbaum, Linben Hights Rov

-Rav Yaakov Horowitz, Rosh Yeshivas Beis Meir and rov of Telzer Minyan

kol-korehAs part of his ongoing campaign to fight Pesach price inflation, Hikind’s office also conducted a survey over the last six weeks to determine if storeowners are capitalizing on consumers in one of the worst financial climates in recent history. Basic Pesach items such as sugar, coffee, and quartered chicken, among other products were surveyed.

In Brooklyn, a 5lb bag of kosher-for- Pesach Domino sugar sold from $2.79 to $3.69, while Gefen, CRC, and Lieber’s sugar sold for as much as $6.99 a bag depending on the store and the certification. The same held true for a 7oz. can of coffee. Under its own label, the price for kosher-for- Pesach Taster’s Choice ranges between $7.49 and $9.99. On cans which feature an added certification, the price jumped to as high as $14.45 per container. Other brands like Maxwell House, Elite, and Lieber’s were even cheaper than either Taster’s Choice options at most Brooklyn stores.

Surprisingly, the price for quartered chicken remained fairly static from February to March in Brooklyn with prices hovering near $2.69/lb or slightly higher. Some stores even dropped their prices by as much as 50 to 70 cents per pound in March. Queens residents saw a forty cent increase per pound in three of their major stores, with a much smaller, per-pound increase in the Five Towns.

“My advice to every consumer shopping this Pesach is ‘buyer beware,’ said Hikind. “While it may be inconvenient to patronize several different stores this Passover, the overall savings will definitely add up.”

{Elisha Newscenter}


  1. Why are the signatures only Chassidish rabbanim? or is this something that Litvish rabbanim feel is not necessary for a kol koreh….(and are probably correct)

  2. To Volozhin:
    The reason is – that all the companies listed above are owned by Chassidim! Including all the Matzah bakeries!

  3. why don’t you list the names of the stores that
    are cooperating with the kol korea. I went shopping today and didn’t see any prices slashed. The price of chicken is crazy.

  4. Kol haKavod lahem! The old excuses – it costs so much to produce and it sells for such a short time – are worn out. This Kol Koreh is a true manifestation of ahavas Yisroel and concern for both the less fortunate economically and those who are blessed with large families (and sad to say many who are both).