First Heksher Tzedek, Now Tav HaYosher


uri-ltzedek1[Videos below.] 36 food establishments have been granted a new ethical seal, Tav HaYosher, for treatment of their workers, according to a report in the Forward. The ethical seal was issued by Uri L’Tzedek, an “Orthodox social justice organization.”  The document is granted in recognition of “work practices that respect the pay, time, and dignity of its workers.”

According to the owners of a few Manhattan kosher establishments who spoke to the Forward, the Tav HaYosher seal has gotten them business and “been a draw for customers aware of the importance of ethical work standards.” Started less than a year ago, the Tav HaYosher is now displayed in three dozen establishments in five states.

Uri L’Tzedek asks eateries to meet basic labor laws, meaning that employees must be paid minimum wage, not work excessive hours and have a safe, clean environment. Other social justice concerns, such as providing workers with health care, are not part of the standards. Neither is a stipulation that the workers are here legally. In this, the Tav HaYosher hews closer to the guidelines set forth recently by the Rabbinical Council of America, the national organization of Orthodox rabbis, which suggests that the producers of kosher meat also abide by the law. Another type of ethical seal that has been embraced by the Conservative establishment, the Magen Tzedek, is more activist in its approach, calling for a wide range of social justice measures that go above and beyond just respecting basic legal standards.

Shmuly Yanklowitz is founder and president of Uri L’Tzedek and Dani Passow is the chief compliance officer of Uri L’Tzedek.

Yanklowitz said that 40 compliance officers have been trained to visit restaurants with the seal so that they could check on them. The frequency of inspections varies from monthly to once every two or three months. 

Yanklowitz admitted that for most of the owners who get the seal, the main motivation is their own business interests.

Click on the videos below for more on Tav HaYosher:

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{See more at The Forward.}

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  1. You are comparing this to the Hechsher Tzedek which is conservative and we know what their goals are. Is this also from that source or from a more wholesome motivation?

  2. Not counting the motivation of those behind this “heksher”, the customers who consider this as something probably stems from their Neshoma- which wants proper food. Unfortunate that it’s being channeled this way and not for kosher

  3. I would be quicker to rely on an establishment with a Kosher Hechsher then one with the same Kosher Hechsher that also also has this “Heksher”! Vihameivin Yuvin!

  4. “Is Rabbi Ari Weiss any relation to Rabbi Avi Weiss?”

    I don’t know if he is a relative, but this org. is a project of Avi Weiss’ “yeshiva” YCT.

  5. Why? Because you are against treating people decently?
    A true Tzaddik, is careful not to even give an impression of impropriety, much less commit one. If all these posters can’t understand this, they are beyond help.

  6. Dear Censor:
    I am comment #8. What was so offensive to you that you found the need to abrogate what I wrote?
    The tradition of censorship you practice is part of a fine mesora going back to the christian censors of the talmud and other jewish literature, through the communist russians, the Nazis, Chavez and other assorted dictators. They all feared what you seem to fear, truth. So instead of having a respectful debate, the easiest thing to do is to shut out the other debator. Shame on you.

  7. What are you talking about? All this food is kosher. But according to your reasoning how an animal is slaughtered is more important than how the slaughterer is treated. Your values are as perverse as PETA, who value animals more than people.

  8. Okay for starters, these people are standing up for the rights of ILLEGAL ALIENS, who when it comes to the frum Jews, they are always the ones preaching dina dmalchusa dina.

    In addition, rechilus against a Jew is mutter? One worker in Iowa cries about how she was treated and we take that as a fact over all the proofs of how well Yidden there treated Jew and non-Jew alike. And proportionaly to the numbers of workers they had, there should have been dozens of testimonials on how the company abused the workers. One woman is nisht kein kinz. In the best circumstances you will always have a disgruntled human being.
    In addition, no one was tying her to the meat plant, if she didn’t like it she could’ve left.

    Could Jews start working on their own middos quietly without trying to impress the world around them how nice we really are?

    These are liberal wolves in sheeps clothing, hiding under a hechsher.

    And besides, with all the hechsheirim,I don’t think there’s room for any more competition.

  9. To #8, no i do believe its important to treat everyone good, my point was that the people that would get such a Hecksher are usually not people i would trust. This isn’t bec its not important to treat people right, but rather bec the people who make this their central issue usually are not doing it for the right purpose. Now is not the time or place to get into this idea, that is why i ended with my comment of Vihameivin Yuvin.