The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has named Rabbi Aaron Metzger of Monsey, NY as the new head of the Kosher Law Enforcement Division. In a statement, the Department noted: “As part of his duties, he will work to protect consumers by ensuring compliance with the certification, record keeping and signage requirements relating to kosher food, and maintaining the Department’s online kosher databases. He will also serve as a representative of the Department during meetings and conferences on matters concerning the Kosher Law Protection Act.” Rabbi Metzger will be based out of the Department’s Brooklyn office. Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets Ron Rausch said, “Rabbi Metzger will work closely with our Division of Food Safety to enforce the statutory consumer protection provisions relating to kosher products.”
Rabbi Metzger replaces Rabbi Luzer Weiss who resigned several weeks ago to pursue other interests. The Division once had a cadre of inspectors who fell victim to state budget cuts in the waning days of the Pataki administration. While some criticized the Department of Agriculture for dismissing the inspectors, the State agency has trained state safety inspectors to be vigilant about requirements under the State’s Kosher Law Protection Act. Kosher law enforcement in New York state has always been under the microscope as New York is believed to account for almost half of the nation’s kosher food sales of $12 billion.
Rabbi Metzger was ordained in 2000 by the late Rabbi Avrohom Pam from Yeshiva and Mesivta torah Vodaath and has a Masters Degree in Educational Administration He worked in kosher certification on the West Coast as a leading rabbi for kashrus administration in Northern California. He also has a background in education.