Synopsis: Allen Claims OU is Looking Forward to Appearing With Magen Tzedek


morris-allenOn Sunday, April 3, at the S. Paul JCC, Rabbi Morris Allen spoke about his Magen Tzedek “hechsher.” The Magen Tzedek initiative and the efforts of the likes of Morris Allen played an integral role in the eventual downfall of Agriprocessors and the lies spread about the kosher meat plant in Postville and its operators.

A show of support was expected to be present  to counter the lies Rabbi Allen has spread and continues to spread about Agri, R’ Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, and the Postville saga.

Read a pre-report about Allen’s speech here.

The following is a synopsis of Rabbi Allen’s remarks this past Sunday provided to by an attendee of the lecture:

Here’s a synopsis of the talk this morning.

The event was sponsored by the JCC. It was hosted by Rabbi Sharon Stiefel, Jewish Education Director at the JCC, and the talk was conducted in the form of an informal interview whereby Allen and Stiefel sat on a platform in the front of the room, in two armchairs and Stiefel asked Allen different questions.

She started by asking him how it all began and he said “in ’06 he got a call from his colleague Asher Zeilingold – did not refer to him as Rabbi- if he was interested in joining an initiative to bring kosher meat into Cooper’s supermarket. He said yes as long as there would be both glatt and non-glatt meat. His colleague said that would be fine because he gives the checksher on the non-glatt meat from Agriprocessors in Postville. (Stiefel asked Allen to explain the difference between glatt and non-glatt meat. He said glatt means smooth, no lesions on the lungs of the cow.) They then arranged to go to Postville to tour the plant and meet with Sholom Rubashkin/ upper management, Allen said he ( Allen ) was able to bring the price of kosher meat down, even though he himself has been a vegetarian since 1974.

Allen continued, when he met with Sholom Rubashkin/ upper management, there were three changes he asked to have happen, which they did not agree to do.

He then introduced the concept of what magen Tzedek stands for by quoting from vayikra and devarim the Pesukim that deal with the laws of kosher and the laws of how to treat one’s employees. That both sections are written in the same size letters and therefore carry the same significance

Stiefel then asked what came out of their trip to Postville?

Allen replied they looked at the corporate structure and how they dealt with waste by-products. He told a story about how when he was young where they lived in Nebraska, his mother had to kasher the meat and how she would salt the meat and then wash it down and all the blood would go down the drain. But when you are dealing with a company like Agri that was slaughtering 500 heads of cattle a day and 60,000 chickens, it needs to have proper waste management

We have to be stewards of the earth, Allen said, and address labor issues, whatever we do, can’t be at the expense of workers safety, too much focus of the smoothness of the lungs or those who are more concerned with microscopic bugs in aspargus instead of the workers in the field. We have to be “ohr the goyim”

Stiefel then said, we’ve come a long way since the labor abuses in the 1920’s,isn’t this the goverment responsibly? Allen replied that he met with some Iowa labor government official who said that OCEA has only has 17 people for the whole state and have no real way of monitoring what goes on in companies, and that they will only go into a company if they are called. This official said they would welcome something like Magen Tzedek.

Allen told over the story from Baba Metzia 83A to further emphasize the importance of fair treatment of workers, about porters who accidentally broke a keg of wine of their employer Rabbah who took their cloaks as collateral. They then went to Rav who told Rabbah to give them back their cloaks because that is the law, “so that you go on the path of good people” and then they said we are poor and have not been paid so Rav to Rabbah to pay them their wage and “keep the ways of righteous people.” And Allen added a quote from Mishlei about “going beyond the letter of the law.” It’s in our cultural DNA, he said

He said that Magen Tzedek deals with justice in the work place and they partnered with Social Accountability International – a social auditing firm – and
Professor Joe Regenstein – head of the food develoment department at Cornell – who works with the OU –

Allen continued Magen Tzedek is in the process of beta testing with 2 companies and a third one after Pesach. In May they will begin taking applications for certifications. Certification will involve a three step process – a desk audit, which the companies already have, then onsite visit from SAI and a rabbinical visit – cost will be $10,000-14,000 per certification audit. Currently, Allen said he is dealing with companies with $1.3 billion in kosher food sales. The product bearing the first Magen Tzedek seal will appear after Rosh Hashana.

Allen said that Rabbi Genack said he is looking forwarding to having Magen Tzedek next to the OU and Rabbi Genack also said that you ( Allen) is helping to restore a culture of kashrus in America.

Allen said Magen Tzedek means kosher food because the labor is ok. It’s a win/win situation. More people will buy this because of our work. Magen tzedek is a victory for the Jewish people. We are light unto the nations.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. i think we (the people who see through this ) will not purchase any product bearing the allen symbol.
    o u is ok
    all by itself no need for more

  2. We have to be stewards of the earth, Allen said, and address labor issues, whatever we do, can’t be at the expense of workers safety, too much focus of the smoothness of the lungs or those who are more concerned with microscopic bugs in aspargus instead of the workers in the field. We have to be “ohr the goyim”
    who dos he think he is to make fun of halcaha

  3. Rabbi Allen is doing the work of S'dom by officiating at a same gender marriage.
    In addition, he is choteh [sinning] umachteh [causing others to sin], a grievous sin, and certainly does not befit a rabbi.
    All this in addition for libel against Rabbi Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin. In connection with this he has acted as a malshin, something we ask to be protected from in our daily prayers. May hashem protect all of us from Rabbi Allen.

  4. Any company that signs on to this magen tzedek is a sad commentary on the company–that they would have dealings with a rabbi who does unethical libel and a malshin against his fellow Jew all under the guise of what he calls “sholom bayis”!

  5. So an “aid pasul” said R’ Genack is happy to see the Magen Eevus symbol next to the OU. Uh huh…If he did say it, I’m sure it was with a cheshbon. Sometimes the wisest way to win a fight is not to show up for it.

  6. I also was there on Sunday. This report is jumbled and unclear. You dont have to agree with Rabbi Allen but he did speak about the importance of kashrus throughout the talk