The Absolute Need to Maintain the Office of Kosher Law


nys-senator-matin-j-goldenBy NYS Senator Matin J. Golden

New York State’s kosher laws date back to the 1800’s. With the Governor  Paterson’s intended 95% budget reduction for the Division of Kosher Law Enforcement, he is effectively eliminating it. Imagine a police force that is restricted from doing regular patrols because of budget cut-backs. Would anyone seriously call it a police force?

Should Governor Paterson go ahead with his proposed Kosher Law Enforcement 95% cut back, New York States’ prominence in kosher food production will have lost consumer confidence. Kosher integrity is the result of kosher inspectors doing their job. Without that integrity, New York State’s kosher food manufacturers will lose their main appeal to the kosher consumer.

At this critical time in our economy, New York State cannot afford to lose its huge share of kosher food revenues. At a time when we should be looking to capitalize on the virtues of our State, we must not undermine our stature. We cannot diminish our envied position in the kosher market. A loss of sales will result in the loss of jobs, something that is totally unacceptable at this time.

New York State has been the home of kosher food manufacturing since 1654, when Jews first set foot in America, disembarking from ships that brought them specifically to then New Amsterdam, today the City of New York. I cannot accept that the Governor will choose, during his historic tenure, to relinquish our more than 350 year lead in kosher manufacturing. Together with all forward looking citizens of the State of New York, we encourage the Governor to maintain our meaningful position of kosher food
leadership and to restore, in full, the budget of the Division of Kosher Law Enforcement.

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  1. I commented on the last article on this subject by expressing my view that the proposed budget reduction will have virtually no effect on the seriously kosher consumer. The remarks attributed to Senator Golden betray a deep malaise in our state government, far outweighing the pros an cons of this issue.
    Senator Golden,like most other state legislators, have little knowledge of the workings of our State government. The kosher enforcement inspectors have no impact on the marketability of Kosher foods manufactured in this state. To the extent that kosher products are manufactured in this state, particularly for the export to other states and countries, the hashgacha on the product, is the only determining factor as to whether the product will be bought by consumers, both here and abroad. The customer looks for an OU or an OK, or similar hashgacha. Where the product was manufactured is irrelevant.
    I, of course, do not expect our legislators to share our religious beliefs or practices. However, I do expect them not to pander to what they perceive as those beliefs rather than basing their positions on the facts.
    New York is in a deep budget crisis. It got there, in large measure, by legislators basing their positions and on what sounds good at the moment rather than basing their positions on facts. Multiply the press release by Senator Golden by the number of Senators and the number of issues and you have a budget crisis.

  2. No question about it, Senator Golden definitely understands clearly what kosher means to different peoples and what it means to New York State. He was an architecht of the present kosher law and demands that kosher law office be maintained. He definitely re-earned my vote !!!!

  3. I dont believe the kosher enforcers have anything to do directly with kosher food production. They aren’t mashgichim but simply enforce that if any food establishment, hospital etc. claim to be kosher– they indeed are kosher according to someone kosher authority’s standards.

  4. I can declare Bacon Kosher and the State Authority won’t do a thing to stop me from selling it as Kosher.

    Tell me again what purpose they serve.

  5. There are only three people that currently hold jobs at this kosher office. The budget runs in the millions per year and it’s a total waste of tax payers money and just plain waste.

  6. I know that the office of Kosher Law Enforcement is absolutely needed. Just because the heimishe community thinks they rely only on “reliable” kashrus certifications, it is not the heimisha communities that are the overwhelming most consumers of the 200 billion dollars of kosher certified food in America. Halal eaters, vegetarians, lactose intolerant, etc., etc., buy much more. New York is the absolute biggest manufacturer of kosher food in America. Also, NYS Kosher Law Enforcement has the power to impound deliberately falsely presented un-kosher food in New York, something no-one else can, not even the Badatz of Yerushalayim. When the Monsey scandal erupted, it was the Kosher Law Enforcement that had to step in and determine that a major scandal had been caused by a heimisha vendor using a heimisha kosher certification. Where would we have been at if not for Kosher Law Enforcement? We’d all still be singing and dancing at simchas eaing meat provided by that heimisha vendor and his heimisha hashgoca – chas ve’sholom. Let the Governor fully fund the office. Thank you Senator Marty Golden !!

  7. This is really simple. 1: Outside of Boro Park-Flatbush-Monsey, most kosher consumers don’’t wear black hats or wigs. They are halal, lactose intolerant, Budhists, vegeterians, and quality concious consumers. They rely on kosher certifications for health, religious, and quality reasons; 2: New York is the single largest kosher food producing state, second only to the State of Israel. The name New York is synonimous with kosher. If you’’d see a product called New York Bagels or New York Meat, you’’d automatically assume it is kosher; 3: ONLY the office of NYS Kosher Law Enforcement has the authoity of seize misrepesented non-kosher food, i.e. the Monsey scandal was undone ONLY by the office of NYS Kosher Law Enforcement having been able to seize and impound the chickens which they tested and proved to be un-kosher. Deliberate misrepresentation of food products being kosher can only be stopped in its tracks and thrown into jail by NYS Kosher Law Enforcement, not by the OU, OK, KofK, StarK, or the Badatz; 4: NYS Kosher Law Enforcement, alone, has the power to seize mis-labled and mis-represented non-Kosher foods being imported into New York (through which most of such foods come). These, and a whole lot more, are reasons for the office to be continued its full funding. Thank you Senator Golden !!!!

  8. Again, I could register a mark with the State of New York, and call Bacon Kosher, and the NYS Kosher Law Enforcement could do absolutely nothing to stop me.

    Not a thing.

    I could still call it Kosher, and they would nod and let me do it.