Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Reform Rabbis Endorse Certification Plan

The organization of Reform rabbis endorsed a movement led by Conservative Jews to create an additional certification for kosher food that would show that the producer met ethical standards for the treatment of workers. In a resolution, the Central Conference of American Rabbis promised to work cooperatively with the movement known as Hekhsher Tzedek, meaning “justice certification,” to develop the new seal of approval, which would be applied only to food certified as kosher according to traditional Jewish dietary laws. It would confirm that the producer met certain standards for wages and employee safety. The resolution was evidence of a new interest in kosher practice by Reform Jews, who do not generally follow strict dietary laws. The Reform rabbis said reports of “abusive and unethical treatment of workers” at the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, were “particularly distressing.”

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