Volume 8 Number 76
                       Produced: Tue Aug 10  8:10:35 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Kashrut Organization "KOA"
         [Shimon Schwartz]
Kashruth and Minyon
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
KOA (3)
         [Arnold Lustiger, Hillel Markowitz, Adam Freedman]
Kosher in Switzerland  (v 0.1 8.August 1993)
         [Moshe E. Rappoport]
M&M Swiss Kashrut Supervision
         [Moshe E. Rappoport]


From: <schwartz@...> (Shimon Schwartz)
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 93 12:15:07 -0400
Subject: Re: Kashrut Organization "KOA"

  Shimon Schwartz (<schwartz@...>) replied:

  > I don't personally hold by them, but your mileage may vary.
  > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  Why?  Have you had a bad experience?  Have you personally investigated
  them or one of their products?  Has YLOR advised you?  Has some other
  LOR investigated them and given a reason for not considering them
  reliable?  Is your opinion based on scuttle-butt or facts?  Who is the
  administrator and what is his background?  Is this the only thing he
  does, or is this just a part time thing?

(1) I asked "Reuven" about this organization years ago.  He replied that
"Rabbi Levi," whom I trust implicitly, gave them a severely negative
recommendation.  Please excuse the runaround language: I have not
sought those individuals' permission to quote them publicly, and I will
not open myself up to a defamation lawsuit.

(2) Prior to that conversation, I wrote to a "half-moon-K"-supervised
company, inquiring about the hechsher.  The teudah that I received read
more like a Princeton diploma than kashrut certification.  I was not
impressed, and since then, have encountered no reason to trust their

(3) I have a number of friends and acquaintances who subscribe to this
mailing list [a tribute to Avi's work :-)].  I felt that merely
mentioning the organization name might lead them to believe that I
accept it [electronic mar'et ayin, nu?].  -All- that I said was that I
didn't personally accept it; I explicitly left open that others might.

  I noticed a question raised regarding a product supervised by the Delta
  (triangle) K.  This is Rabbi Ralbag's own personal company.

I believe that the triangle-K is now under R' Ralbag's -son-.
The reliability of the hashgacha might have changed.

  (snack cracker packages by _Austin_) containing "cheese".
  The ingredient listing said just that - no "K" Cheese, nothing. 

There's no reason that such a product must say "kosher cheese."
The only ingredient that I know of in this category
is "kosher gelatin."

I agree with Avi's comments that we should give thought to the global
impact of our personal notes.  I don't believe that my clarifying my own
position on hashgacha X, in and of itself, constitutes lashon
hara/hotza'at shem ra.  Nevertheless, I'm open to suggestions.

[I did not mean to imply so, Shimon. I was using the oppertunity raised
by the reply to your posting to raise the general issue. As both you and
Yosef later in this issue mention, to not allow such comments raises the
question of "electronic mar'et ayin" and "lifnei evair" [Basically,
either causing people to sin, or causing people to either think you are
sinning or that based on what you have done that is permitted, they will
come to do something that is not permitted].  It is, in my opinion, the
responsibility of the individual poster who makes such a statement to
weigh the "mar'et ayin" potential against the "lashon harah" potential.
If you don't use a hashgacha because of the opinion of a Rav you trust,
then I think it is a valid comment. If it is because someone once told
you a story about them that s/he heard from someone else etc, I would
hesitate to say we should rely on such a thing. The real issue in my
view goes far beyond kashrut though, and as the list gets larger, I just
want to remind people to take the time and make sure that what they say
is proper.  Avi Feldblum - Mod.]


From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 93 12:15:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Kashruth and Minyon

A. Kashruth

        If people cannot give their helpful comments to people who
otherwise might not be able to get info about Kashruth supervising
agencies on line, then I think that rather than editing contributions,
it would be a better public service NOT to post anything on Kashruth
organizations - both qers. Otherwise you are entering questions of
Lifnei Iver D'Oraisa.

B. Minyon

        I am a bit confused as to the discussion of minors and Sifrei
Torah in a regular weekday quorum. All these are, at best, she'as
hadechak suggestions. What extreme she'as hadechak exists in the
creation of a weekday minyan?


From: <alustig@...> (Arnold Lustiger)
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 93 10:18:56 -0400
Subject: Re: KOA

If KOA is indeed the same as half moon K, a rabbinic coordinator for the
OU (whose name I don't want to mention because of the possible legal
implications) and whose opinion I trust unreservedly has said that they
are entirely untrustworthy.  This is not a matter of interkashrus
organization rivalry, since he does trust the OK, chof-K and various
other supervising organizations.

Arnie Lustiger

From: <hem@...> (Hillel Markowitz)
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 93 15:18:22 -0400
Subject: Re: KOA

I called the Vaad Hakashrus of Baltimore back and the person who
answered doubled checked the information.  Apparently, my original
response was mistaken (KOA in a map is NOT Kosher Overseers which is
half moon K).

KOA inside a map of the US is Subsidiary of the Orthodox Association for
the Observance of Kashrus.  THe name of the Rabbi is Rabbi Meir Isaacson
of Passaic New Jersey.  The person who answered the Vaad Hakashrus
hotline told me that they don't have information on the hechsher.  The
vaad apparently will no longer say that a particular hechsher is "not
reccommended" unless they have precise and exact information of specific

Hillel Markowitz    <H_Markowitz@...>

From: <APF@...> (Adam Freedman)
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1993 9:04:19 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: KOA

In response to Leon Dworsky's query about objections to certain
hashgachot: I have attended numerous talks given by our LOR Kashrut
expert, Eliezer Eidlitz, who has a book out on the subject and operates
a kashrut hotline (accessible from Prodigy, I believe).  He is
particularly knowledgeable about West coast hashgachot.  His
organization does not supervise at all; it only provides a data base on
reliable and not- recommended agencies (and the rationale for the
recommendations).  As far as the KOA is concerned, it is a large Los
Angeles based kashrut organization, providing numerous hashgachot on
products in our supermarkets.  Unfortunately, it is not recommended by
any LOR that I have heard of.  Although the administrator is Orthodox
(i.e., it is not a "Conservative" hasgacha), it is the epitome of sloppy
oversight.  Numerous stories and examples abound of checks on particular
products with the half-moon K which are humorous but sad.  I have been
told that ALL half-moon K products need to be independently checked
(many of them are kosher, but despite, not because of, the hechsher).
IMHO, it is probably better than reading ingredients, but not much
(although it may be of great benefit to the non-orthodox kashrut
community.)  My knowledge (gleaned through R. Eidlitz's talks) of the
triangle-K is less complete.  It is in general a reliable hasgacha, but
he is lenient about either the source or transportation (I forget) of
vegetable oils.  Since more reliably certified products exist, it
appears better to use those.  Thus there is a qualitative and
significant difference between the triangle-K and the half-moon K.  I
don't half R. Eidlitz hot-line number handy, but it is available to
anyone to call.  There was even talk of him having or getting an e-mail

Adam Freedman (<apf@...>)


From: Moshe E. Rappoport <mer@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 93 16:56:19 SET
Subject: Kosher in Switzerland  (v 0.1 8.August 1993)


There is no Kosher symbol that can be found on foods sold in Switzerland.
The occasional OU,OK or similar Hechsher can sometimes be spotted on
imported goods sold in specialty food stores.

Since 1990, Kosher certification of foods produced without Hashgocho has been
centralized and a list is produced in German about 2-3 a year with
foods that can be bought without a Hechsher.  Items are added and removed
frequently, so you should only use a new list.


A limited number of products are produced under certification. These are
chocolates, cheeses, milk products nad certain Bakery items. These are
sold in the few Kosher shops in  Zurich, Basle, Lucerne, Geneva, Lausanne
and Lugano.

Several chain stores in the above cities also have kosher sections
where packaged goods with Swiss, Israeli, American and other European
Hechseherim are sold.

Zurich has 2 kosher butchers and 3 kosher baked good shops.
Basel  has 2 Kosher butchers and 1 bakery which carries some Kosher baked goods


There is no Chief Rabbi with the name of Rabbi Mordechai Piron residing
in Zurich (notwithstanding products bearing that Hechsher available outside
of Switzerland).

Because many European companies use Non-Kosher ingredients in the preparation
of innocuous products, it is strongly advisable to use only products known to
be Kosher (including bread, Canned/frozen vegetables, vegetarian/fish foods
yoghurts, tuna fish etc.)


Kosher Hotels (open seasonally):

                                  Phone Number

St. Moritz   Edelweiss               3 5533
Grindelwald  Silberhorn             53 2822
Engelberg    Marguerite             94 2522
CransMontana   ?                      ?
Arosa        Metropol               31 1058
Davos        Etania                 46 5404
Lugano       Dan                    54 1061

   Restaurants                     Phone Numbers

Basel        Topas                   271 8700
Geneva       Jardin rose (dairy)     311 6398
Zurich       Schalom                 201 1476
             Fein and Schein (dairy) 241 3040


I will (bli neder) update this list occasionally and will answer simple e-mail
questions (where I don't need to spend much time finding answers.)

You can also telephone me with simple questions.
01-202 97 48 (please remember that we are in Europe which is
6 hours ahead of the Eastern US).

Moshe Rappoport


From: Moshe E. Rappoport <mer@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 93 14:21:31 SET
Subject: M&M Swiss Kashrut Supervision

The Rabbi who gave these and many other Hechsherim on European Products
has left Switzerland and his Hechseherim are not recognized in Switzerland
and no longer in Israel either. This is the result of a concerted action
launched by many European Rabbonim from all across the spectrum after various
matters came to light.

When I was in Israel in May I still saw his stuff (which we don't use here)
in Supermarkets in Orthodox neighborhoods. Very sad.

M. E. Rappoport - Zurich Research Lab


End of Volume 8 Issue 76