So, what does this mean? The 'esteemed' haredi rabbis of Monsey, New York are forcing a non-Jewish restaurant owner out of business. She has, I'm told, no kashrut problems. Just like that haredi rabbis have destroyed her life's work, and have apparently done so without any compensation to her.
This means that even if all employees, including all cooks, are Orthodox Jews, Monsey's rabbis will not allow the restaurant to be certified kosher. The same holds true if there is a mashgiach temidi (a full-time Orthodox Jew on premises to assure the food is kosher and to light all fires, etc.).
Who stands to gain from this? It would seem competing Jewish-owned restaurants and food establishments. I've also been told the rabbis themselves will gain financially by this move, although I have no proof of this.
I haven't had time to do any reporting on this yet, but I've been inundated with emails over the last two days asking me cover this. Many people deserve hat tips for this story. I'll try to add them all in as soon as I have time and have secured each one's permission.
UPDATE 9:40 AM – A reader writes:
Wok N Take Out is a kosher Chinese restaurant, located in greater Monsey (in Wesley Hills, the next door village, but completely in the grasp of Rabonim and their tentacles) which remains owned by a gentile (they have a mashigiach tmidi).