Mayer Fertig of the Jewish Star is reporting that…
It is at the insistence of the Orthodox Union that Sholom Rubashkin is to be replaced as chief executive officer of Agriprocessors, the kosher meatpacking giant his father, Aaron Rubashkin, founded,
The Jewish Star has learned.
"We have said that if there were criminal culpability that we would withdraw our supervision," said Rabbinic Administrator Rabbi Menachem Genack in an interview Tuesday. "The OU spoke to the company to say that we would suggest –– for lots of reasons –– that they should look for professional management."
No indictments of Agriprocessors, Inc. officers had been announced as of Tuesday afternoon.
Last Friday, after 270 of his employees were convicted of violating immigration law and sentenced to five months in prison, Aaron Rubashkin announced that his son would be replaced as chief executive.
"The best course of action for the company, its employees, the local community [in Postville, IA] and our customers is to bring new leadership to Agriprocessors," Mr. Rubashkin said in a news release.
Several calls for boycotts of Rubashkin products –– including at least one by an Orthodox rabbi in Washington, D.C. –– have largely gone unheeded.
"They're an important source of supply," Rabbi Genack noted. "Without them on the market prices would go up significantly.
Let's put this in English:
- The OU was forced by public outrage to say that it would remove its supervision from Agriprocessors if the company's management was indicted and charged with felony counts related to the ICE immigration raid and the related extortion, child labor and RICO allegations.
- The OU does not want to remove its supervision.
- Aaron Rubashkin and his family do not want the OU to remove its supervision.
- Solution? Have Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin "replaced" as CEO.
- Of course, there's a hook to this the OU and the Rubashkins hope you'll miss – Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin is also Agriprocessors Vice President and holds other corporate offices, as well.
- Further Aaron Rubashkin was directly involved in some of these criminal acts and may himself be charged, and the same holds true for other family members including Heshy Rubashkin. Aaron is Agriprocessors president. Heshy is a director.
- In other words, Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin "steps down" as CEO (but retains his control behind the scenes), the OU leaves on its supervision, and everybody is happy ever after.
If this is indeed what transpires, the OU must be made to pay a very steep price – a price at least as steep as it paid in the Baruch Lanner affair.
Nothing less than the ouster of Rabbi Menachem Genack and the OU's entire kashrut and lay leadership should be acceptable.
[Hat Tip: Chaim Yankel.]