Even though Agriprocessors, the Rubashkin family's Postville slaughterhouse, was open for business yesterday, one day after the largest immigration raid in the modern history of the United States, the effects of the raid…
…appear devastating. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette:
…[Postville schools Superintendent Dave Strudthoff] said 90 percent of the Latinos at Postville High School were not in class Tuesday. He did not have the number of students that represented.
Interestingly, the number of Latino students not in school dropped dramatically as their ages dropped:
One-third of the Latino children in kindergarten through eighth grade were not in class, approximately 150 students.…
Meanwhile, KTTC reports on the economic impact for Postville itself:
… Agriprocessors, Postville may not survive.
Robert Penrod, Postville Mayor, says, "It leaves basically 2/3 of the housing empty. It will leave basically 95-percent of the downtown empty."…
The Cedar Rapids Gazette also reports on the impact on the Orthodox and kosher-keeping Jewish community:
Kosher consumers are bracing for shortages after Monday's immigration raid at the Postville plant of Agriprocessors Inc.
"When I saw that, I went, 'Oh my goodness,'" said Arlene Mathes-Scharf, a Sharon, Mass., food scientist whose Web site (www.kashrut.com) tracks recalls and follows trends in the kosher market. "They're the largest supplier of kosher beef in the country. If their production is down, it will definitely have an effect on prices and supply. Around here, the meat I can get in my supermarket is from them."
Officials said the plant was operating on Tuesday, though on a limited schedule.
The Agriprocessors market "is roughly 60 percent of all (kosher) meat, 40 percent of all poultry," added Menachem Lubinsky, editor of the trade journal Kosher Today. "Obviously, any disruption would be very damaging."
Meat that doesn't meet kosher standards is sold under Agriprocessors' Iowa Best Beef Brand. In 2003, company officials said non-kosher meat made up 70 percent of Agriprocessors' sales.…
"It has to have an effect because I just don't think there's a lot of excess capacity in the kosher meat market," said Mathes-Scharf. "When I get to my local supermarket, I'll see if I can get any meat."…
BTW, Mathes-Scharf's website has steadfastly refused to print bad news about Agriprocessors, in effect covering for Rubashkin during various scandals.
I searched he site tonight for any mention of Agriprocessors. This is what I found:
The following revised kashrus notice is from Agriprocessors and the OU and posted on April 17, 2008.
Products with the Rubashkin’s, Aaron’s, and Supreme Kosher are produced under the joint supervision of Rabbi M. M. Weissmandl and the OU. Products with Supreme Kosher label follow both Rabbi Weissmandl and OU standards. Products bearing only the OU follow all OU standards, and Rabbi Weissmandl ensures that those standards are followed.
The following Kashrus Notice is from KAJ on January 1, 2008.
The Rabbinate of K'hal Adath Jeshurun ("KAJ") has decided to remove its supervision of all Agriprocessors, Inc. (Rubashkin, Aaron's Best) facilities and stores, effective as of April 16, 2008. This decision was made in October and company was notified. The decision was confirmed by a letter, which was sent to the company on Friday. Letter linked to here.
Ed. note: Agriprocessors continues to be certified by the Orthodox Union and Rabbi Menachem Meir Weissmandl shlit"a, the Rav of Nitra of Monsey.
I got the same results for "Rubashkin" and for "Aaron's Best."
You'd never know Rubashkin had been (and still may be for all we really know) ripping the throats out of live animals with a meat hook.
And clearly, whatever pain and suffering Rubashkin's workers suffer is not her concern.
I think this is a good example of what I see as the theological bankruptcy of today's Judaism. Keep the letter of the law but ignore its actual intent and purpose.
Nothing explains Rubashkin's supporters better than that.