Orthodox Union Kashrut

Mac emails:


Last week came the news that OU head of shechita Dokter Rabbiner Seth Mandel is overseeing shochtim who eat treif or are not otherwise shomrei Torah umitzvos.

I asked a rov to look into this. A rather grouchy OU official beat up on the poor rov for doing his duty. The OU official is demanding the rov “apologize” for getting one minor detail wrong while the OU is being secretive and downplaying the huge scandal that this is. (While the OU official assails the rov for “character assassination” of Seth Mandel, a NJ paper reported on Wed. that the OU official’s son was indicted by a grand jury for witness tampering on behalf of Kolko. Trying to protect the integrity of kashrus is an avlah but harassing a child sex abuse victim and his family is not?)

Seth Mandel, YCT shochet Andy Kastner, shochet Naftali Hanau, Conservative shochet Shalom Kantor & Hanau’s Lubavitcher shechita rebbe Yehuda Benchemhoun have been hanging out together & shechting at Hazon conferences since at least 2007. Kantor has been shechting with both Kastner and Hanau.

Has Seth Mandel ever shechted with Kantor?


The owner of OU certified KOL Foods says here that she uses Kantor as a shochet.


Here is Seth Mandel in 2007 at a Hazon event at Adamah / Isabella Friedman Center in CT where Hanau was an official at the time. I wonder if the OU is aware that he told the crowd, while speaking as an OU official, that all commercial shechita is “inhumane”. The Eco / Vegan people on hand were shocked by the admission.

The OU official farentfered to the rov that they all met bederech mikreh in 2009 and that an impromptu decision was made that Seth Mandel would act only as the bodek sakinim.


To imply that Seth Mandel merely picked the shochtim by chance goes against what he himself preaches on this video clip about the background research required before approving any shochet. Unless that is Seth Mandel KNEW the shochtim are not religious according to orthodox halachic standards and simply doesn’t care.

I am dan lekaf zechus however that Seth Mandel didn’t mean to touch Mrs. Kimmelman-Block’s hand when he passes the microphone.

(Two other items of note in this video is Seth Mandel’s statement that he found safety violations every time he stepped foot in Rubashkin’s plant and Conservative Rabbi Morris Allen’s claim that he conspired with Lubavitcher Rabbi Zeilengold to flood the Minnesota market with Rubashkin’s non-glatt meat)

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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