The National Council of Young Israel is coordinating and leading a mission of several dozen Jewish community and rabbinic leaders representing major Orthodox Jewish organizations and large Jewish cities to the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa on Thursday, July 31. The visit to the plant, which is one of the largest producers of kosher meat and chicken in the United States, is intended to provide the Jewish leaders with a first-hand account of the state of the Agriprocessors plant and the impact that recent developments have had on the Postville community.
“This mission is meant to provide Jewish leaders from across the United States with a factual perspective of the true situation at the Agriprocessors plant, untainted by the rumors and innuendos that have been circulating in many circles,” said Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Vice President of the National Council of Young Israel. “As one of the major producers of kosher meat in the U.S., the success or failure of Agriprocessors is an issue that will directly impact Jewish communities that purchase kosher meat and poultry across the country. The situation warrants that we approach this with an open mind and obtain a first-hand account of the situation so that we can draw our own conclusion for the betterment of the American Jewish community.”
The Jewish leaders will tour the Agriprocessors plant and facilities, where they will meet corporate officials and managers, including Jim Martin, a former U.S. Attorney who is now responsible for all compliance issues for Agriprocessors. The group will also meet with senior representatives of the Kashrus organizations who certify the plant. In addition, they will meet with the Mayor of Postville and other local elected officials who will lead them on a tour of the Postville community.
According to Rabbi Lerner, the National Council of Young Israel took the lead in organizing this important mission because of the inevitable impact that the future of Agriprocessors will have on the American Jewish community, including the more than 200 Young Israel member synagogues and their 25,000 affiliated families. As a worldwide movement that provides religious, educational, Zionistic, social and communal programming for its member synagogues and their affiliated families, the National Council of Young Israel has been at the forefront of the effort to bring kosher food to the American Jewish community wherever they may be.
(YWN Desk – NYC)