WHISTLEBLOWER: Non-Kosher Pesach Program?!

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  • #1717565

    yubochur613
    Member

    omg!!!! i just read this on reddit! this is insane! anyone know where this is? omg omg omg omg!!!!

    Whistleblower; there is an upcoming Pesach Program (2019) THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT KOSHER. I’m afraid to reveal anything as they will know it was me.

    Yesterday was the first day of the job doing haggalah, organizing the kitchen, blowtorching surfaces etc and I had to quit by the the end of the day given the lack of attention the program directors were showcasing for the program and their employees.

    1. We were worked what felt to be non-stop from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM (albeit a short lunch break in the middle) doing heavy-duty, labor-intense mashgiach work. Part of the work doing hagaglah, I was exposed to inhaling ammonia for long amounts of time, which I felt was causing burning to my nose and throat. I asked the head chef at one point if we could get face masks since inhaling it can cause respiratory distress and he said he would see to get us some, but never did. There were only 2 other “mashgichim” who were hired to help in the kitchen and the “head-Mashgiach” seemed to disappear often for long periods of time, so to account for this we would just switch off doing the cleaning roles to minimize ammonia the exposure.
    2. Given that we were able to start sleeping at the hotel tonight, I was assigned to be in the same hotel room as the other 2 “mashgichim” which only had 2 beds for the 3 of us. After bringing this up with the program directors, they said that this is sadly the situation until Thursday since all the other hotel rooms are “sold out” and that two of us can just share a bed. I told them I was uncomfortable with this and they said that I should just take one of the beds and tell the other 2 to share. Going onto the hotel’s website after this conversation, I saw that there was no shortage of available hotel rooms and that these directors were blatantly lying to us in order to cut costs.
    3. My biggest concern came after we were offered a very measly dinner (after a very exhausting day of hard work) and the other 2 “mashgichim” left to go eat dinner at Chipotle (a non-Kosher restaurant) across the street, given how hungry and disappointed they were about the dinner situation. They asked me to come along which I did since I thought they were joking, but was appalled when they actually sat down and ordered non-kosher chicken burritos right in front of my face when the sole job they were hired for was to maintain the Kashrus integrity of this Pesach Program for the hundreds of Jewish guests! I was so afraid to say something to them and I did not know what to do. Immediately afterwards, I broke up from the group to call the program directors telling them I quit and want to get paid for my day of hard work. I also asked for a bonus for the amount of work I did for them today, since it is common industry knowledge that the first day is the most intense and hardest part of the mashgiach work. They declined and brushed off my work stating it should be normal for me to work “12+ hours a day” and that my 9 hours was “nothing special” and that “I had it easy” and that I will get my check in a “few weeks” like everyone else. I said this is not at all OK and the program director continued to yell and insult me, continuing his condescending rage over our phone call and the issues I was bringing up.

    I was afraid to say anything about the other “mashgichim” since I was still at the hotel with them and was genuinely afraid of some form of retaliation. I know something needs to be said because this is not at all OK, but I fear there will be serious backlash if I expose such truths since these other 2 “mashgichim” know that I was the only one with them. They have my name, number, address and other personal information I am genuinely afraid of potential backlash from either these 2 “mashgichim” and/or the program directors for exposing the lack of kashrus at their program.

    How can I go about this? I am now back home after quitting and leaving the hotel program. I am not sure what to do or who to speak too, but this is nothing short of a travesty. On the one hand, I’m afraid I will be sued by the program directors for revealing this truth for “defamation” or worse (some violent retaliation given they have my personal info/address etc) but It is a perversion and mockery of Kashrus and God knows what other non-kashrus will take place throughout the duration of the pesach program for the hundreds of Jewish guests. That is not at all what they are paying a premium price tag for.

    Does anyone have any advice? I am a young guy and I can not afford a lawyer if I were sued by these wealthy program directors who have been running this program for many many years. I genuinely do not what to do. Pesach is only a few days away.

    Sincerely,

    Anonymous

    UPDATE [04/17/2019]: I spoke with my Rov and alerted him about what’s going on, my main concern being that I saw firsthand how the remaining two “Mashgichim” (I put it in quotation marks because clearly they defy the definition of what a Mashgiach is/should be) cannot be trusted for the duration of the program. My Rov was also surprised to learn that we were hired from the program directors themselves (the people taking home the profits and clearly concerned about cutting costs) and not from the Vad Harobonim council or the head Rabbi giving the heshcher. He is making a call to them now to see what they can do being that Pesach in only a few days away. It’s unsettling to note that the program’s website advertises their program to be a group of experienced Mashgichim; clearly these days you can never be too sure.

    In regards to the job, they lied to me (switch and bait) in an attempt to hire me thinking I wouldn’t mind the working conditions and the way they were treating me. Now it’s obviously too late to apply to any other programs that I would have done otherwise knowing this, but i realize the Kosher issue is the more pressing issue at this time. Hundreds are going to be relying on the supposed hashgacha and I’ll update the forum once I get an update. If anyone has any questions/comments and will like to PM me, do not hesitate to do so.

    #1717598

    lakewhut
    Participant

    Which program is this?

    #1717622

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    At this point, families are either enroute or already at this unknown Hotel for yom tov so publicly making these allegations would be disruptive leaving them with no alternative (assuming they even became aware of your allegations and accept the truthfulness of what you say. Unless you can provide documented evidence overnight that would convince the senior Rav hamachshir to withdraw their certification, leave it up to your own Rav to follow up on this and next time do your own due diligence on the reputation of the program organizers.

    #1717649

    Heargod
    Participant

    Well to avoid retaliation through a defimation suit, a person should make sure that no one can prove that it was you who alerted the press.
    In other words. Get a VPN to hide your IP address, get a new email address that does not link back to you.
    You must get the email address using a VPN, and at this point u can do two things at least.
    Contact an investigative reporter to back round check the situation and background check the mashgichim.
    Or using your new email address and a VPN, get a new ywn username and say which pasach program it is but do not give any other info at all, as that will in able them to show it was u and Sue you.
    I would just say name the program and where it is. Do not indicate through Grammer that u are the one from this post.

    Now I would suggest that you contact an investigative reporter instead of just naming the place as. Through one people will more readily believe u, while just naming the place is not as believable and people might think your just a disgruntled worker and will not heed your warning.

    #1717668

    Heargod
    Participant

    Additionally the Chipotle probably has cameras to verify your story that your fellow mashgichim ate there and are hence disqualified as kodher mashgichim

    #1717721

    apushatayid
    Participant

    If you had no intention of naming the program you shouldn’t have written this thread. You created needless hock.

    #1717723

    sariray
    Participant

    Message taken. I’m better off staying home pesach.
    Unfortunately I think the pesach cleaning and cooking standards have gotten so ridiculously impossible that people can’t handle them. So they go to programs which may not even be kosher….

    #1717757

    david123718
    Participant

    This doesn’t change anything unless there is an investigation. According the the Halachos Of Chazaka (status quo), a one person testifying isn’t enough and doesn’t change the current chazaka of that program from muter unless proven by two witnesses or valid evidence (Chipotle cameras). Once there is evidence or two witnesses, halachically the chazaka of the hecksher (certification of kosher) is turned into non-kosher making it ossur (forbidden) for ANY person that stays in the program to eat anything there.

    #1717774

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    If the mashgichim were pasul l’aidus why would it ever have had a chazakah? Just because it falsely advertised as kosher?

    I’m not saying I believe the story, but nobody ever said something gets an instant chezkas kashrus the second some fried out person claims it’s kosher.

    #1717856

    JJ2020
    Participant

    This isn’t new and this is probably happening at many hotels. There are many stories very similar to this. It’s too bad that the plaster is not saying the name of the place. It’s a hard test not to want to face the retaliation but on the other hand people may be eating tried because of it. There are many people who don’t go to hotels for this reason among others.

    #1717831

    Yeshivishrockstar
    Participant

    David: An eid echad makes it kasher, an eid echad makes it treif. There’s no chezkas kashrus here – it’s a treif hotel!

    BLOW THAT WHISTLE! If you don’t, lifnei iver lo sitein michshal.

    I was told by many, many people, NEVER go to a hotel that isn’t certified by a national kosher organization – if it’s a minor organization, or simply the town vaad, there’s a good possibility they will be scared to speak out, as hotel certification is a large part of their income. I’m referring especially to those hechsherim that you never see on food, but come pesach, they’re certifying tons of hotels.

    #1717787

    DrYidd
    Participant

    whoever yubochur613 is, he should call the rav hamchshir / hashgacha not his rav. he should then call state authorities.

    adding the part about the beds is not credible all hotels have rollaway beds that are needed for guests.

    i smell a bubbe-maiseh

    #1719405

    It’s almost astounding how many people failed to read “omg!!!! i just read this on reddit! this is insane! anyone know where this is? omg omg omg omg!!!!” and understand that OP was not the source of the rest of their post.

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