SHOWDOWN: Kashrus Agency Demands Lakewood Restaurant Remove Israeli Flag Or Lose Hashgacha


The South Side Sandwich Shop in Lakewood makes hundreds of sandwiches a day. But today, they are involved in a controversy about a flag outside their store.

YWN spoke with the proprietor of the establishment who tells us that he simply wanted to show his appreciation towards the State of Israel, and hung an Israeli flag outside his store in honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut. He was shocked when he received a warning from the Kashrus agency certifying his store demanding that he remove the flags. (He hung an American flag at the same time – see videos below.)

He was told that if he does not remove the “Zionist” flag, he should remove the Kashrus certification off his wall.

YWN made multiple attempts to reach the Kashrus agency. All calls and messages were ignored.

Meanwhile, texts immediately began circulating on social media asking everyone to come support the store tonight.

ONE MESSAGE GOING AROUND READS: “FWD: Fwd: Dinner tonight 7:30pm at South Side Sandwich Shop 315 Cedarbridge Ave individuals threatening the store to take down Israeli flag. Come show support that we stand with the store owner.”

YWN notes that the famed Ponevez Yeshiva is flying an Israeli flag today, as they do every year on Yom Ha’atzmaut.

The store owner tells YWN that he has never sold more sandwiches in one day in his life, as hundreds of people are streaming to his store to support him.

Messages being shared on social media on Thursday:


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. When Kashruths agencies venture out of direct Kashruth areas, they risk making a mockery out of Kashruth as people will think Kashruth is a fake and all poltics

  2. Drive down to Orlando, go back up and make a left to California. You’ll see more almost more Mexican and Puerto Rican flags than American flags depending on how much you want to drive around. But an Israeli flag. Whoa, now we have a major incident!
    I hope there’s something going on that hasn’t been said yet.

  3. If this is its true its very sad
    I dont celebrate yom haatzmaot
    But I dont feel that should be a kashrus agencys concern
    Let them stick to trying to help us eat kosher and stay out of politics

  4. Shame on the KCL (if that is truly the agency)
    Whereas we don’t celebrate Yom Hatzmuot, but we don’t have to make a Chilul Hashem out of showing that “frum” Yidden are like the Niturei Karta bums r”l
    And what does that have any bearing on Kashrus? If he runs a kosher establishment, he is deserving of a good Hechsher regardless of his political views.
    Shame on KCL

  5. Israeli flag isn’t that bad, I mean it’s not like they put up a sign saying “get vaccinated” or something like that….

  6. neither side thought that its a big deal – he put up the flag probaly for the day no big deal its a fress shop doesnt represent anything in particuler and the kashrus agency thought who needs the flag why make a tzimmes just take it down .
    WHAT both didnt realize is that we live in a new world and there are new rules to settling ideals & values… and preceived shitos its a reshus harabim … like the mesivta, and the concert this is the new hock
    but gam zeh yaavor

  7. Don’t eat the flag! What nareshkeit, if someone is offended let them make a personal decision not to eat there. What on earth does this have to do with kashrus?

  8. This Hashgacha may be well checked into? I’m sorry as a Torah observant orthodox Jewish Man, I have a fundamental conflict with the basic tenets of Zionism, SO NOT a Zionist(neither is Ben Shapiro), tho I’m also not pro-Palestinian, and ANTI- Terror…can we make sure this agency/Rav HaMachshir isn’t a neturai karta.

  9. It is sad to see so much hate against the holy Torah and those who stand up for it. If he had a flag with a Christian symbol on it, everybody would agree that the hashgacha would be more than correct in demanding its removal. But since so many seem unaware of the idolatry of Zionism, they don’t understand that a Zionist flag is even worse.

    Bringing up the Ponevezh Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael is simply silly. That yeshiva exists under Israeli rule and, therefore, they may have legitimate reasons for flying the flag of the Zionist oppressors on the Zionists’ invented Nationalist holiday of their illusory “independence”. But a restaurant in Lakewood does not have those same reasons and it is therefore offensive for them to fly such an abomination.

    So while this restaurant owner may have been well-intentioned, and likely knows little-to-nothing about how Zionism and its state are anti-Torah to their core, the hashgacha is 1000% correct here in demanding the removal of the offensive symbol of the Zionist regime.

  10. i can promise you that even the Satmere rebbe zt”l wouldnt make a big deal about someone displaying the flag.
    He had a bigger problem with his followers traveling to Israel with ElAL and visiting the Kosel while in Israel.
    Displaying a flag in USA dosent mean anything just a symbolic gesture of the person displaying it and maybe if the person displaying knew it would cause such a protest he probably wouldnt display it.
    But the Rebbe would never punish some one with his Parnassah rather the opposite he would of been upset if he knew some Ruv would hurt another persons parnassah. So lets not this stupidity be a political move rather a Stupid move by the Bal Machshir (if the story is true.)

  11. HaKatan
    I’m happy to see that the silent majority is not with you, most people appreciate Medinas Yisroel just like the ponovezh roshei Yeshiva.

  12. Poor Joseph ( Hakatan).
    This Yom Haatzmaut season , he’s scurrying all over this site under his myriads of passports and raving like a wounded lunatic.
    Chag Sameach , Joseph.

  13. HaKatan- You are definitely small, small minded that is!

    Whether you agree with Israeli politics or not, it is our first safe haven in 2000 years. If we had been able to go to a Jewish state 70 years ago, there would be millions of more Jews alive today.

  14. It’s such fake news!!!

    Some random guy called, it has nothing to do with the Hashgacha. If it was the hashgacha the letter would be on their letterhead.

  15. Putting aside whether the kashrus agency should get involved- there is a lot of truth to what Hakan said and even if the readers of YWN may not agree with that- a store owner in Lakewood perhaps should be sensitive to the fact that it is likely that most who shop there see things like Hakatan sees them and therefore he would be wise to wear his flag in his heart and not in people’s face.

  16. Imagine a cross being placed on a kosher restaurant, would you give an ashgacha on such a restaurant?
    The Israeli flag represents the same or even worse than a cross.

  17. Be Yotzei all the Shitos, by keeping flag up both Thursday Mukdom and Friday BiZemano. Then how about keeping flag up thru Yom-Yerusholayim, as is common practice in many establishments in Israel.

  18. Hakatan
    There is more warped, anti Torah drivel in your rant than was ever mouthed or thought of by any secular Israeli since the founding of medinas Yisrael.
    I am not blinded to the spiritual shortcomings of my country by an intoxicating love of Tzion. But I am gratefull beyond words to Hashem and His Kedoshim for allowing me and family to live here as Jews. And todays young men and women in the IDF need to know that they have our support, our love, and our tears when they step into harms way to protect us. Regardless of their level of observance.
    But your battlecry from the war of 1812 reflects an ignorance of any sense of right and wrong in this parsha. The only idol worship that is blatently obvious here is the hate that spills forth from your words.
    You are not on Gods side anymore.
    Get with the program while you still can.

  19. Momto4
    Ever hear of America?
    It’s probably safer to be A Jew in America today than in Israel. Even spiritually.
    So what are you saying?

  20. I understand if a kashrus agency removes a hashgacha for an actual Aveira commited on behalf of the restaurant, such as being open on Shabbos, etc. But displaying an Israeli flag is in no way an aveira; it is a political issue. Is this agency affiliated with Neturei Karta?

  21. •Pretzel Chicken *****
    •Burnt Ends/Candied Meat *****
    •Grilled Chicken *****
    •Smoked Pastrami *****
    •Rack of Ribs *****
    •Cole Slaw *****
    Bottom Line Yossi Mutterperl is a very fine and good person and he makes delicious fresh food.
    If you don’t like the flag, don’t shop here but don’t bother him or his customers. Thank you

  22. Please keep all your senseless comments to yourself. Nobody is interested in hearing your comment unless it makes sense & is a sensible one.
    Thank You!

  23. HaKatan actually has some valid points as much as he keeps getting bashed here.

    There were a few people here (including the YW article) legitimizing the Israeli flag going up at this restaurant based on the fact Ponevez yeshiva hanging it on Independence Day. Ponevez hangs it up as it has state funding and in the state of Israel and has to do it.

    I’m not taking sides here, just simply saying Ponevez shouldn’t be used as a reason to justify it.

    I know I’m going to keep eating there as it’s from the best food in town and not very far from my home.

  24. These are the same people who consistently tell the sheeple to vote Democrat-Liberal in New Jersey. From Cory Booker to Phil Murphy and so on.
    Do all their mashgichim wear white shirts? Do they all wear black hats by davening? Do all their children go to Lakewood Vaad approved Yeshivos?

  25. Every yid is a Zionist

    Just depends which end of the Zionist spectrum

    A frum yid Zionist holds
    by yishuv ha eretz

    Moshe Rabenoo was possibly the biggest Zionist he begged 515
    times to go into the land

    Whatever the flag stands for it is not conducive to be derogatory about it,
    one who is creates hate
    amoungst Achainoo Bnei

    When frum ppl are anti the
    Israeli flag for which some
    have given thier childrens life think about the damage just
    from a kiruv prospective
    never mind the hate

  26. I eat there every time I’m in Lakewood.Makes me wonder which of the J Street minded ones are giving their supervision. Neturei Karta? Time to get a different kashrut org instead of whatever fringe cult is doing it now. Am Yisroel Chai !!

  27. Shully
    Run to the mikvah … you were just me’tameh yourself …
    I’ll bet that your grandparents were making bar-b-que and slurping beer in the US when my grandparents were being murdered … no child of a survivor would make such an ignorant insulting remark …. could only be from a guy whose ancestors never experienced pogroms, rapes, and annihilation .. or me’zerah amaleik

  28. The owner is very smart.
    I personally think he wanted attention he manufacturef an outrage and he got a lot of customers!
    Who actually thinks and Israeli flag should fly in Lakewood?

    Besides for the “Old Shul” in Shvartzatown when I was a kid. 🙂

    I lose respect he bunch of babies that NEED get involved in the “HOK”. They would never fly that flash at their Jose and probably don’t know what id or even when was is the 6 Day or Yom Kippur war.
    So everyone had fun.

    As far as an organization deciding which flags you can fly in Israel they do tell stories when they close at night
    The store agrees but just to sell a kosher product, but subscribe to their lifestyle otherwise, they can’t have that respectable kosher symbol and attract people who live that lifestyle to their store.

    IF, IF IF KCL actually sent that letter…
    I don’t think KCL made position clear before today. And not that they personally care either it just looks bad.

  29. Bad Journalism YWN. If you have not seen a letter from the Hechsher nor been able to reach them, how dare you spread a story based on social media rumors???? You know very well thats it’s probably not true, but are happy to take the risk – for sake of a sensational story – of insulting Talmidei Chachamim in public.
    It’s just not worth it.

    Moderators Response: “Social media rumors”? Which part of “YWN spoke with the proprietor of the establishment” did you miss?

  30. Recently I received an aliyah on Shabbos in the Zichron Shneur Shul in Lakewood. I always wear a kippah srugah and am an unapologetic ardent Zionist. I don’t hide it and it was quite obvious by my attire and speech where I am from (The Shomron) and what I believe.
    So I apologize to the yidden in Lakewood that I paseled the entire davening and possibly the entire shul. Next time I’ll wear my cross. That will calm Shully down and then even he will daven with us. If it’s a weekday, I’ll treat him to a corned beef sandwich at the South Side place.

  31. shully, Say again? I don’t understand the connection. Or how it is worse. One is a different religion, one is about a country.

  32. One of the Strengths of a Yid is Hakoras Hatov. Even though we know that the person is just a Shaliach of H-Shem’s will. Anyone who rises to Malchus, be it a King, Queen, President, or Prime Minister, loses their free will. H-Shem takes over his mind. H-Shem makes all the decisions in the world.
    We owe Hakoras Hatov to All the emissaries of H-Shem. President Trump, Bibi Netanyahu, The Queen of England etc.
    I don’t fly the Israeli flag and don’t celebrate Yom Haatzmaut, I light a Chanukah Menorah and say Al HaNissim for ALL the miracles that H-Shem has blessed us with!
    Ask the Soldiers who come back from the fronts, they see the Miacles first hand!!!
    Kol HaKavod to the Bochurim who are in the Yeshiva saying Tehillim 24/7 for the safety of Klahr Yisroel and their brothers on the fronts! Gut Shabbos

  33. my2cents

    FAKE NEWS – he wasn’t threatened to lose hashgacha. he was just asked to take it down.
    He was told that if he does not remove the “Zionist” flag, he should remove the Kashrus certification off his wall.

  34. #shully, so basically you’re saying that Ponevez and it’s Gedolei Hador are guilty of the equivalent of having a cross on the Yeshiva. Pretty strong statement. I assume you have a mekor in halacha for that. I’m also assuming you’re on the level of the Gedolim who felt it isn’t. Hmmm let me think whose psak I should listen to. I think I’m going with the Gedolim.

  35. If I lived in Lakewood I would make sure that any restaurant that displays this “hechsher” is well aware that I or my family won’t be setting foot in their establishment due to them having an unreliable hashgacha.

  36. How come I didn’t see so many calls to tone down the rhetoric and work on fostering love between all yidden, when people were blasting peleg protesters?? Then we got speeches about how they are animals and mechalilay shem .
    But to rank out people who openly And proudly lay claim to being non believers in hkb”h and state that they are not beholden to the Torah and built a land so they can be free of the עול המצוות, suddenly there we have the chorus wake up with their fraudulent love for all and let’s not judge and peace is the Torah way and all such garbage.
    No no no!!!
    Making piece with avowed שונאי ה is decidedly not the Torah way.
    Calling out such evil doers is what the Torah demands of us.
    (by the way I’m not commenting on the original story. That is much more nuanced. One needs to know firstly obviously if the story is even true. As noted, the agency’s side was not able to be gotten. But one also needs to know the intent of the flag flyer. To support the soldiers who physically protect us? I think it’s pasHut that that is required of all. As a way to thank H’ for allowing us the opportunity to visit or live in e y? Highly commendable though a bit of an awkward way to do so. )
    I’m commenting on the amount of support for the state itself
    And more so for the condemnation of anyone with the temerity to criticize those reshaim.
    To quote rabbi miller

    ”when Herzl moved to warmer places. Permanently.”

  37. Maybe since Lakewood is called the” Ir Hatorah” they should have a special appreciation for the state of Israel. Israel is by far the largest supporter of Torah in the world with no individual or organization coming close. Ask any yeshiva or kollel in Israel how much of their budget comes from the government. That is not something to be taken lightly and certainly not to be kafui tov.

  38. “And what does that have any bearing on Kashrus? If he runs a kosher establishment, he is deserving of a good Hechsher regardless of his political views.
    Shame on KCL

    Ppl lose their Hashgacha for things outside of food.. like for having TVs that can show bad things like cnn

  39. The provider of Kashrus supervision provider is unprofessional and should not be trusted for kashrus.
    WHY? Because food being kosher only involves HALACHIC matters. If the walls of the establishment are purple, that does not affect the status of the food and the handling of the food. Politics do not affect the kosher status of the food.
    If Chas V’Shalom the Rov of a Bais Din had a child that went off the derech, that does not invalidate the piskey halacha that the Rov made. In this case the kashrus provider’s is thinking flawed. The real question is how can such a flawed thinking process provide logical and reliable decisions on kashrus?

  40. “The store owner tells YWN that he has never sold more sandwiches in one day in his life, as hundreds of people are streaming to his store to support him.”

    This is probably the greatest advertising gimmick ever. What will he do for an encore on Yom Yerushalyim?

  41. can someone explain why an Israeli flag that represents one controversial topic of yidishkiet is worse than a cross which represents Christianity is in direct opposition to everything yidshkiet stands for

  42. I read many comments here and, frankly, people haven’t gone far enough.
    I believe this restaurant should be closed down and the owner should move to Wyoming.

    His despicable behavior of showing support for the state of isreal is akin to murder at best, gezel sheinah at worst.

    Expressing his opinions at the expense of others opinions has no place in our community and he should have known that and kept quiet-which is why he needs to move to Wyoming so he could learn to be quiet.
    While he’s here I wouldn’t trust him with anything else. I wouldn’t be surprised if he serves the gid ha’nashe in his store. Probably wears Shatnez too.

  43. manitou -“HaKatan
    I’m happy to see that the silent majority is not with you, most people appreciate Medinas Yisroel”

    Well certainly the Gays appreciate Israel.
    I saw online that they did a Survey and they came out that the Most friendly city for Gay Rights in the World, is Tel Aviv!

  44. This will be an unpopular opinion. But if you are in the United States, you fly the American flag, not the flag of any other country. Not the Mexican flag, Palestinian flag or even the Israeli flag. Basic derech eretz…the rest of the country is watching.

  45. I cant believe that this has come to such a low!!!!!!!!!!!!
    bashing kashus agencys that aare backed by rabanim!! sounds like your on a trend bash roshei yeshivos for being mechanech………….. what next maybe join footsteps or that place that tried closing jewish schools they also wear yarmulkas!

  46. יהודים יקרים
    it is SO FUNNY to hear from real Jews that JEWS IN ISRAEL have to put the Israeli flag because they HAVE TO (ponovitz) while in America you have freedom.

    This is definitly מארת הגלות. Every Jew in America or anywhere else should be thankful for the State of Israel being his “big brother” making any Jew-hating גוי think 10 times before doing anything bad to a jew.
    We are lucky to have מדינת ישראל
    Our עבודת השם is much different when we see Hashem is with us

    אני מאחל לכל היהודים לעלות לארץ ישראל
    Hurry before it’s too late


  47. To play Devil’s Advocate

    who were the original inventors of this flag ?
    Reform of New England

    If Anyone founds a new state in the Transjordan and call it Jewish ,that obligates everyone to pay homage to it,just because?

  48. I look at news briefs from arutz 7 and usually go into the YWN site only when i know there will be a fuller story or, like in this case, when the content will shake up a lot of the readers. Based on the comments, nothing has really changed over the years. The anti-zionist haters are still living in the past, not recognizing that whats at stake in EY is nothing less than JEWISH LIVES. Normal people put aside their differences when their brethren are in danger and unite, but unfortunately some lack this normallcy and, lacking real tools to cope with new and challenging situations, use the only tools that they have – tools of hatred and demonization that do nothing other then increase sinat chinam and thereby push away the geula. Little babies quarrle over nonsense. Grownups understand that effective communication – that which binds people together- must be carried out in a tender and loving manner. Threats and intimidation have no place in a Jew’s vocabulary. Until the closeminded haters recognize that they suffer from an illness and need to grow up and get new tools, arguing with them is simply a waste of time.

  49. For those who don’t understand what Shmully is saying, I’ll explain. Rav Chaim Brisker said “the purpose of the Medina was to uproot Yiddiskeit”. They were more successful than… by putting up the flag on yom haatzmaut you are legitimizing it. The Ponovitzer Rov has his reasons and other gedolim didn’t agree. Why play with fire? Stick to making good sandwiches.

    Before you post your comments here speak to a Talmud chochom. Daas val Habus is hepech daas Torah .

  50. Is the flag more than just a piece of cloth?
    how come people are obsessing over it ?

    even if you support the state

  51. is a shirt more than just a piece of cloth? why do people care what color its dyed? how many buttons it has, what tye of collar it has, if it even has one?

  52. Firstly, before anyone sends off their opinion please research the history of the State of Israel-all of it!!!!!!!!
    Next, ‘Al tifrosh min hatzeibur’- the store owner knew very well (or should) that Lakewood as a community as a whole does not celebrate Yom Haatzmaut and even more, would be upset with a flag hanging up in a store. Therefore, he should not have done such a thing.
    More, as for those who had a complaint that a kashrus agency would care- First, in many communities there are Rabbonim who only give a hechsher if that store is appropriate for Torah Jews to enter. (For ex. stores which are hangouts, have TV’s, bars… are not qualified for their Hashgacha.) Therefore, perhaps this agency’s hashgacha extends beyond the food-it is a hashgacha on the entire store. And they believe (knowing all the details of the flag and the day) that it is wrong to eat in a store with an Israeli flag hanging. Additionally, as Jews we have many halachos with our meals (can’t eat with non-Jews…) this is because food creates a connection. Perhaps eating in an environment with the flag will create a connection…
    And lastly, as for the Ponovezh Yeshiva- it is a legal law in Israle that any school funded by the state MUST hang a flag….
    Go research, then in order to debate take the opposing side’s opinions!

  53. I dont have a spare half an hour to waste over reading all the comments, so I stopped once I reached to the first normal one, from “Meir G”. You are 100% right, the only reason this became an “issue” is because instead of the 2 parties working this out between themselves normally and privately as used to be done years ago when world was still world, some dirty guy had to get social media involved and turn a stupid small personal issue between a kashrus agency and its store into a national public opinionated thing. I “thank hashem” every day that I dont have a smartphone, no whatssup, no instagram, no facebook, no twitter, no you name it all the shmutz that people are so sunk into all day. Thank god.

  54. Now that it’s 4 days later and we know that this was #FakeNews, turned into a tzimis by a rebel rouser or two.

    How do we know this? We know this because KCL issued something saying that it never occurred AND the proprietor of the restaurant DENIED talking to anyone from the media.

    The bottom line is someone is lying or simply not telling the whole truth. When you don’t tell the whole truth, you are lying.

    Moderators Note: The KCL never issued anything. That’s a blatant lie. And YWN spoke with the owner of the store, and he has never denied that.

  55. Avi K,
    He actually would begin to revise that, just as he would begin revising nearly everything C.1975

    In the early days of the state the Labour leadership also didn’t give all that much value to flag which they considered bourgeoisie

  56. Trust,
    1. Are you saying that Jews should not feel a connection with Israel? You should be on Ilhan Omar’s staff.
    2. Please learn how to spell “Israel”.
    3. Apparently it is not a “legal law” as Arutz 7 reported last year that half of the recognized educational institutions in Israel did not fly it. In any case, that only applies to institutions recognized by the Ministry of Education. No one required them to take money from the state and anyway it is from the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

    1. He never revised it.
    2. Your statement about the Labor leadership is also a fantasy. They made the law.

  57. F: I heard that the Kashrus agency took his son and daughter currently studying in Israel out of Israel and brought them home to USA. Also, they have cancelled their trip to Israel. Over that they removed all Israeli products from their homes such as chocolate and tea as well as Dead Sea products. They gave up their cell phone and and stopped davening for the State of Israel. They stopped all contact with all their relatives in Israel and have banned the colors of the Israeli flag in their homes. They removed all falafel and croutons from their homes and communities.

  58. Does it bother Yeshiva World at all that YWN news is playing a big role in stoking the flames of machlokes?

    In my opinion, at this point, it doesn’t matter anymore whether it was correct to fly a flag from a store or not, (personally, I could care less that he flew the Israeli flag) if posting about this issues on social media is spreading macklokes, it’s wrong!

    The Beis Hamikdash was destroyed because of sinas chinom. If any post will increase sinas chinom, it’s wrong to post it! If one is unsure if it will increase machlokes or can’t control themselves, then it’s better to just do away with social media all together.

    May we be zoche to increase our ahvas yisroel and respect talmidi chachomim and be zoche to greet Moshiach soon!

  59. Avi,
    As with other things Flowed ito the state they considered it a necessity for the interim
    anachronistic with too much Mystique would be better term