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The Left-Wing Movement to Hijack Kosher Food

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On May 14, 2012 @ 12:45 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 70 Comments

Orthodox Jews, as well as vegans and allergy sufferers, know that a Kosher certification label on food means that it complies with religious dietary laws. For example a Kosher product marked as “dairy” will not have meat ingredients in it. But to the left, Kosher food represents an untapped opportunity to use as a Trojan horse for imposing their social agenda. And the vehicle for that agenda is “Tav HaYosher” a form of certification that describes itself as “Kosher,” but is actually a union label in disguise.

The group pushing this seal, Uri L’Tzedek, describes itself as an Orthodox social justice organization, but is actually a left-wing group closely interlocked with the Soros-backed Jewish Funds for Justice. Its model is to declare boycotts against Jewish companies for failing to comply with union demands while offering its political “seal of approval” to restaurants and supermarkets that are willing to knuckle under to them.

Uri L’Tzedek dresses up the thuggish tactics of the secular left in religious garb and calls its community organizers “rabbis” in order to be able to better shake down Jewish establishments, but there’s no more religion here than in the similar antics of the Reverend Jesse Jackson and the Reverend Al Sharpton.

Staging a boycott of a company for political offenses and then offering “protection” to other companies with the boycotter’s own social justice certification is an old game and it helped hucksters like Jesse Jackson build an empire. Now Uri L’Tzedek is one of several left-wing groups misrepresenting the social justice certifications from its “compliance officers” as a religious function and wrongly associating its union label with Kosher certification.

Restaurants that allow Uri L’Tzedek’s blackmailing community organizers in the door discover that they can’t leave without being subjected to a smear campaign. Its latest “victory” was won on behalf of the Industrial Workers of the World, a radical leftist union, with ugly views on Israel, against a Jewish company. There is no reason to think that this would trouble Uri L’Tzedek, whose leaders are not known for being too fond of the Jewish State.

Ari Hart, a co-founder of Uri L’Tzedek, has written several articles attacking Israel, describing the Jewish State as “responsible for the suffering and oppression of another people.”

The Rosh Beit Medrash of Uri L’Tzedek, Elisheva Goldberg, is an Anti-Israel activist who works for George Soros’ New America Foundation, as an assistant to Peter Beinart and a contributor to his Open Zion blog. The former Compliance Officer and current Director of Tav HaYosher Engagement at Uri L’Tzedek, Hadas “Dasi” Fruchter, is a J Street and Occupy Wall Street supporter. And the Uri L’Tzedek Board includes a member of J Street’s Finance Committee.

While Uri L’Tzedek is an arm of the Anti-Israel left, its focus isn’t on Israel and it has avoided highlighting its enthusiasm for groups such as J Street, though its personnel haven’t been nearly as discreet on their Twitter and Facebook accounts. A number of its personnel, including at least one of its founders, are also veterans of Encounter, another left-wing group with a pseudo-religious overlay, which seeks to undermine the Jewish State. But unlike J Street, Uri L’Tzedek is not currently focused on a campaign against Israel; rather it is at war with traditional Jewish communities right here in the United States.

Uri L’Tzedek is a pale imitation of its true inspiration, Jewish Funds for Justice, and it is arguably nothing more than JFJ working the Orthodox side of the Jewish communal street. Uri L’Tzedek has coordinated events with Jewish Funds for Justice, its literature has featured JFJ content and its leading personnel are for the most part either veterans of Jewish Funds for Justice or the American Jewish World Service, another left-wing organization funded by George Soros. Uri L’Tzedek largely depends on grant money from the same foundations that fund these two groups. That raises the question of whether Uri L’Tzedek is anything but a front for JFJ and AJWS activism under an Orthodox brand.

George Soros’ own son sits on the board of Jewish Funds for Justice and funding for Uri L’Tzedek has come directly and indirectly from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, headed up by Lance E. Lindblom, the former Executive Vice President at the Open Society Institute, Soros’ own foundation. The Nathan Cummings Foundation had previously also funded a similar “ethical kosher” effort by Hekhsher Tzedek.

The various foundations are so deeply intertwined that tracking them becomes difficult. For example Uri L’Tzedek receives support from, among others, Bikkurim, the Joshua Venture Group, the American Jewish World Service and the Natan Fund. The Advisory Council of the Joshua Venture Group includes members of all these groups and the Nathan Cummings Foundation funds a number of them, including the Joshua Venture Group.

The Executive Director of Uri L’Tzedek, Ari Weiss, is also a fellow of the Joshua Venture Group, worked for the American Jewish World Service, and interned at Chicago community organizer outfit, ”We The People Media”, which received millions, from among others, the Open Society Institute. For all the incestuous twists and turns, the money trial goes back to a Nazi collaborator and his crusade against the Jewish people.

Shmuly Yanklowitz, the founder and president of Uri L’Tzedek, worked for Jewish Funds for Justice, and has held study sessions together with Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the Rabbi in Residence at Jewish Funds for Justice, who is a member of a number of radical Anti-Israel groups, including J Street’s Rabbinic Cabinet.

Yanklowitz is the product of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a left-wing seminary, which has also received funds from the Nathan Cummings Foundation.  The YCT seminary is the wellspring of Uri L’Tzedek, granting rabbinical certification to community organizers, and has featured a “mandatory course in faith-based community organizing” taught by members of its faculty and “representatives of the Jewish Funds for Justice.” The flyer for that indoctrination program features mentions of both co-founders of Uri L’Tzedek, as well as a number of other personnel from the group.

The process is aimed at turning out community organizers to carry out the left’s social justice agenda. Frustrated at the limitations of its power over the traditional and conservative Orthodox Jewish community, the left has resorted to creating and equipping front groups to undermine it from within using Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Those groups have been unable to organically gain leadership and are pursuing an aggressive power grab instead.

The true scripture of Uri L’Tzedek and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah is Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. The attempt to hijack Kosher food is a classic example of Rule 4 merging with Rule 11. As the “Tav HaYosher” sign goes up in the windows of formerly Kosher restaurants, its owners and those eating there should recognize what it truly represents.

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