Great Neck, NY – Kosher Certification Pulled from Restaurant

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    Photo credit: Newsday / Erica MarcusGreat Neck, NY – A day after Amos Hayon left the kitchen at Tel Aviv, the Great Neck restaurant has lost its kosher certification from the Vaad Harabonim of Queens. VHQ is a local organization that supervises kosher establishments and ensures that they adhere to all the standards of kashrus, the Jewish dietary laws.

    Hayon had been executive chef for about a year when, in October, he bought the restaurant from Michael Ginor, who had opened it in 2008. In 2009, Ginor opened a second restaurant in Great Neck, Lola. According to Ginor, VHQ objected to his involvement in Tel Aviv because Lola is not kosher. Ginor estimates that the clientele at Tel Aviv is about 95 percent kosher.

    An employee at VHQ confirmed yesterday that Tel Aviv had indeed lost its certificate, but attempts to get more details today were thwarted by sundown: the Orthodox organization did not respond before the Sabbath observance began.

    Ginor said he thought the sale of Tel Aviv to Hayon satisfied VHQ’s concerns.

    According to Ginor, the terms of the sale were that Hayon would buy the restaurant over the course of two years, paying monthly installments until the purchase was complete. Should Hayon leave before the sale was complete, the restaurant would revert to the original owner.

    When Hayon announced he was leaving a few weeks ago, Ginor said, he began talks with VHQ since there was no other buyer on the horizon. Talks apparently fell through because this morning he received a fax from VHQ revoking its supervision.

    Tel Aviv continues to observe all the same kosher and Sabbath laws. The restaurant is closed tonight and will reopen tomorrow evening an hour after sundown, around 6:30 p.m. Ginor said that, for the time being, nothing would change. Over the next few weeks he will consider whether to seek the supervision of another kosher organization.

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    17 COMMENTS

    1. It’s an old kashrus precaution from years gone by and it’s still valid.

      You can’t own a kosher and a non kosher restaurant in the same town and get hasgacha. The temptation to cheat is too great.

      All of the great Rabbonim have endorsed this over the years.

      We see it in effect today in Teaneck New Jersey where a vegan chinese restaurant (even though it has no meat, dairy, eggs, or fish) can not get hashgacha from the local Vaad because the owner owns a treif restaurant on the next block. An out of town Rabbi (shame on him) came in to give the Hashgacha.

      Unfortunately, there are some in Kashrus who think they know better than Rav Moshe and the Gedolei Torah who enacted this rule.

      I am aware of one situation where two frum brothers who own a chain of treif restaurants are opening a kosher restaurant. The local Vaad isn’t bothered.

      I guess they know better than Rav Moshe.

      • “I guess they know better than Rav Moshe”

        Maybe they do. Many things have changed since Rav Moshe was niftar and these changes make it possible to more carefully monitor compliance with dinei kashruth. There is no valid reason why the same ownership cannot have both strictly kosher and strictly treif restaurants in the same area as long as there is good chassideshe hashgacha at the kosher establishment.

          • Frume yidden consider chassideshe hasgacha to be the gold standard in kashruth. Even the biggest misnaged would feel totally comfortable eating at a restaurant with chassideshe hashgacha but most chassidim (obviously with some exceptions) would not rely upon hashgacha from a misnaged as a mashgiach.

            • Considering some of the issues that have arisen in the recent past with certain chassideshe hashgachas, some of us prefer the major supervisions. We consider their knowledge of modern processing techniques and their attention to detail to be the gold standard.

            • You don’t even realize how bad you make chassidim look with this comment. It’s not that all frum Jews look at chassidishe hashgacha as the gold standard. The reason misnagdeshe Jews will rely on chassidishe hashgacha is that they trust a frum rabbi, especially if he’s known in the frum olam, to have a good hashgacha whether he’s chassidishe oe misnagdishe. Chassidim, on the other hand, have the attitude that the kashrus of a non-chassid is suspect — even if it’s from the biggest Misnagdeshe rav. It’s an attitude of arrogance, small-mindedness and even sinas chinam. If Rav Moshe zt”l had been in the business of giving hashgachos, the chassidim would not have trusted his kashrus. Isn’t that sick?

            • Not what I’ve heard from other mashgichim. They consider KAJ or OU to be the best. Of course, a chassid would only eat from their rebbe’s hashgacha, so that’s why they consider it the gold standard, but the rest of us don’t.

        • Is “good chassideshe hashgacha” any better than good hashgacha from an non chassidesh recognized kashrus organization? I always prefer an orgainization that provides a mashgiach temidi to an individual rav’s hashgocha since their is more oversight.

        • Based on your krumeh logic, we could say things have changed since Moshe Rabaynu so we should CHV throw out the whole Torah.

          There are certain halochos and gedorim in place. One shouldnt even have to come to a psak of Reb Moshe ZTL to see that this could be a MAJOR issue. The problem some people like you have is that you tend to think with your boych so if its good for the boych its good for you. Its a boych s’vroa!

      • This is not a question of Kashruth, but a question of power. I bet you that if they hired a fulltime masgiach, the problem would be solved. So far as I know, must masgiachs sit around with their hands in their pockets, or not helping the owner to manage costs by helping out. The Masgiach job in many places is really a sinecure.

      • “I am aware of one situation where two frum brothers who own a chain of treif restaurants are opening a kosher restaurant.”

        That iswhere the whole story falls appart. Frum men would not own a treif resaturant.

    2. personally I try not to eat from a chassidishe hashgocha, many a time I find they lac the practical knowledge that the hasgocha business requires. In contrast, I find that the more modern hasgochas, like ou, have a better understanding of what kashrus requires and are more careful because they recognize the lower level they are attributed to by the heimishe oilam.

      • The OU requires a Shomer Torah Umitzvos in the place at ALL times. They would not be happy with the situation as it was here!

        Kudos to the VHQ for doing the right thing!

    3. Kashrus Pro Says:
      Reply to #7 Show Quote
      kalman1 Says:

      “ personally I try not to eat from a chassidishe hashgocha, many a time I find they lac the practical knowledge that the hasgocha business requires. In contrast, I find that the more modern hasgochas, like ou, have a better understanding of what kashrus requires and are more careful because they recognize the lower level they are attributed to by the heimishe oilam. ”

      The OU requires a Shomer Torah Umitzvos in the place at ALL times. They would not be happy with the situation as it was here!

      Kudos to the VHQ for doing the right thing!

      owning a treif restaurant is not a problem or a avarha. eating trief is a problem not selling it. In addition tel aviv is closed on shobbas and I think from the story does not sell trief they just do not have a hechsher.

      So what is the problem

      • “eating trief is a problem not selling it” Sorry but there is an issur of hana(obtaining pleasure) whether by eating, having monetary gain or any other benefit from mixing meat and milk in Halacha.(IE you can buy non-kosher food for a non-jewish coworker, like a tuna sandwich but you cannot buy a cheeseburger for him). It is virtually impossible unless there is a completely vegan restaurant not to have any mixing of milk or meat.Even if foods are not intrinsically meat or dairy, so many of the sauces and side dishes of main courses might be.

    4. Kashrus Pro Says:
      Reply to #3 Show Quote
      Anonymous Says:

      “ “I guess they know better than Rav Moshe”

      Maybe they do. Many things have changed since Rav Moshe was niftar and these changes make it possible to more carefully monitor compliance with dinei kashruth. There is no valid reason why the same ownership cannot have both strictly kosher and strictly treif restaurants in the same area as long as there is good chassideshe hashgacha at the kosher establishment. ”

      Based on your krumeh logic, we could say things have changed since Moshe Rabaynu so we should CHV throw out the whole Torah.

      There are certain halochos and gedorim in place. One shouldnt even have to come to a psak of Reb Moshe ZTL to see that this could be a MAJOR issue. The problem some people like you have is that you tend to think with your boych so if its good for the boych its good for you. Its a boych s’vroa!

      really, when a godol makes a pasak it is based on the situation and time the pasak was made. Generations later the situation changes and must be looked at again since the late godel could not have foreseen the changes and the reasons why he made the pasak may not apply or may apply.

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