Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

29 Adar II 5760 - April 5, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Sponsored by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Produced and housed by

Rakusens Matzos Lose Their Hechsher

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The Beis Din of the Federation of Synagogues has reluctantly withdrawn its hechsher from Rakusens Passover Matzos and wishes to clarify various issues arising from inaccurate statements that have been made in this connection.

The Federation Beis Din first raised concerns about the standard of kashrus at the Rakusens factory in Leeds in early 1993. It was anticipated that through dialogue problems would easily be resolved. Some problems were, indeed, resolved but others were not dealt with.

In February 1999 the Beis Din wrote to Rakusens saying that regrettably they were obliged to withdraw their supervision and certification, as there had been no improvements following detailed reports from the Federation Dayonim in 1992 and 1993. Furthermore, the Beis Din had not been invited to attend the cutting of the wheat for the production of the shemurah matzos, which they had attended for almost all of the previous ten years.

This letter resulted in a meeting in March 1999 between Dayonim and the Managing Director of Rakusens and the mashgiach of the matzo production. The Managing Director, Mr. Donald Macfarlane, undertook to carry out all the requirements including the submission for analysis of film that formed on the hole-making equipment. This was necessary because the Dayonim were concerned that the film might be chometz. The Federation, in a letter, confirmed the details of the meeting and the matters agreed, a few days later. Rakusens did not respond, until reminded and eventually, in November 1999, Mr. Macfarlane told the Federation that "we have implemented all the matters brought to our attention . . . "

This proved to be incorrect and the Federation Beis Din then confirmed that they were withdrawing their hechsher. Throughout, the Federation Beis Din has told Rakusens: "We would be more than happy to continue lending our name to the certification of the matzo, providing that they are on a kashrus level that we are satisfied with."

As the community relies on top quality matzos and in order to fill the void, the Dayonim of the Federation (Dayan Y. Y. Lichtenstein, Dayan B. Berkovits, and Dayan M. D. Elzas) flew this year to Israel to produce matzos under their personal supervision.

The Dayonim, who supervised the baking of this matzo during January this year, expressed their complete satisfaction with the kashrus standards employed during their baking. The bakery, which is generally supervised by the Badatz of the Eida HaChareidis of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Rabbinate, provided mashgichim of the highest caliber to help the Dayonim in their supervision.

These new matzos, Matzot Eretz Hatzvi, were baked in the famous Cohen-Halpern bakery in Jerusalem and are now available on London shelves for the first time.

All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.