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April 16, 1965 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-04-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



Kosher-Certified Products Come of Awe in Surge of Interest

By BEN GALLOB

(Copyright, 1965, JTA, Inc.)

More and more American Jews
buy more kosher products every
year and this trend has been reach-
ing a new peak with each succeed-
ing Passover.
The growth in the purchase and
use of kosher products, particular-
ly for Passover, has in recent years
reached a point where it now reg-
ularly attracts the respectful in-

Happy Holiday

Otto Painting
& Dry Wall Co.

9335 Beech Road
KE 7-7279

•••■■••■•■••■■ wo•• ■•••■.•■■ .o.••w• ■

Best Wishes to All Our
Friends and Relatives

MR. MORRIS POSNER
and Family

23590 Beverly
Oak Pork, Mich.

terest of the business press. A
leading business daily has reported
several times in recent years on
the growing importance of "the
kosher market." A buyer of a ma-
jor grocery chain, emphasizing the
importance of Passover product
sales, was quoted in a trade mag-
azine as asserting that stores in the
chain in predominantly Jewish
neighborhoods sold as many kosher
products in volume in the usual
two-week shopping period before
Passover, as they did during the
other 50 weeks of the year.
Observers of varying degrees of
expertise have cited the rise in
kosher product sales as evidence
of a growing return to Jewish re-
ligious observance and values by
a growing number of American
Jews, an indicator along with ris-
ing synagogue and Jewish center
membership, and increasing enroll-
ment of children in Jewish schools
of all kinds.
A rabbinical expert who has
been associated with kashruth cer-
tification in the food industry for
some four decades agrees that
there has been a surge of interest
among American Jews in kosher
products in recent years and that

Happy Passover To All Our Friends and Patrons

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Best Wishes for
A Joyous Passover
To the Jewish Community

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Best Wishes to All Our

Friends and Patrons

for a

Happy, Healthy and Prosperous

Passover

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CLEANERS

EARL RUBY and
GEORGE MARCUS

18135 Livernois

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purchases for Passover do increase
as compared with kosher purchas-
ing during the rest of the year;
but he is skeptical about current
interpretations as to what these
facts mean as a yardstick of great-
er observance of the Jewish dietary
laws.
Rabbi Alexander S. Rosenberg,
the rabbinic administrator of the
kosher certification service of the
Union of Orthodox Jewish Con-
gregations of America, draws on a
wealth of experience in evaluat-
ing these trends. On its 40th an-
niversary this year, the Orthodox
Union's kashruth certification pro-
gram has agreements with some
450 companies throughout the
United States and in a number of
overseas countries, including Israel.
These companies make more than
2,200 rabbinically endorsed and
supervised kosher products, many
of them household names.
Rabbi Rosenberg divides users of
kosher products into two groups:
the committed who buy and use
only kosher products in obedience
to a religious commandment; and
what he calls the uncommitted
Jews, who do so for other reasons.
The steady increase in enroll-
ment and gradutes from Orthodox-
sponsored day schools, as well as
the vastly larger number in after-
noon Orthodox schools has provid-
ed a growing base for formation of
Jewish families in the committed
category. But Rabbi Rosenberg be-
lieves that these alone would not
account for the accelerating rate
at which kosher products are being
purchased, which leads in turn to
an equally accelerating rate at
which manufacturers are seeking
kosher certification for their pro-
ducts. He regards the uncommit-
ted American Jew as one who is
groping vaguely to fill out a Jew-
ish identification which is as un-
learned as it is incomplete. Such
Jews, in his view, grasp at any
tenuous straw held out to them.
Buying and using kosher products
is a way of Jewish identification
made easy by a number of condi-
tions unique to 20th century Ameri-
can life.
Kashruth has a dignity in the
American Jewish community which
it lacked for the immigrant gen-
eration of Jews at the turn of the
century. For many members of
that generation and especially for
their children, kashruth observance
was associated with being a "green-
horn," a barrier to becomina "at
home" in the new world. b Now,
for example, kashruth at Jewish
public ftmctions is routine, whether
or not the function is under Orth-
odox auspices. The emblem of
kosher certification has become a
sort of status symbol in American
Jewish life.
Rabbi Rosenberg has doubts that
there is as great a disproportion
between year-around and Passover
kosher purchasing as the food in-
dustry seems to believe. He points
out that when a shopper enters
a store and goes directly to the
special Passover section which is
now standard in grocery stores in
Jewish neighborhoods before Pass-
over—from the small corner groc-
ery to the massive supermarkets—
she is engaged in an easily identi-
fiable kind of buying behavior.
Committed or not, that shopper is
buying specifically and visibly
kosher products.
But when this same shopper
pushes her cart through the aisles
of the same store during the other
50 weeks of the year, the casual
observer would find it hard to de-
termine, from her actions, whether
she was buying a particular brand
of baked beans because her family
liked the flavor of that brand, or
because it had on its label the in-
conspicuous emblem of Orthodox
Union rabbinical endorsement.
This situation stems from the
fact that the economics of modern
food production often make it un-
economical to have both kosher
and non-kosher production of the
same product in the plant. It is
simpler to have all production of
that product under rabbinical su-
pervising. Hence, the shopper may

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, April 16, 1965-37

Passover Greetings to All

RYNNE CHINA CO.

be looking for a particular food
for its flavor or quality or price,
without interest or even knowledge
that it was made under rabbinical
supervision, while the Jewish shop-
per seeking kosher products, looks
for the certification emblem. It
is this fact which raises doubts
about comparisons of Passover
versus year-around kosher shop-
ping volume.
Orthodox leadership in this
country has managed to translate
marginal and nostalgic ,Tewishness,
at least to some degree, into more
enduring commitments through the
uncommitted Jew's growing inter-
est in kashruth. For Orthodox
Judaism, Rabbi Rosenberg observes,
there is more than one meaning to
the saying that the way to a man's
heart is through his stomach.

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Passover Greetings
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MOY'S
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TR 3-9440

Passover Greetings To All
Our Friends and Relatives

BELA KOZLOFF and FAMILY

Passover Greetings

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9130 JOS. CAMPAU

HAMTRAMCK, MICH.
TR 1-1500

gassover reetings

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Happy Passover

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Best Wishes
For A Happy Passover

All

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