Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kosher Australia small-mindedness?

Received from Sydney reader JW:

I am a longstanding subscriber of the Sydney Kashrut group KCA who really do an excellent job in advising and assisting Kosher consumers here.

Today I received the following email from them:

From: On Behalf Of KCA_Committee
Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 11:39 PM
Subject: [KCA Sydney] Coles brand canned tunas

Twenty-one varieties of Coles brand canned tuna marked "Made in/Product of Thailand" are kosher certified pareve by the Orthodox Union.  They are acceptable even without the OU symbol.

The list includes four Smart Buy Tunas (in brine and in vegetable oil) and seventeen Coles Tuna cans (in olive oil, brine, springwater, sandwich style, and pole & line chunks).

Kosher Australia (Melbourne) issued the full list to its subscribers prior to Rosh Hashanah.  It is important to note that only those varieties actually listed both by name and can size are acceptable.

Kosher Australia also recently issued a list of fifteen John West Tunas which are kosher certified pareve when marked "Product of Thailand".

For information on these products contact Kosher Australia Pty Ltd, email; tel 03-8317 2500.

Note that the list of products certified by Kosher Australia may not be reproduced without permission. (Highlighted by JW)

KCA Committee

That last line really bothers me.

If the aim of Kosher Australia is to promote and grow Kashrut in Australia, shouldn't they rather be encouraging the reproduction of their advices - new approved items and warnings regarding non-Kosher products?

Could this be an attempt by Kosher Australia to force people to subscribe to their Kashrut Directory? Very possible. But why should those of us who live in NSW and receive to the NSWKA directory cough up another $50? (And did Kosher Australia pay OU for giving them the information?)

I also wonder, if there is  another Kashrut organisation anywhere that bans publication of its information? As I see it, the most respected ones, eg, OU, OK London BD, CRC, all publicise their findings on the net - for all to see and benefit. And so too does our own Kashrut Authority. In my humble opinion, if Kosher Aust wish to be taken seriously they must work on their image to show that they are not 'moneyhungry'. 

I was attracted to Kashrut many years ago when some Chabadniks approached me and explained that they were following the demand by their Rebbe to educate Jews about Kashrut. No doubt many other "non-Kosher" Jews were also influenced by this campaign. Thus I am doubly upset when learning that all the main players in the Melbourne Kosher scene are Chabadniks. Maybe someone should pass on their Rebbe's message to them too.


  1. Yes it bothers me as a Melbournian too. I can get Sydney's Kosher list free on the net - but not the Melb version.

    In addition to investigating products and establishments the KA shoul dbe promoting the observance of Kashrus by making it affordable for all and that includes INFORMATION.

    Chag Sameach to all

  2. I realise that it has been Yom Tov and Shabbos, but I look forward to hearing a response from Kosher Aust. They are rarely backward in coming forward reply to critics andf I sure want to hear why they are doing this.

    Although I liv einb Melb, I often go to the Sydney KA site to check up on Kosher products.
    Here is the link,com_kosherdb/Itemid,61/

  3. No need to slander Kosher Australia... I suspect this is what's known as "boilerplate" text. The kind of stuff that's pretty much added by rote. Write them a polite email, and I think you may be surprised by their response. I would think that whilst the list of "approved" items would be copyright, "warnings" are generally available to all. As to the list, they should share it with the NSWKA, I would hope?

  4. kosher australia is not run by chabad and has nothing to do with chabad


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