Friday, October 20, 2006

ARK Hashgocha (Rabbis Reizman & Ullman)

Episode # 1- A chusen contacts me (1-2 years ago) re giving a hashgocha at his wedding, the caterer is from Flatbush under ARK Rabbis Reizman & Ullman. I called the Caterer, among the questions "do you rent dishes etc when you cater? yes, always,can I have the name & number of the rental agency please?, & he rattles off the name & number without even looking it up"

I called the rental company to ascertain their kashrus standards- lo & behold they are a “treif” rental agency, & the ARK Caterer has been renting from them for the longest time.

I called Rabbi Reizman from ARK to inquire about the caterer, Rabbi Reizman says “as long as it’s under my Hashgocha you can be assured that everything is all right & you shouldn’t question it” , That sounded too good to me, so I ask how long do you have the Hashgocha? Rabbi R, says about 3-4 years, I ask did you check with the previous certifier “the Vaad of Flatbush” why they discontinued the supervision? He responded NO, there isn’t any reason for me to check.

I tell him by the way are you aware that the caterer is using dishes from a treif rental company?
Rabbi R, says he isn’t a caterer, he is a take-out place only. End of conversation.

I call another Flatbush certifier, “do you know this specific establishment in Flatbush?” he says sure, the Vaad dropped him as they couldn’t properly control his Milchig/fleishig etc. so I ask isn’t he just a take out place? The certifier responded, Oh no he is a caterer that also does some take out also. I called the Chusen to inquire “did you ever see any parties that he caterers” he say sure he does a beautiful job”.

I called Rabbi Ullman (Rabbi Reizman’s partner in ARK) who visits the place weekly, I ask him did you ever kasher or had a mashgiach at any of the places that Ruthies caterers? Rabbi Ulman responded NO I did not-but I thought he only does take-out not catering (I am in shock-that after 3 ½ years they never figured out that he is a caterer) but I’m on the way to there now & I’ll let you know. I never heard from him again.

Now I hear that the game is as follows: The caterer preparers everything under ARK (Reizman/Ullman) and sends it out a s a drop-off to a caterer. Now this so called Take-out place does the catering not as Ruthies that is under ARK but a new caterer under nobody. So the customer knows the food is prepared under ARK, but he doesn’t know that it is served on treif dishes out of a not koshered kitchen without a Mashgiach. Note: Rabbi Ulman is also the Mashgiach for Cong Bais Tefila & Rabbi Breslauer in Monsey that gave the Hashgocha to Shevach (Moshe Finkel) in Monsey-

Episode #2:A few weeks ago I was doing an affair with an OU caterer out of Sharei Tova Shul in Queens (an OU caterer). An ARK caterer (Pavilion 39-Greenwald’s) sends a fellow to kasher the kitchen as they were going to do an in-house wedding at Sharei Tova & using the OU Sharei Tova kitchen.

I ask the fellow “what type of meats do you use under ARK?” he says Alle & Rubashkin, I told him we are only using ALLE this week so why are you kashering?

The OU Mashgiach called Rabbi Reizman to inquire “why are you kashering” you use all & Rubashkin, we only use Alle? The OU Mashgiach inquired from R’ Reizman what meat & poultry is being used at this party? He responded “I’ll check, He notified the OU Mashgiach that he can’t find out because the frum owner is in Europe & only the non-jew chef would know & he isn’t in the place now. The OU Mashgiach notified Rabbi Reizman that he will have to kasher after the ARK party unless they double wrap all of the pans going into the oven.

Rabbi Reizman stated that he doesn’t require a Mashgiach not at the caterer’s commissary & not on the outside off-premise job “as he relies completely on the frum owner” (who is in Europe at the time) so there is no mashgiach on the job either. At this affair the son of the owner was there. The prepackeged salads they were using was Dole With Rabbi Gruber, The OU Mashgiach pointed out to the caterers son in 2 random bags that there are bugs, the son took out the bugs and gave all of the 5 cases to the workers to use without checking it further.

The chef (a non-Jew) came to the job with his own tool-box of knives, forks etc. The OU Mashgiach asked the chef “you can’t bring in tools unsealed from the Rabbi where you worked last job” .The OU Mashgiach pointed it out to the caterer’s son, who asked the chef why aren’t the sealed? OH!, the Rabbi forgot to seal it. The caterer’s son let him use the knives, etc without so much as kashering them “I trust the chef”.

Also the vegetables including celery & parsley (which are known to have insects) were cursory rinsed by the non-Jewish workers without being checked by any one for insects.

This is in response to why I don’t rely on ARK Hashgocha, I know many more episodes e.g. taking over hashgochas in Passaic, Brooklyn & other areas without so as ascertaining why the other certifier dropped it.
Yudel Shain-Tishrei 5767

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