December 1, 2015

For 999 – Real Kosher, it’s the End of an Era

Newark NJ - It was at Kosherfest 2014 that the octogenarian Rabbi David Hill made the rounds around the Meadowlands Exposition Center in his scooter. He was a fixture on the kosher food scene for more than a half century and rightfully belonged there. David Hill assumed the ownership of a company that had its headquarters on the Lower East Side on Rivington Street for decades from his father. The company was known as Real Kosher but its brand oddly enough was 999, which the Hills simply named after their USDA number that was assigned to them. Hill was also known for his extraordinary activism in the Jewish community, including championing the cause of freedom for Soviet Jewry. When the company was sold to employees of West Side Kosher more than a decade ago, it ended the company’s run on the Lower East Side. For awhile David Hill was sandwiched between his father who founded the company and sons Jonathan and Jay who continued the Hill legacy. Tragically, Jonathan was killed as he stepped off the sidewalk on the Lower East Side. But now the end has come for a company that was known for its quality deli, sausages, and fresh meat. The successor to Hill had banked on the private label business more than promoting the brand and several months ago, the Newark plant was closed for good.