January 19, 2009

Agriprocessors Limps Back to Life

Postville, IA…Rumors are rife that the bankrupt Agriprocessors will soon begin the kosher slaughter of turkeys and that it is only a matter of time that the plant will also resiume the schechita (kosher slaughter) of calves. In the meantime, incarcerated Sholom Rubashkin will get another chance to make his case for release on bail from the Dubuque County Jail, where a group of leading rabbis from several major Orthodox Jewish organizations, including Agudath Israel of America, Orthodox Union, Rabbinical Council of America, National Council of Young Israel, and Chabad, visited the former Agri CEO. These organizations, as well as the Anti Defamation League, have petitioned a federal magistrate judge for Rubashkin’s release on bail until his trial later this year after prosecutors invoked Israel's Law of Return as proof of his being a flight risk. Mr. Rubashkin had signed a waver and would most certainly be almost instantly extradited by Israel, although Rubashkin has strong ties to his family here. Sources say that the receiver running the plant has nixed many offers to acquire the company based on the feeling that the company’s value will be substantially increased with a resumption in production. Despite some improvements in the supply of kosher meat, availability is still a long way from what it was prior to the federal raid in May 2008.