October 18, 2010

United Charedi Poultry Brand Divides into Two: Chasidic and Yeshivish

Jerusalem…It wasn’t as if the popular Yesh supermarket needed more poultry brands in its refrigerator case. But last week, a new poultry brand that seemingly had united disparate Chasidic and Yeshiva groups had already split into two. What began as the Hisachdus-Badatz brand is now two brands: Hisachdus Hacharedim, representing the Yeshiva groups under Rabbi Yosef Efrati, close confidant to the venerable sage Rabbi Yosef Sholem Eliyashiv, and Hiscahdus Hachasidim supported by such major Chasidic groups as Belz, Gur, and Slonim. The two new brands are effectively cutting into the market share of the Eida Hacharedis which for many years enjoyed a monopoly amongst the disparate Charedi groups. A rabbinic source told Kosher Today that the new brands are competing favorably against the more costly brands of the Eida Hachareidis. With their steadily growing large families, many Jerusalemites and other charedim in towns like Bet Shemesh complained about the cost of fowl during the just concluded holidays. In some of the supermarkets that cater to charedim, the new brand was an instant hit and said one source, “it was immediately gobbled up by the institutional market.” The story circulating here is not so much about the poultry but on just how fragile unity can be, having lasted literally weeks. The irony is that Kosher Today has learned that both brands are slaughtered in the same plant, using the same schochtim and the same processing. At least, there is unity here.