Talking about the Tzedek hechsher

The intricacies of the Conservative movement’s proposed tzedek or “justice” hechser get a look from PA’s Jewish Exponent:

Lyon [a rabbi on the committee] stressed that the commission members are still figuring out what criteria will be used, and how deeply certifiers will have to dig to investigate conditions. It’s also not clear whether the hechsher will just stick to labor issues, or if it will also take a page from the eco-kosher idea — developed by leaders of the Jewish Renewal movement, including Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Philadelphia Rabbi Arthur Waskow — and also examine a slaughterhouse’s effect on the environment.

Another conundrum is just how deep certifiers would be asked to dig. In an industry where undocumented immigrants make up a large portion of the workforce, it’s difficult to obtain information easily, and reliable safety statistics are hard to pin down, explained Lyon.

He could not provide a time frame for when the initiative might go into the next phase, nor could he offer specific details about how the process would work. He stressed that the commission is treading carefully, and trying to avoid creating acrimony between Orthodox authorities, particularly those in the business of kosher supervision, and the Conservative movement. This, of course, comes closely on the heels of the movement’s decision to allow the ordination of gay rabbis — a measure that put more distance between Conservative Judaism and its approach to Jewish law, and Orthodoxy.

[Jewish Exponent]

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