February 15, 2005

2/15/05 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

This update/Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) Online Newsletter has the following items:

1. *** New “Judaism and Vegetarianism” Booklet Released

3. Environmental Cuts in Bush Proposed Budget (Two Items)

4. More Evidence of Global Warming (Two Items)

5. Israeli Environmental Budget Cut

6. Serious Israeli Health Problems

7. Climate Control Bill Introduced in US Congress

8. Helping Animals Affected by the Asian Tsunami

9. Recent Problems With Kosher Meat

10. New Jewish Vegan Group Started in Los Angeles

11. New York City Vegetarian Group Schedules Dinner

Some material has been deferred to a later update/newsletter to keep this one from being even longer.

[Materials in brackets like this [ ] within an article or forwarded message are my editorial notes/comments.]

Opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the JVNA, unless otherwise indicated, but may be presented to increase awareness and/or to encourage respectful dialogue. Also, information re conferences, retreats, forums, trips, and other events does not necessarily imply endorsements by JVNA, but may be presented for informational purposes. Please use e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and web sites to get further information about any event that you are interested in.

As always, your comments and suggestions are very welcome.


1. *** New “Judaism and Vegetarianism” Booklet Released

We now have a wonderful new tool to help us reach out to the Jewish community, a very comprehensive, clear booklet on Judaism and Vegetarianism, “A Case for Jewish Vegetarianism: For Animals, For Yourself, and For the Environment.” It was written primarily by scholar and long-time Jewish vegetarian activist Aaron Gross with some input from myself, Roberta Kalechofsky, and others.

The booklet is written in a way to reach out to Jews with various religious beliefs. While emphasizing Biblical and Rabbinic teachings that support vegetarianism, the book also discusses the vibrant vegetarian advocacy found among many Jewish literary giants from S.Y. Agnon to Franz Kafka. It also features a first-of-its-kind article by nutrition author Dr. Jay Levine detailing the devastating health problems caused disproportionately in the Jewish community by eating meat.

The strength of this booklet is that it combines the full range of Jewish text-based arguments for vegetarianism with carefully culled, detailed examples of conditions on factory farms, health information from medical journals, and data from studies on the environmental problems caused by meat-eating.

The booklet has supporting blurbs from Rabbis David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, member of the Board of Trustees of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author and founder and director of “Simply Jewish” and the “One River Foundation,” Rabbi Jonathan K. Crane, Harvard Hillel Director, and Rabbi Barry Schwartz, member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis Task Force on Kashrut.

Though the booklet was written independently, it is being distributed for free through the generous help of PETA (who did not influence the content). You can get free individual copies or multiple copies to distribute by calling PETA's toll free hotline, 1-888-VEG FOOD. Press the number for the booklet, and you will also receive a vegetarian starter kit (with recipes) and a free DVD. If you want extra copies, simply indicate that when you call and PETA will send you as many as you can use.

I urge you to obtain copies of the booklet and get them to rabbis, Jewish educators, other Jewish leaders, family members and friends, and others who might be interested. Also, please consider distributing copies at synagogues, Jewish day schools, and Jewish-related conferences.

I suggest that you consider using the booklet in conjunction with the following points, as discussed many times in previous issues of this newsletter;

* The world is greatly threatened today by global warming and its effects, destruction of tropical rain forests and other valuable habitats, desertification, widening water shortages and many other threats;
* The application of Jewish values to our diets and other aspects of life is essential in responding to current threats;
* A shift toward vegetarianism is both a societal imperative and a Jewish imperative;
* Unfortunately, with some notable exceptions, the Jewish community is failing to consider and act on the above points.

While, as indicated in previous JVNA newsletters, we have been and continue to be critical of some aspects of PETA’s philosophy and some of its actions, their sponsorship of the booklet is consistent with their statements re the recent Postville Iowa glatt kosher slaughterhouse, in which they praised Jewish teachings on compassion to animals and asserted that shechita (ritual slaughter), when properly carried out. Is a superior method of slaughter. PETA believes, as we do, that a very strong case for vegetarianism can be made based on Jewish values. Hence, they have sponsored the booklet and are offering free copies to help spread the Jewish vegetarian message.

Your comments and suggestions about the booklet and how to use it effectively are very welcome.

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3. Environmental Cuts in Bush Proposed Budget (Two Items)

a. Message from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV)

This week, the Bush Administration wielded its budget-cutting axe on environmental programs across several agencies.

The nation's top environmental agency sees its budget chopped by $450 million -- nearly 6 percent. Among the programs to suffer the most is a federal program funding clean water projects. EPA's own estimates for cleaning up the nation's water puts the tab in the hundreds of billions. But the Bush Administration opted to turn its back on the issue by slashing the program by nearly half since 2004. The President's budget also shirks the Superfund, opting to continue to shift the burden of toxic cleanups to taxpayers instead of having polluters foot the bill.

Just days after a State of the Union speech touting a budget with "strong funding" for renewables, the President promptly offered a plan that cuts -- yes, cuts -- renewable energy and energy efficiency programs by 4 percent.

Late last year, President Bush offered a glimmer of hope for the nation's oceans by announcing an action plan to combat problems facing our seas. But environmentalists were wary, saying follow-through and funding was key. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Bush Administration's budget requests a nearly 40 percent cut to the National Ocean Service and slashes funding for the National Marine Fisheries Service by 12 percent. So much for helping our oceans

Arctic Drilling
The President's budget once again assumes revenues from drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Perhaps nobody told the President that there are no revenues from drilling in the Refuge, since Congress has rejected opening the sensitive habitat to oil and gas exploration. Didn't this kind of clever accounting get companies such as Enron in trouble?

National Parks
A modest increase to address a backlog in maintenance in the National Park system comes up woefully short of what is needed. President Bush has fallen $4 billion short of his 2000 campaign pledge of $5 billion to take care of the problem.

b. Details of environmental cuts in Bush's budget emerge

Forwarded (somewhat sarcastic) message from Grist magazine:

Now that the nation's water is all cleaned up, the Bush administration has proposed sharply cutting a federal assistance program designed to help modernize aging sewer systems and prevent toxic runoff into streams and rivers -- from $1.35 billion in 2004 to $730 million. And now that the nation is no longer dependent on foreign oil, the Bush budget proposes a roughly 4 percent cut in Department of Energy funding for efficiency and renewable energy. With the oceans spic and span, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration faces proposed cuts of around 8.3 percent, hitting heaviest in those parts of the agency that work on ocean preservation and overfishing. The budget "limits and tames the spending appetite of the federal government," said President Bush, who has never vetoed a spending bill, and whose Medicare prescription drug benefit is now set to cost more than twice his projection of $534 billion over 10 years, a difference that could restore all the aforementioned cuts and leave several hundred billion dollars left over.

straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Miguel Bustillo and Kenneth R. Weiss, 09 Feb 2005

straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Janet Hook and Warren Vieth, 09 Feb 2005

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4. More Evidence of Global Warming (Two Items)

Forwarded message from Grist Magazine

a. Dramatic weather convinces many Westerners of global warming

As the Western U.S. increasingly suffers from what many scientists believe are the effects of climate change -- reduced snowpack, massive forest fires, alternating drought and torrential rain -- more and more residents are accepting the reality of the phenomenon. "Do I believe in global warming? Absolutely," said Reese Woodling, who last year abandoned his ranch along the New Mexico-Arizona border because of crippling drought. A decade-long drought has Arizona's economy drying up as well, costing cattle-related industries $2.8 billion in 2002. But current conditions are just a taste of what's to come, says researcher C. Mark Eakin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "When you've got an increased tendency toward drought in a region that's already stressed, then you're just looking for trouble," he said. "Weather is like rolling the dice, and climate change is like loading the dice."

straight to the source: The Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin, 06 Feb 2005

b. NY Times article

2004 Was Fourth-Warmest Year Ever Recorded
From the NY Times, February 10, 2005

Last year was the fourth warmest since systematic temperature measurements began around the world in the 19th century, NASA scientists said yesterday.

Particularly high temperatures were measured over Alaska, the Caspian Sea region of Europe and the Antarctic Peninsula, while the United States was unusually cool. But the global average continued a 30-year rise that is "due primarily to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere," said Dr. James E. Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in Manhattan.

The main source of such gases is smokestack and tailpipe emissions from burning coal and oil.

The highest global average was measured in 1998, when temperatures were raised by a strong cycle of El Niño in the Pacific Ocean; 2002 and 2003 were second and third warmest.

Dr. Hansen said a weak Niño pattern was likely to make 2005 at least the second warmest year and could push it beyond 1998 and set a record.

The unusual nature of the recent warming was corroborated separately yesterday by a new analysis of 2,000 years of indirect temperature records in tree rings, stalagmites, seabed layers, and other evidence from around the Northern Hemisphere.

That study, published in the journal Nature, found that previous peaks of warming, particularly during medieval times about 1,000 years ago, were as warm as the 20th-century average but that no spikes in the last 2,000 years matched the warming since 1990.

It is one of several recent studies challenging a longstanding view that temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were relatively unvarying until the recent warming, a pattern enshrined in a graph scientists have taken to calling the hockey stick for its long horizontal "shaft" and upward-hooking "blade."

The lead author of the new paper, Anders Moberg of Stockholm University in Sweden, said it was important to recognize that natural influences on climate could either amplify or mask human-caused warming in years to come.

But his paper "should not be a fuel for greenhouse skeptics in their arguments," Mr. Moberg said, adding that there were ample signs that the warming was now outside nature's recent bounds.

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5. Israeli Environmental Budget Cut

Deep budget cuts cripple [Israeli] Environment Ministry
By Zafrir Rinat
Haaretz 2/10/05

When a decision is made to cut deeply into the annual budget of the defense or health ministries, there is a tremendous uproar about the threat this action poses to the lives of citizens. However, an 11 percent cut in the budget of the Environment Ministry has barely made a ripple in the news, even though it exposes the public to many health hazards.

Two weeks ago it was announced that as part of an across-the-board cut in the budget of ministries, the budget of the Environment Ministry would shrink from NIS 183 million last year to NIS 179 million this year.

When the budget that is left is broken down, it emerges, for example, that the ministry will be able to allocate only NIS 9 million to preventing pollution in the seas - and even this sum depends on income received from fines paid for polluting the shores.

Monitoring air quality will have to make do with NIS 3 million; less than NIS 100,000 will go to the unit responsible for issuing permits to businesses.

The section dealing with dangerous materials will receive NIS 30 million, all toward the rehabilitation of the Ramat Hovav site in the Negev, but for all other needs there is only NIS 350,000 left.

The data mentioned above was collected by the not-for-profit Life and Environment, an umbrella organization for some 70 environmental groups.

According to research carried out on behalf of Life and Environment by Noga Levtzion-Nadan, the budget for air monitoring has been cut by 51 percent since 2000, while the budget for the prevention of sea pollution was cut by 50 percent over the same period. Levtzion-Nadan, an economist, says that just when a number of research projects were published linking the death of hundreds and air pollution, there has been a significant drop in the ability of the ministry to monitor sources of pollution.

"Our entire budget for testing for pollution has been cut and our ability to enforce [the law] is based on it," says Dr. Miriam Haran, director general of the Environment Ministry.

"When we file suits against polluters, we need to present test results, and this will become very difficult. For example, testing for the poisonous chemical dioxin is incredibly expensive," she adds.

So is the expert treatment of dangerous materials. "We will not be able to acquire new equipment, as required in this field, or to upkeep what we have at the necessary level," Haran says

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6. Serious Israeli Health Problems

A serious health threat to Israel
By Dan Ben-David
Sun., February 13, 2005

A nation with a future requires leadership with vision, caring, integrity and the ability to plan ahead. The decline - in relation to the Western world - of Israel's economy, society and educational system since the 1970s speaks for itself with respect to the caliber of our elected officials (though there were a few exceptions) over this period. A country's inner strength, upon which its defensive might is based, is determined by its living standards, the degree of its internal gaps and the quality of life of its citizens.

In this latter realm, the health threat to Israel is serious. This is a country that allows its First World doctors to be overshadowed by a Third World managerial culture that abandons our loved ones to subsistence as vagabonds in hospital corridors during their weakest hours, that condemns them to premature death because of budgets that move intensive care and national health baskets downward on the budget prioritization ladder, that creates large gaps in the quality of medical equipment around the country. This is a country that, given the amount of money that it spends on health, should have looked substantially different at the dawn of the 21st century.

Israel's national health expenditure as a percentage of its GDP puts it in eighth place among 29 OECD countries. On the other hand, the number of general care hospital beds per 1,000 persons is just 2.2 - below all of the Western nations. While bed occupancy in internal medicine units abroad is 65-75 percent, the annual Israeli average was 106 percent in 2003, and during winter the occupancy rates reach 150-200 percent! As if this were not enough, the share of investment in the national health expenditure fell from 6 percent in 1980 to 3.7 percent in 1990, reaching 3.9 percent in 2000, so don't hold your breath for any improvements any time soon. Since the national health law was enacted in the mid-1990s, private spending rose from a quarter to a third of the national health expenditure. We pay more, but the waiting periods for medical specialists just get longer and longer. The wait to see a cardiologist can reach four months - but this only concerns an evidently minor organ such as the heart, so there is no rush to get a diagnosis.

About 5 percent of the general care beds in Europe are in intensive care units (ICUs). In the United States the proportion is 10 percent. There are 1,600 beds in the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, one of Israel's premier hospitals - but just 10 of these are in the ICU. In Ichilov, another first-tier hospital, there are 1,000 beds, and (according to the "Bulldozer" TV program) only nine in the ICU. Even when the equipment is donated and reaches the hospital at no expense to Israeli taxpayers, someone still prevents budgeting for the medical team that could operate it.

Beds in ICUs are three times more expensive than regular hospital beds. Therefore, our managerial wizards prefer to give us fewer beds in these units (with fatality rates of 15 percent) and to transfer our nearest and dearest to intensive care rooms located in the internal medicine units (with fatality rates of 65-85 percent). Even though the actual differences are not quite that great - since the lack of space in the ICUs forces them to transfer to the intensive care rooms patients with lower chances of survival - the inferior equipment and the substantially more diluted staffing with less intensive care experience seals the fate of the majority of those who are transferred.

The problem of the health system is not a lack of money, though my personal preference would be to increase the health budget at the expense of the nationalistic preferences of the current health minister. But first, there is a need to know where the money that we spend on health is actually going. As is common in these parts, no one is accountable, there is no transparency - and there is no one that can be relied on in our national leadership. It is time for the prime minister to appoint a national task force, as he did with education, comprising blue-ribbon professionals specializing in health, social work, management, economics and law in order to rejuvenate a sick health system that literally affects our quality of life.

Dr. Ben-David teaches economics in the department of public policy at Tel Aviv University.

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7. Climate Control Bill Introduced in US Congress

Forwarded message from the Union of Concerned Scientists

***** EXECUTIVE SUMMARY *****************

ISSUE: Today, February 10, 2005, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from the U. S. Senate and House of Representatives introduced a vital piece of legislation to address climate change, the Climate Stewardship Act (C.S.A.). Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Representatives Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) and John Olver (D-MA) are the chief sponsors of this bill, which proposes to cut emissions of the heat-trapping gases that contribute to climate change. This bill is likely to be the most comprehensive climate-related bill introduced into the current Congress and it's passage would be a significant first-step to reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases. As a scientist, you can help raise awareness of the need to reduce heat-trapping emissions.

ACTION: Monitor your local paper and respond to coverage with a letter-to-the-editor.

MAIN MESSAGE: The Earth's climate is changing, largely as a result of human activity. We need to act today to implement climate change solutions that will greatly reduce our heat-trapping gas emissions and avoid the worst impacts for the world our children and grandchildren will inherit.

DEADLINE: ASAP, but no later than 3 days after the story appears.


*** THE ISSUE ***

The Climate Stewardship Act (C.S.A.), which ,if enacted, would initiate an "economy-wide cap and trade" approach to limiting heat-trapping gas emissions, was introduced into the 109th Congress today, February 10, 2005. This bill will likely be the most comprehensive piece of legislation related to climate change to be introduced into the current Congress. It represents a solid first-step to implementing policies that will reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Representatives Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) and John Olver (D-MA) are the chief sponsors of this legislation.

* C.S.A. - How It Works
The C.S.A. would set mandatory limits on emissions of heat-trapping gases from relevant sectors of the U.S. economy. This would be done in a way that would provide significant flexibility to the affected industries in how they reduce their emissions. This type of market mechanism applied to achieve emissions reductions goals is often called a "cap and trade" system.

The C.S.A. calls for a reduction in emissions of heat-trapping gases to 2000 levels by the year 2010. The bill proposes the creation of a market-based system of tradable allowances to achieve this reduction. The market-based system was based on the widely successful system of sulfur dioxide emission permits, which was created under the 1990 Clean Air Act. An independent study from economists at MIT showed that the C.S.A. would have a modest economic impact of $20 per year per household. (For a more detail, see: http://www.ucsusa.org/global_environment/global_warming/page.cfm?pageID=1237 )

* C.S.A. - Brief History
The C.S.A. was first introduced in January, 2003 by Senators McCain and Lieberman. It received a historic vote in October 2003, which demonstrated strong bipartisan support from 43 senators-a great first step. Senators McCain and Lieberman did seek another Senate vote in the summer of 2004; but, unfortunately, the senate leadership did not allow a second vote to occur.

Building on the momentum of the senate vote, a similar version of the C.S.A. was introduced in the House on March 30, 2004. The principal sponsors of this bill were a bi-partisan group of 20 Representatives led by Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) and John Olver (D-MA). Over the course of the 108th Congress, 65 additional representatives added their names as co-sponsors to the bill.

* How You Can Help
As a result of the prominence and bi-partisan nature of the C.S.A., the introduction of the bill presents a good opportunity to engage your local congressional delegation on the issue of climate change. One of the most effective ways to highlight the importance of an issue for your congressional delegation is by writing a letter-to-the-editor. This is because most congress members keep a close eye on media coverage, including LTEs, in their local papers. This media monitoring helps members keep a "pulse" on issues of importance to their constituents. Thus, having a strong LTE published is a good way to influence your elected officials.

* Political Context
The introduction of the C.S.A. is likely to be the first story in a busy week for climate change news. The Kyoto Protocol will enter into force on February 16th.
Additionally, Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) is expected to introduce a climate-related bill that will not require any mandatory reductions of heat-trapping emissions, but will instead focus on technology transfers and tax credits as ways to promote reductions of heat-trapping emissions. This coverage comes on the heals of recent news coverage of a series of recommendations for immediate action to prevent human emissions of heat-trapping gases that were made by the International Climate Change Taskforce.

*** THE ACTION ***

-- Send a letter-to-the-editor if the story appears in your local paper.

Information on how and to whom to submit a LTE is usually found right on the Letters Page in your paper. Many papers now accept letters via email. If you can't find the information you need, simply call the paper and ask how to go about submitting a letter in response to a recently published article.

To increase the chances that your letter will be published, do the following:

- stay focused on one or two main points you'd like to make;
- keep your letter under 200 words;
- include, if possible, a local angle that adds something new to the story that appeared in your paper;
- be sure to include your name, address, and daytime phone number; the paper will contact you before printing your letter; and
- submit the letter on the same day the story appears, if possible.

***Note: An effective letter-to-the-editor needs to be personally crafted by the signer. Although we include a suggested "main message" and some alternative talking points, below, that you may want to consider to focus your thinking, please be sure to draft the letter in your own words. In particular, your letter will be most effective - and most likely to be run - if it reflects your personal experience.

The Earth's climate is changing, largely as a result of human activity. We need to act today to implement climate change solutions that will greatly reduce our heat-trapping gas emissions and avoid the worst impacts for the world our children and grandchildren will inherit.

ASAP, but no later than 3 days after the story appears.

Please let us know if you take the action. You can email us at ssi@ucsusa.org

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8. Helping Animals Affected by the Asian Tsunami

Tsunami Animals Need Your Help
[A previous JVNA Newsletter discussed ways of helping people affected by the tsunami.]

Pets & Animals in Distress has taken a active role to help provide financial assistance to the Tsunami Animal Relief effort to help with the purchase of food and veterinary supplies for the many starving and injured homeless animals wandering the streets in search of food in the aftermath of the Tsunami disaster.

I personally know first hand living through our own hurricane disaster that we experienced last year when Florida was hit by four powerful hurricanes that left many animals homeless, lost and without food and medical care. Immediately our urgent plea went out to the community and the quick response and outpour of support that came from our hurricane disaster was met through the kindness and generosity from many compassionate animal lovers all over America that helped the hurricane animals in our time of need.

There is a lot of outpour and outreach for those addressing human needs for the Tsunami disaster, but there is little outreach for the Tsunami animals. As we initially feared, while money is pouring in to address human suffering, the same is not true for the animals, and why Pets & Animals in Distress has taken action to continue to help the Tsunami animals.

There are many issues that the Tsunami animals and people are facing everyday and your gift will help us provide the financial aid needed to help our local partners on the ground in Sri Lanka to purchase the food and veterinary supplies needed to go to the Tsunami animal relief efforts.

Your financial support is urgently needed to help the Tsunami animals today. For only ($15 month) you can help provide food and veterinary care to a starving or sick Tsunami animal. PLEASE SUPPORT THIS WORK AND PASS THIS ON TO A FRIEND!

On behalf of the animals, we thank you in advance for your support.


Brenda Beck, President
Pets & Animals in Distress
"Your Best Friends Helping Our Best Friends"

Please Give to Help Feed a Tsunami Animal!

You can make a difference to help the Tsunami animals by making a one time or monthly donation.

Your donation will go to help:

* Feed hungry animals
* Treat their wounds
* Vaccinate against diseases


To send your gift by mail, please make your check payable

Pets & Animals in Distress
C/O: Tsunami Animal Relief Fund
1511 East Commercial Blvd, PMB #129
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33334

Pets & Animals in Distress is a registered IRS 501(c) (3) non-profit organization (65-0847652) http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=20522480&u=186678

As a Pets & Animals in Distress supporter your mailbox will not be overloaded with appeal letters from us. We know you want your money to benefit animals. Whenever possible we will use e-mail to communicate with you, a huge savings to our organization over stationery, printing, and postage. When we do contact you in this way the information will be immediate and not weeks or months old.

1511 East Commercial Blvd
PMB #129
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33334
United States

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9. Recent Problems With Kosher Meat

Report from “Kosher Today” Magazine, an Industry-Based Publication

Rabbis, Agencies in Urgent Effort to Protect Consumers from Kosher Meat Fraud (Brooklyn, NY) Community rabbis and certification agencies are planning to meet soon to adopt measures to protect consumers from the type of fraud in glatt kosher meats that rocked the kosher community last week. A major Flatbush retailer was forced to close after it was discovered that "kosher" flanken was repackaged and mislabeled as "glatt kosher." Sources say that glatt kosher flanken were in extremely short supply of late. In ads and flyers distributed throughout the Brooklyn communities of Crown Heights, Boro Park, and Flatbush, the Kehilah Kashrus agency of Flatbush, advised consumers of a "recall" of kosher meats purchased at the kosher takeout store prior to February 1 st. Sources told Kosher Today that the mislabeled meats were also distributed by the Flatbush retailer to at least three other stores in the heavily populated Orthodox Jewish communities of Brooklyn. The meat was traced to AgriProcessors of Postville, Iowa which sold the meat to a New York distributor who in turn sold the "kosher" (non-glatt kosher) meat to the Brooklyn store. There is a market, albeit shrinking, for the "kosher" meat, which is substantially less costly than the glatt variety. Animals that are examined after slaughter and are found to have adhesions on the lungs are sold as kosher and not glatt kosher (smooth - no adhesions). Amongst the recommendations that the rabbis are considering are tighter controls on the "middlemen" and requiring retailers that repackage kosher products to retain full time kosher supervisors. Although urged not to use the meats, glatt kosher consumers were also told by most rabbis (with some notable exceptions) that they would not have to kosher pots, dishes, and flatware because the mislabeled products were kosher in any event.

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10. New Jewish Vegan Group Started in Los Angeles

Forwarded message from Janine Bronsom

Please also announce a new group I'm starting up called KEROV. It's the Kosher Ethical Raw-fooders Organic Vegans. It will be affiliated with the Jewish Vegetarian Society, Los Angeles, on the Westside, meeting every third Saturday of the month at Motzaei Shabbat (after sundown) believe it or not, at a wonderful brand new restaurant called Leaf Cuisine which is Raw Vegan Kosher and Organic! Perfect venue, easily accessible to three major freeways within minutes/seconds! [Fwy 10, Fwy 405 and Fwy 90] and our first meeting is next Sunday!

Best wishes

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11. New York City Vegetarian Group Schedules Dinner

Forwarded message

The Veggie Jews' group is pleased to announce that, thanks once again to volunteer host Lynn, we will present our next veggie dinner in New York City on Tuesday evening, March 1, 2005, when we will gather at Pongal Restaurant, 110 Lexington Ave., at 7 p.m.

Pongal is a reasonably priced,, kosher, vegetarian, South Indian restaurant located between 27th and 28th Streets. You can check out the menu at www.pongal.org. We will be ordering from the menu.

If you will attend, please reply to veggiejews@cyberonic.com no later than 7 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Monday evening, February 28, 2005. Walk-ins will only be accommodated on a space-available basis. So, to insure yourself a seat, reservations are strongly recommended.

For information about Pongal, call (212) 696-9458. (Please note that, although this restaurant is vegetarian, vegans should inquire when ordering to obtain vegan food.) For information on Veggie Jews, please go to www.groups.yahoo.com/group/veggiejews.

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