Hod Catering – Jerusalem
Let me begin by thanking a reader who was concerned enough to start the ball rolling and then pass the information to me with a request to investigate. In some cases, that is how I learn about possible kashrut frauds.
In the Tel Arza neighborhood of the capital, on Grossberg Street, there is a new operation advertising itself as Hod Catering which promotes itself under the Supervision of the Eida Chareidit.
One generally would not suspect anything, especially since it is located in the heart of a chareidi area. The lesson here is one must see a valid teudat kashrut as I always say. Signs are not enough – they never attest to the validity of kashrus.
Anyway, I phoned Maimon last night, explaining I am making an affair and would like to know what kashrus supervision he has. He was quick to boast he is “under the Eida Chareidis” to which I asked if a copy of the teudah can be faxed to me. In the past, I have found most legitimate places will do so, albeit at times only after a firm request. Anyway, Maimon sidestepped and whatever, but no paper being faxed here.
This morning, I went to the Eida Chareidit office, the Kashrus Department on the third floor of the Zupnik Building located at 26 Strauss Street in Yerushalayim. I had a bad feeling about Hod Catering and decided to try to resolve this before Shabbos since we are heading into heavy catering season and I want to prevent unsuspecting people from using the place if it is fraudulent.
I arrived at about 10:30am, and I spoke with my friend Rabbi Yehoshua Gross and told him my dilemma. He telephoned our friend Maimon and the story is as follows.
Maimon is setting up shop in the newly-renovated hall, which investors hope will be yielding a handsome profit in the not-so-distant future. As such, Maimon is anxious to get up-and-running but there are a number of problems; one being he does not have kashrus supervision and is not cooking on premises at present.
Maimon explains that he uses food for catered events from a number of caterers, primarily Nezer HaTorah, which is indeed under the Eida Chareidit’s supervision. While this may indeed be the case, in my opinion, there are a number of problems.
1. Maimon has no supervision.
2. Maimon has no credibility since he lied. Therefore, I for one no longer feel that anything he tells me is trustworthy.
3. Even if the food comes from an Eida Chareidit caterer, Maimon, who handles the affair has no supervision and as per above, he lost his credibility. He should have told me “I use Eida food” but not “I have the supervision of the Eida Chareidit” which includes supervising the warming, dishing out of and other processes involving the food and event.
4. Even if you wish to view Maimon favorably, you will be paying for an Eida Chareidit affair when in essence, in the best of situations, you will only get Eida Chareidit food, without the supervision since once it leaves the kitchen commissary of the caterer, it no longer is the responsibility of the supervising agency.
5. One cannot be certain that other items were not added in. One also does not know what else is cooked in the kitchen from which the affair is served, in the Hod Catering Hall. Perhaps the kitchen does not meet the Eida standard and would have to be kashered.
6. In essence, you are NOT getting an Eida Chareidit affair as promised.
Please pass this around so we can get the word out. Maimon told Rabbi Gross he plans to get the Eida hechsher in the future, and I for one hope he does, so then we know there will be proper supervision.
For now, Maimon joins the list of caterers who seem comfortable lying to the public and selling clients who seek pristine kashrut supervision a bill of goods.