Crown Heights food establishments carrying the CHK Hechsher received a startling letter last week, threatening that if they did not switch to the ‘Braun Hechsher’ they may face a $10,000 fine for illegally using the CHK logo.
The letter asserts that the threat is backed by a temporary restraining order issued by the courts, but makes no mention of the fact that the order in question has been rescinded – leaving R. Braun and his cohorts to face a contempt of court hearing and potential punishment for their actions.
Last week, a four page letter signed by Michoel Chazan on a letterhead from the Vaad Hakashrus of Crown Heights, warned storeowners that their Kashurs certification from the CHK is no longer valid and that they must immediately switch over to the Hechsher that is being offered by R. Yosef Braun. It further directed that payments be redirected and that the changeovers must be completed within 10 days.
The letter refers to a Temporary Restraining Order issued on July 12, 2013 by Hon. Lawrence Knipel, in which Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba and company are restrained from acting as the Vaad Hakashrus, transferring its assets, or distributing salaries to its employees.
The issuing of the TRO was exclusively thanks to trickery and deception on the parts of R. Braun and his cohorts, including: Yaakov Herzog, Joseph Boruch Spielman, Yaakov Spritzer, Michoel Chazan and Mottel Chein, all of whom were ‘appointed’ to various positions of the ‘new’ Vaad Hakashrus.
The TRO was granted after a hearing that took place on Friday, July 12. Following the proceedings, the lawyers representing Rabbi Osdoba left the courthouse while the lawyers for R. Braun remained behind and requested the TRO.
After hearing about this TRO, the lawyers for Rabbi Osdoba requested an emergency hearing, which was held the following Monday, July 15th. The TRO was immediately vacated and voided.
This past Friday, August 9, storeowners began receiving letters ‘informing them of the upcoming changes’ to the Vaad Hakashrus. (See below)
In light of the letter, the Hon. Debra Silber issued a Preliminary Injunction and a Contempt Hearing against R. Braun and company for attempting to disrupt the Kashrus operations, and for falsely using the courts in an attempt to deceive the public. (See below)
The hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, August 15, 2013, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York at 360 Adams Street in Brooklyn.
CrownHeights.info will update its readers with the results of the hearing when they are made available.