Following the announcement by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio of a free school lunch program that is being rolled out with federal funding from 6th October; there has been an absolute furore among jews as well as Muslims.

The reason is simple: they aren’t officially kosher or halal certified.

To quote the New York Daily News:

‘City schools do offer vegetarian meals, which may satisfy some kosher and halal food requirements. But Jewish and Muslim leaders say those meals still fall short because they haven’t been certified by a religious authority.’ (1)

The principal complaint ‘on behalf of 30,000 Yeshiva students’ is the Orthodox Union and its leader Allen Fagin.

To quote the New York Daily News once more:

‘“The mayor is openly discriminating against students in nonpublic and religious schools,” said Allen Fagin, CEO of the Orthodox Union, a Jewish nonprofit group based in Manhattan.

“He is failing children in classrooms across his city,” Fagin added.’ (2)

What the New York Daily News rather pointedly fails to mention is that the Orthodox Union has a rather large dog in this fight, because it is the world’s premier kashruth certification organisation (3) and is likely to benefit financially from New York City purchasing 30,000 meals a day for jewish Yeshiva students.

To put that in some sort of financial perspective; at the State University of New York in Albany a kosher dinner costs $3 more than a non-kosher dinner. (4) If we assume that there are 260 days (i.e. average working days) per year that this service would be provided and that it would be given to an additional 30,000 jewish Yeshiva students; then it would cost an extra $23,400,000 per year ($3 x 30,000 Students x 260 Days) or $90,000 per day ($3 x 30,000 Students) on top of the cost that feeding 30,000 extra students for 260 days a year, which would probably put the cost per year to something between $50,000,000 to $100,000,000 as a guestimate.

This is why kosher and halal means shouldn’t be provided.

Let the jews and Muslims eat de facto vegetarian food instead.

References

  1. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/nyc-free-school-lunch-plan-ripped-not-offering-kosher-foods-article-1.3535036
  2. Ibid; supported by http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/discrimination-in-new-yorks-student-free-lunch-program/2017/10/03/
  3. See http://www.ou.org/
  4. https://ualbanydining.com/dining-plans/purchased.html