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Postville, IA - Israeli Firm Zoglobek Negotiating to Purchase Rubashkin's Meat Plant

Published on: January 1, 2009 09:37 AM
By: VIN News
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Zoglobek Meat plant in IsraelZoglobek Meat plant in Israel

Postville, IA - The general director and one of the owners of Zoglobek company, Eli Zoglobek, is presently negotiating to purchase the Agriprocessors meat plant owned by the Rubashkin family, which supplies 60% of the American kosher meat market, and has a $400 million annual turnover. This is according to Israeli Hebrew Newspaper Sha’ah Tovah

The Zoglobek food processing plant in Israel is a privately owned, family business that earns over $100 million a year. It was founded in 1937 by Raymond and Yona Zoglobek, who were refugees from Nazi Germany. The first factory was established in Nahariya, and later a newer factory was built in Shlomi.

It is conjectured that Zoglobek will try to purchase the meat production plant at liquidation prices, perhaps only several tens of millions of dollars.

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In the past, Eli Zoglobek mentioned that it is difficult to expand in a country as small as Israel and he was thinking of setting his sights abroad.

If Zoglobek purchases Agriprocessors, Zoglobek would be able to move a large part of his meat production abroad, which would save transportation costs for the profitable kosher meat line which he exports from Israel.

In Israel, Zoglobek maintains a regular kosher line of products, and also a smaller line of mehadrin kosher products. It also sells meatless kababs, patties, burgers, schnitzel, frankfurters, stir-fry ready meals, and nuggets.

Rubashkin’s thriving plant suffered sudden reverses after a federal raid of the plant last May discovered the company employed 400 illegals, some of whom were minors. The raid invited further federal scrutiny against the Rubashkins, and today the company faces a myriad of federal bank fraud and immigration-related charges. Chief executive Sholom Rubashkin was taken in custody in Iowa and faces heavy fines and a prison sentence if he is convicted.

Despite the Rubashkins offering the court $3.75 million for bail, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jon Scoles denied it, saying, among other reasons, he was concerned that Rubashkin might take advantage of Israel’s “Law of Return” which provides citizenship to any Jew who wants to settle in Israel, to abscond.

The heavy handed federal harassment, whose scope and stringent law enforcement went beyond anything which the feds did to any other American meat packing plant, forced the Rubashkins to declare bankruptcy proceedings in October.

Zoglobek had its own share of controversy when it was discovered in year 2000 that one of its Jewish plant managers Chanon Zoglobek, was pressuring the workers to become adherents of Scientology, a cult “religion” that has been discredited in dozens of countries.


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Read Comments (37)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 01, 2009 at 09:46 AM robroy560 Says:

60% of the American meat market? Get this plant running again.

2

 Jan 01, 2009 at 09:57 AM Secular Danny Says:

oi vey israeli meat is of horrible quality. they leave all the fat and simply have bad quality meat products.

3

 Jan 01, 2009 at 10:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Zoglobek, has product under BADAZ !!!

4

 Jan 01, 2009 at 10:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Secular Danny Says:

oi vey israeli meat is of horrible quality. they leave all the fat and simply have bad quality meat products.

that's not true! They have the leanest and best meat one can ever find!

5

 Jan 01, 2009 at 11:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Secular Danny Says:

oi vey israeli meat is of horrible quality. they leave all the fat and simply have bad quality meat products.

you are so wrong isreal has very very good meat we import meat from isreal for years and its great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

happy new year

6

 Jan 01, 2009 at 11:22 AM Anonymous Says:

"Zoglobek had its own share of controversy when it was discovered in year 2000 that one of its Jewish plant managers Chanon Zoglobek, was pressuring the workers to become adherents of Scientology, a cult "religion" that has been discredited in dozens of countries."

Ok, that's bad. But does that change the kashrut of the food? I remember a case in Monsey where a supposedly frum guy was selling treif chickens. That is more of a problem than a misguided yid with his beliefs, but the food is still kosher.

7

 Jan 01, 2009 at 11:39 AM Litvak Says:

Zoglobek is not frum and the OU will not give a hechsher to someone who is not Shomer Shabbas.

As for 60%.................
The figures used were the total Kosher Meat sales (let's say $100 million) and Rubashkin's total output (let's say $60 million. These are not the actual numbers, just an example). So Rubashkin has 60% of the market.

Here came the Lubinsky spin that no one questioned. Rubashkn sells 50% hindquarters and they have a 70% kosher kill. Lets say that there is a 100% Kosher kill. Then 1/2 of the animal is Glatt. Rubashkin's KOSHER kill is $30 million dollars.

Now Rubashkin is only 30% of the market. The 'meat shortage' really was not that bad. So why did ALLE (Meal Mart) raise their prices so much???

Too bad that there is no one trustworthy to investigate this.

8

 Jan 01, 2009 at 11:04 AM Kashrus Pro Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

that's not true! They have the leanest and best meat one can ever find!

That's because they get it from South America where everything is tough!

9

 Jan 01, 2009 at 01:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Scientology is like a joke.

10

 Jan 01, 2009 at 01:43 PM not true Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

that's not true! They have the leanest and best meat one can ever find!

no israel meat is bad news

11

 Jan 01, 2009 at 01:35 PM john Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

"Zoglobek had its own share of controversy when it was discovered in year 2000 that one of its Jewish plant managers Chanon Zoglobek, was pressuring the workers to become adherents of Scientology, a cult "religion" that has been discredited in dozens of countries."

Ok, that's bad. But does that change the kashrut of the food? I remember a case in Monsey where a supposedly frum guy was selling treif chickens. That is more of a problem than a misguided yid with his beliefs, but the food is still kosher.

yup the food can still be kosher and if a yid is getting involved with kashrus it might be a step forward in his connection to yiddishkeit

soo id like to think

12

 Jan 01, 2009 at 03:10 PM mordy Says:

As was discussed in great length that the bottom line of the whole controversy was to shut down Kosher meat production in the country. Any major news that seems to imply that Kosher meat may have a revival is positive thing. Just like in the stock market just talk of possible good news will cause the stock to soar upwards (until a few month ago) the same would apply here. Just the talk of a company with a lot of money looking to invest a large amount of money to revitalize the kosher meat industry would seem to be something worthy of celebration. It is almost like the kosher community has been held in captivity from not being able to enjoy their kosher meat that is essential to our religion.

13

 Jan 01, 2009 at 03:41 PM Secular Danny Says:

i am a man who loves a steak every now and again and having lived in israel for years i had yet to find a steak in israel that wasnt full of fat. not grizzle, fat. if you make chicken cutlets at home in israel, they come with a huge ring of fat all around them. also israelis eat lots of turkey. ugh you cannot find decent meat anywhere there. a friend there told me they force feed the chickens and turkey to make them fatter.

14

 Jan 01, 2009 at 04:52 PM concerned Says:

Reply to #12  
mordy Says:

As was discussed in great length that the bottom line of the whole controversy was to shut down Kosher meat production in the country. Any major news that seems to imply that Kosher meat may have a revival is positive thing. Just like in the stock market just talk of possible good news will cause the stock to soar upwards (until a few month ago) the same would apply here. Just the talk of a company with a lot of money looking to invest a large amount of money to revitalize the kosher meat industry would seem to be something worthy of celebration. It is almost like the kosher community has been held in captivity from not being able to enjoy their kosher meat that is essential to our religion.

the contravery wa not about shutting down kosher but a poorly managed company that is accused of many illegal acts. They are not getting treated fairly but they had a chance to correct thinsg and imprive things but did not. There are folks lile PETA and other wacko antisemites that are ant-Kosher. This may involve some of that but there is alot more. AGro was finacially screwing folks for years.

15

 Jan 01, 2009 at 04:43 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #12  
mordy Says:

As was discussed in great length that the bottom line of the whole controversy was to shut down Kosher meat production in the country. Any major news that seems to imply that Kosher meat may have a revival is positive thing. Just like in the stock market just talk of possible good news will cause the stock to soar upwards (until a few month ago) the same would apply here. Just the talk of a company with a lot of money looking to invest a large amount of money to revitalize the kosher meat industry would seem to be something worthy of celebration. It is almost like the kosher community has been held in captivity from not being able to enjoy their kosher meat that is essential to our religion.

Oh, come on! I'm not into bashing the Rubashkins, but there is absolutely no evidence for your claim of trying to shut down kosher meat production. Was ConAgra, the owner of Hebrew National, which in non-Jewish eyes is the most prominent kosher meat supplier, targeted? Agriprocessors admitted hiring illegal immigrants in NLRB and Appeals Court cases, practically inviting a raid on its other facilities. Many of the allegations against them have been determined to be unfounded, but there still remain serious charges against them and there is no question that they did hire large numbers of illegal immigrants.

16

 Jan 01, 2009 at 04:39 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

"Zoglobek had its own share of controversy when it was discovered in year 2000 that one of its Jewish plant managers Chanon Zoglobek, was pressuring the workers to become adherents of Scientology, a cult "religion" that has been discredited in dozens of countries."

Ok, that's bad. But does that change the kashrut of the food? I remember a case in Monsey where a supposedly frum guy was selling treif chickens. That is more of a problem than a misguided yid with his beliefs, but the food is still kosher.

How can meat processed by someone who practices another religion be kosher?

17

 Jan 01, 2009 at 04:57 PM Anonymous Says:

The batadz allows force feeding an animal? what happened to tzar ballei chaim.

18

 Jan 01, 2009 at 04:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
not true Says:

no israel meat is bad news

israel meat is absolutely horrible . its very fatty , the meat is tough and water logged. Most of thier meat comes from s. america .

19

 Jan 01, 2009 at 04:49 PM Meatloaf Says:

a) They don't force feed chickens and turkeys in Israel. They did until recently force feed geese to produce foie gras which was in great demand for the export market.
b) Meat quality in Israel has improved somewhat in recent years. It is still not as good as US corn fed beef.
c) There continues to be a controversy surrounding shechita in South America where most Israelis get their meat. Shackel & hoist is still being used in schechita but is supposed to be phased out. It is unclear at this time how muuch meat is produced using this cruel and inhumane method of slaughter.

20

 Jan 01, 2009 at 04:44 PM Anonymous Says:

There is still that problem of the Takana from the Agudas Horabonim that prohibited an owner from a slaughterhouse owning a Kosher provision house.

Rubashkin was the only 'frum' company that completely ignored that issur. Look at the consequences. Do we want another company thumbing their noses at an issur that was signed by most of Chareidi Rabbonim in America?

21

 Jan 01, 2009 at 08:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
mordy Says:

As was discussed in great length that the bottom line of the whole controversy was to shut down Kosher meat production in the country. Any major news that seems to imply that Kosher meat may have a revival is positive thing. Just like in the stock market just talk of possible good news will cause the stock to soar upwards (until a few month ago) the same would apply here. Just the talk of a company with a lot of money looking to invest a large amount of money to revitalize the kosher meat industry would seem to be something worthy of celebration. It is almost like the kosher community has been held in captivity from not being able to enjoy their kosher meat that is essential to our religion.

Why exactly is meat essential to our religion? Those who like meat can eat, gezunter heit. But you can also be a decent religious Jew without eating meat.

22

 Jan 01, 2009 at 09:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Why exactly is meat essential to our religion? Those who like meat can eat, gezunter heit. But you can also be a decent religious Jew without eating meat.

Agree very much with your comment...yidden eat too much meat and it shows in the high rates of obesity and heart disease. When my wife first prepared chulent using tofu, I was very skeptical but now, we eat meat very rarely. To all those Rabbonim and heilige menchen claim that eating meat is somehow mandated by the Torah, I suggest you consider that keeping the Rubashkin plant closed is actuall the greatest form of pikuach nefesh.

23

 Jan 01, 2009 at 10:21 PM Concerned Says:

As someone stated very clearly, many of the allegations against the Rubashkins were unfounded. The CEO, who is a very decent and kind human being, should not be sitting in prison, without bail, while discussions abound about who should own his company. He has a right to defend himself as ALL Americans do. Jews across the world should stand up for him and convince the courts that his rights as an American citizen are being violated.

24

 Jan 02, 2009 at 12:01 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Litvak Says:

Zoglobek is not frum and the OU will not give a hechsher to someone who is not Shomer Shabbas.

As for 60%.................
The figures used were the total Kosher Meat sales (let's say $100 million) and Rubashkin's total output (let's say $60 million. These are not the actual numbers, just an example). So Rubashkin has 60% of the market.

Here came the Lubinsky spin that no one questioned. Rubashkn sells 50% hindquarters and they have a 70% kosher kill. Lets say that there is a 100% Kosher kill. Then 1/2 of the animal is Glatt. Rubashkin's KOSHER kill is $30 million dollars.

Now Rubashkin is only 30% of the market. The 'meat shortage' really was not that bad. So why did ALLE (Meal Mart) raise their prices so much???

Too bad that there is no one trustworthy to investigate this.

Litvak you dont know what your talking about, the OU gives hechsheirim on stores that goyim own, with a jewish mashgiach, "glache dreikup"

25

 Jan 02, 2009 at 07:41 AM Litvak Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

Litvak you dont know what your talking about, the OU gives hechsheirim on stores that goyim own, with a jewish mashgiach, "glache dreikup"

I was talking about meat plants only

26

 Jan 02, 2009 at 05:39 AM Anonymous Says:

BS"D

1) The Soglowek (correct spelling) family member who is involved with the cult is gone from the business.

2) The OU is already giving hechsher on Soglowek products.

27

 Jan 02, 2009 at 08:54 AM CR Says:

Reply to #25  
Litvak Says:

I was talking about meat plants only

Uh, Litvak,

What about Empire poultry? It has been owned by non-Jewish holding companies for decades and operates with two of the most respected heksherim in the world.

The "Takanah" of which you speak was never, NEVER intended to apply to a schlachthaus. It applies to a "smokehouse" and, presumably, a similar manufacturer of finished products.

28

 Jan 02, 2009 at 09:30 AM Litvak Says:

Reply to #27  
CR Says:

Uh, Litvak,

What about Empire poultry? It has been owned by non-Jewish holding companies for decades and operates with two of the most respected heksherim in the world.

The "Takanah" of which you speak was never, NEVER intended to apply to a schlachthaus. It applies to a "smokehouse" and, presumably, a similar manufacturer of finished products.

Empire was grandfathered in. Murray Katz was never Frum. Again, check everything with Rabbi Mandel from the OU.

Have you read the Takana? It seems to be self-explanitory to me.

Finally, a well mannered discussion on a topic that gets everyone excited.

29

 Jan 02, 2009 at 09:35 AM Anonymous Says:

The "Takanah" of which you speak was never, NEVER intended to apply to a schlachthaus. It applies to a "smokehouse" and, presumably, a similar manufacturer of finished products.

Reply »
The takana was specifically written and says that the owners of slaughterhouses are NOT to own a smokehouse. Either in proximity or not. By direct pwnership or in shares.

30

 Jan 03, 2009 at 10:45 PM Anonymous Says:

"Have you read the Takana? It seems to be self-explanitory to me."
"The takana was specifically written and says that the owners of slaughterhouses are NOT to own a smokehouse. Either in proximity or not. By direct pwnership or in shares. "

It is obvious that neither of you have read the Takanah. It refers to "Batei Asiyah" and "Batei Charusot"; "factories" and "sausage makers", respectively. And the conclusion specifically mentions such food manufacturers that produce "smoked" products. There is no mention at all about slaugherhouses. Hence, any discussion about Empire, Agriprocessors or any other abbatoir operator is irrelevant.

Interestingly, the Takanah also mentions treif and kosher operations that are "al yadam" (adjoining) or "samuch" (nearby). Both are expressions of proximity.

31

 Jan 04, 2009 at 07:48 AM Litvak Says:

Reply to #30  
Anonymous Says:

"Have you read the Takana? It seems to be self-explanitory to me."
"The takana was specifically written and says that the owners of slaughterhouses are NOT to own a smokehouse. Either in proximity or not. By direct pwnership or in shares. "

It is obvious that neither of you have read the Takanah. It refers to "Batei Asiyah" and "Batei Charusot"; "factories" and "sausage makers", respectively. And the conclusion specifically mentions such food manufacturers that produce "smoked" products. There is no mention at all about slaugherhouses. Hence, any discussion about Empire, Agriprocessors or any other abbatoir operator is irrelevant.

Interestingly, the Takanah also mentions treif and kosher operations that are "al yadam" (adjoining) or "samuch" (nearby). Both are expressions of proximity.

There were different versions printed over the years, from 1920-s to the 1930's. Your version does not have it.

My version was translated into Yiddish and then English. It makes no mention of location. It says '(this Takana) covers all those that have any connection with those producing treif products, be they active partnerships, or money interests through shares, corporations, etc.' Agri had a factory making the brand 'Iowa's Best".

Look at the list of the plants that were given as examples in the original Takana. Certified was a slaughterhouse. Anderson-Tarlow was a slaughterhouse. Manhatten had a slaughterhouse and a provision house. Hygrade was a treif factory.

Empire, a poultry plant, came later in the scene. I do not know if they were ever included in the takana - there were only beef places listed and poultry was a local shechita.

As for Agri - I have seen tshuvas over the years. The takana was only for New York, Lubavitch looked at the list of Rabbonim and since there were no Lubavich on the list, it did not apply to them, etc. I have heard it all.

32

 Jan 04, 2009 at 09:03 AM Anonymous Says:

Iowa's Best was a label that was used by Agri as their treif label.

Where was that made?

IN A FACTORY!!

33

 Jan 04, 2009 at 11:10 AM Anonymous Says:

"Certified ... Anderson-Tarlow ...Manhatten had a slaughterhouse and a provision house..."

And the takanah applied to their product manufacturing, not their slaughtering. Face it, any beis schitah will produce about 70% treif. If we accept your understanding then the takanah requires that they not sell that 70% and take a major financial loss. Never gonna happen, my friend.

"As for Agri - I have seen tshuvas over the years. The takana was only for New York, Lubavitch looked at the list of Rabbonim and since there were no Lubavich on the list, it did not apply to them, etc."

So, the O-U, KAJ, Weissmandl, etc. were someich on that fact, right? Or perhaps they also agreed that abbatoirs are not included.

"Iowa's Best was a label that was used by Agri as their treif label.

Where was that made?"

In a "beis schithah". Not in a "beis assiyah" or a "beis charusheth".

34

 Jan 04, 2009 at 02:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #33  
Anonymous Says:

"Certified ... Anderson-Tarlow ...Manhatten had a slaughterhouse and a provision house..."

And the takanah applied to their product manufacturing, not their slaughtering. Face it, any beis schitah will produce about 70% treif. If we accept your understanding then the takanah requires that they not sell that 70% and take a major financial loss. Never gonna happen, my friend.

"As for Agri - I have seen tshuvas over the years. The takana was only for New York, Lubavitch looked at the list of Rabbonim and since there were no Lubavich on the list, it did not apply to them, etc."

So, the O-U, KAJ, Weissmandl, etc. were someich on that fact, right? Or perhaps they also agreed that abbatoirs are not included.

"Iowa's Best was a label that was used by Agri as their treif label.

Where was that made?"

In a "beis schithah". Not in a "beis assiyah" or a "beis charusheth".

So ....you are trying to convince yourself that the takana is no longer relevant or does not apply here.

I do not know what to say. You are obviously smarter than the gedolim that wrote it (as well as any other takana that would protect the commulity, like gevinas akkum) and you want to find a way to call Rubashkin a legitimate company.

35

 Jan 04, 2009 at 04:50 PM Anonymous Says:

"So ....you are trying to convince yourself that the takana is no longer relevant or does not apply here...You are obviously smarter than the gedolim that wrote it."

That is a total straw man argument and you know it. You have failed to address the substance of my argunments and they stand on their own. Additionally, you are mesaleif divrei tzadikim by inserting words into the takanah that simply do not exist.

"you want to find a way to call Rubashkin a legitimate company."

And now comes the substance of your continuing to hammer on this "Takanah" business despite my Tiyuvta to your assertions. The applicability of takanos does not matter as much as assuring the demise of a kosher business that doesn't shtim with your chumros. And that RSMR just gives you indigestion, to boot. You really need to work on fixing your farbissener middos.

36

 Jan 05, 2009 at 06:44 AM Anonymous Says:

Now I see youe agenda. You have manipulated the Takana to make your ends appear as if it were important.

1) Your version of the Takana talks about " "al yadam" (adjoining) or "samuch" (nearby). Both are expressions of proximity" to quote you. Mine does not have that. Please post your version and the source so that we can all see.what you are talking about. It would never appear to you that we are talking about 2 takaos, while you are very quick to blast me for no reason. This was already pointed out a few posts ago.

2) Iowa's best was a wholesale branded label. That would be made in a factory. If it were, in fact, produced at the slaughterhouse, then it would make that slaugterhouse into a factory.

3) We are trying to protect Kashrus in America. You are not. Rubashkin applied many kulas to himself that no one else would do. Example - until he was caught, Rubashkin did not split the arm (shoulder) from the chuck. Had he done that, he would have seem Dom Sheparush me'makom l'makom, AFTER HADACHA. Another example - he had different standards on taking the veins out of the tongue. One day, he pulled it out. Another day, he split the tongue down it's length. What was the real way of pulling out the veins? Another thing - he gave drivers labels so taht the meat could be marked as bais yoseph or not. What kind of Kashrus supervision was that?

You don't care about Kashrus - all you want is Rubashkin to dictate his false 'chumros' on the rest of us, while still looking pious. There was a mashgiach that told me many years ago - he tries to separate Kashrus from halacha. Obviously, to you, Kashrus is a business while halacha falls to the side.

37

 Jan 09, 2009 at 08:47 AM moshe Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

"Zoglobek had its own share of controversy when it was discovered in year 2000 that one of its Jewish plant managers Chanon Zoglobek, was pressuring the workers to become adherents of Scientology, a cult "religion" that has been discredited in dozens of countries."

Ok, that's bad. But does that change the kashrut of the food? I remember a case in Monsey where a supposedly frum guy was selling treif chickens. That is more of a problem than a misguided yid with his beliefs, but the food is still kosher.

I know the Soglowek family well. Hanan Soglowek is no longer involved with Soglowek. Ami and Yael Soglowek bought out the shares of Hanan Soglowek and Mr. Maskit in 2007. Ami and Yael have never had any involvment with Scientology. Soglowek is a big donator of many local Orthodax communities. In addition, Soglowek sales products under the strict supervision of the Badaz Hedda Haredi

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