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The Jezebel Restaurant Debate

The Jezebel Restaurant Debate

Should Kosher supervision have the power to reject a restaurant’s name?

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Visitor Comments: 62

(52) Anonymous, March 10, 2013 7:16 PM

Something you might not know...

I'm on a restaurant update email list, and here is something I got from them regarding this issue-

"It seems that this story has taken a life of its own since Jezebel changed their hashagacha and name. It was picked up by all the Jewish media outlets as well as the mainstream, including The Daily News.
The story seemed to focus on the debate of whether the OU "forced" or "ordered" (as the Daily News headline put it) the name change. Then I saw there were discussions on whether a supervision should have the right to tell a restaurant what to name themselves. I will let the latter subject be something people can talk about it.
But I just want to set the record straight on the "forced" part. I was speaking to the owners well before they changed hashgachas and they were already committed to changing their name. The fact that they asked the OU to become their supervision, shows that they were ready to do that. So it wasn't like the OU "forced" them to change the name, it was something the owners were deciding to do as well. In fact,
I just spoke to Rabbi Elefant from the OU and he is very happy with the way things are going and has a very good relationship with the owners. So enough drama and let's eat some food!"
Let that be some "food for thought", too... let's not assume that to OU was FORCING them to do anything- and if the OU has a high enough standard that the restaurant was ready to change their name before they even went to the OU to request their certification, then Kol Hakavod to both the restaurant for adhering to those standards, and to the OU for demonstrating high standards!

(51) Yossie, March 8, 2013 6:56 PM

The OU is right

The OU has the right to set their own standards. A restaurant does not have a RIGHT to a particular supervision they choose. They have to earn the right to receive it, by proving to the supervisor agency that they can live up to the required standard, and that may include the name as well.

What I want to know is, why any self respecting Jew would want to patronize a restaurant named Jezebel? WHat if someone named a restaurant Jesus, would that be OK also?

(50) Anonymous, March 8, 2013 3:14 PM


Maybe Jezebel wasn't a nice lady, but there is a wide difference between calling a restaurant Jezebel and say Hitler's cafe. Maybe the restaurant owners wanted the idea to be, that the food is so good, it's almost gluttonous, or maybe a tad evil and that's how people will feel after they eat there. For sure, they are hoping that the name will be a crowd drawer.
. If you have been to Israel, you will note that many Israelis, even orthodox ones, name their kids absolutely shocking names like Nimrod and Avshalom for boys, Hagar for a girl. I once commented to someone (frum) about naming a girl Hagar, and was told "what's wrong with Hagar, she was after all a princess. Well, she was after all the mother of Ishmael, from whom our enemies decended, so while the saying "what's in a name," may be true to some extent, these names as well as Jezebel are on the cusp of bad taste. I might eat at Jezebel, if it has a proper Hashgacha, but will allowing the restaurant to call itself Jezebel, begin a slippery slope for others to call themselves even more outlandish names?

(49) miriam W. Cohen, March 8, 2013 2:18 PM


I do not believe in that kind of control. The place is kosher, uses ou wine, and not any other kind of supervision. And eveything in a restaurant that has OU, has to have an OU hechsher, so kosher wine from Israel cannot be used. This is simply a name and that is advertising, no kashrus.

Moishe, March 12, 2013 8:56 PM

Israeli kosher wine is ok

I think there are wines from Israel that bear the O.U., or that are otherwise acceptable to the O.U..

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