Restaurateur Says Synagogue Threatened Kosher Certification in $1.8M Dispute

A New York restaurant owner claims in legal papers that a prominent Orthodox synagogue threatened to have his kosher certification revoked if he does not drop a $1.8 million lawsuit against it.

Joseph Allaham, who operates several kosher restaurants in Manhattan, said Lincoln Square Synagogue wants him to move his legal dispute with the shul from civil to religious court, the New York Post reported Friday.

Allaham made the allegations in legal papers filed Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court. He told the Post that he objected to bringing the case before the Beth Din of America, which Lincoln Square requested, because the Manhattan shul’s rabbi, Shaul Robinson, is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America, which oversees the court.

“That’s the conflict of interest,” Allaham told The Post.

The RCA has over 1,000 members; Robinson is on the board.

The legal dispute between Allaham and Lincoln Square stems from an agreement he made to help build the congregation’s new banquet hall and provide catering for it. Because delays in the construction hurt his business, Allaham objects to the $300,000 in unpaid fees for use of the hall and $1.5 million for his share of construction expenses that the synagogue says he owes.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Restaurateur Says Synagogue Threatened Kosher Certification in $1.8M Dispute

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close