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N.Y.’s Cuomo Urged To Restore Kosher Enforcement Division

Lawmakers, Jewish leaders and kosher businesses are lobbying New York’s new governor Andrew Cuomo to restore the state’s kosher law-enforcement division.

Budget cuts and retirements over the last year have left the division with one employee, the division’s director, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The cuts in the department, which once employed 11 kosher inspectors, will save up to $1 million a year in salary, benefits and services, according to the newspaper, citing a state Department of Agriculture and Markets spokesperson.

The department said last November that the jobs have become obsolete since a 2004 change in the state’s kosher law prevented state inspectors from enforcing Orthodox standards of kashrut.

According to the new law, kosher establishments must disclose the standards they use and under whose authority they operate, but are not required to adhere to Orthodox regulations. State kosher inspectors may only ensure the establishments are doing what they purport to do.

Jewish groups such as the Rabbinical Alliance of America and the National Council of Young Israel have come out against the proposed cuts.

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