Hekhsher Tzedek - Magen Tzedek: Updates      

"You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer, whether a fellow countryman or a stranger." Deuteronomy 24: 14-15

Related News Stories

Click below for news items related to Hekhsher Tzedek and Agriprocessors:


Orthodox Social Justice Movement establishes Tav HaYosher (ethical seal) - first Restaurant is given the seal


New Seal for Hekshser Tzedek: now Magen Tzedek


Here is the blog by Rabbi Morris Allen.  He started the Hekhsher Tzedek initiative.


This site: Eye on Agriprocessors tracks all news about the company 


Village Voice: Fall of The House of Rubashkin(Please note - the Village Voice Website displays images that may not be suitable for family viewing) 


Label Says Kosher; Ethics Suggest Otherwise


Can Food Made By Mistreated Workers Be Kosher?


Debate Highlights the Politics of Kosher Food, From Left, Right and Center


Government Now Seeking Agriprocessors Assets


This is a link to the Hekhsher Tzedek and Magen Tzedek and Magen Tzedek main website










The Hekhsher Tzedek - Magen Tzedek Update Page

A source for information and education about the Hekhsher Tzedek movement.  What's New: 5/13/09 - The Orthodox Social Justice Movement has established an Ethical Seal - Tav HaYosher - and has certifed a restaurant in Manhattan. 

What is Hekhsher Tzedek (and Magen Tzedek)?

Hekhsher Tzedek (Magen Tzedek) is a new kosher certification - by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Rabinical Assembly - designed to evaluate ethical issues related to food production. 

The seal is intended as a supplement to - not in place of - existing kosher certifications.  It will not appear alone - but always in addition to other kosher symbols such as OU.  The name change from Hekshser Tzedek to Magen Tzedek will make it easier for this symbol to appear alongside the OU certification symbol (and others).  Removing the term "Hekhsher" will help clarify that this symbol is not intended to replace existing Hekshsers.

The Hekhsher Tzedek (Magen Tzedek) certification symbol will be used to show that the company producing the food product is consistent with Jewish Ethical Standards - including the treatment of employees.  The symbol is not yet in production - but the process has begun.


Why do we need Hekhsher Tzedek (and Magen Tzedek)?

Some people feel that the existing kosher certifications have been slow, reluctant, or unwilling to consider the corporate ethics of food processing companies when providing a kosher certification.  Many people believe that Kosher laws and good ethics should be closely linked.


What is a Kosher Certification?

Organizations like the Orthodox Union inspect the practices of companies that prepare kosher food - upon approval the certifying company will permit the use of a kosher symbol - like OU.


What is AgriProcessors?

Agriprocessors is a company that has prepared a large percentage of the kosher meat in the United States for many years.  They have been involved in an ongoing controvery about thier corporate ethics involving (1) the unethical treatment of workers, (2) the use of undocumented workers, and (3) the unethical treatment of livestock.  The are currently the target of several legal investigations.  It is because of the controversy with Agriprocessors in large part that the Hekhsher Tzedek (Magen Tzedek) movement was started.


How do I avoid meat made by AgriProcessors?

Agriprocessors sells meat under the following brand names:

  • Aaron’s Best
  • Aaron’s Choice
  • Rubashkin’s
  • European Glatt
  • Iowa Best Beef
  • Nevel
  • Shor Habor
  • Supreme Kosher
  • David’s