Heksher Tzedek

Heksher Tzedek (2008)

Background 

A basic tenet of Conservative Judaism has been and continues to be the embrace of mitzvot that speak to ethical as well as ritual observance in the life style of Conservative Jews. A central value of Conservative Judaism is the observance of the laws of kashrut. Coupled with the rigor of purity of product is the assurance of purity of action with respect to the delivery of kosher food products.

The Conservative Movement, in past resolutions of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Rabbinical Assembly, in 2002 and 2003, has linked the quality and nature of kashrut to responsible business ethics and environment.

Concerned about the reports of worker abuse and unethical business practices on the part of some producers of kosher products, the USCJ and RA approved a resolution in 2007 creating the development of a Heksher Tzedek certification to be applied to the kosher food industry.

Heksher Tzedek is a certification that designates products as having been created by companies whose practices comply with developed guidelines addressing the following issues: wages and benefits; employee health and safety/relations/training; product development; corporate transparency and integrity; and environmental impact.

Judaism has strict laws and teachings forbidding cruelty to animals. Proverbs 12:10 says, “a righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” Compassionate treatment for animals is required both during their lives and slaughtering process.

Resolution

WHEREAS the proposed Heksher Tzedek certification is viewed as a viable and necessary action of the USCJ and RA, and

WHEREAS Women’s League for Conservative Judaism agrees with the linking of social justice with ritual observance of kashrut,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Women’s League for Conservative Judaism

  1. Actively supports the development of guidelines and standards by the Heksher Tzedek Commission of United Synagogue and the Rabbinical Assembly;
  2. Encourages its members to become knowledgeable on the issues of Heksher Tzedek and foster dialogue in their synagogues on Heksher Tzedek; and
  3. Encourages members to purchase food products with the Heksher Tzedek symbol whenever possible.