Hits $19 Billion Market With Rabbis Stuck at Home

17 Sep 2020

In an ordinary year, Rabbi David Moskowitz would have spent the weeks before Rosh Hashanah, the holiday that celebrates the start of the Jewish New Year, working in China. For more than a decade, the native of New York’s Rockland County has run Shatz Kosher Services, which verifies that ingredients made in Chinese factories don’t contain pork or otherwise violate Jewish dietary laws. Late summer is usually a busy season, with companies gearing up to make products for Passover the following spring.

Rosh Hashanah starts on Sept. 18, but Moskowitz hasn’t been to China in months. The Chinese government closed its borders to most foreigners early in the Covid-19 pandemic, and the 53-year-old is in Ashdod, an Israeli city about 20 miles south of Tel Aviv. From there, he tries to do his job via videoconferences linked to cameras at Chinese factories showing him everything from the office to the factory floor to the warehouse. “It’s not the traditional way, but what is traditional in corona?” he asks. “Everything has been thrown out the window. We find ways to do the job.”

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The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.