Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


Advisor: James Laine


On May 12, 2008, the United States Government conducted a massive immigration raid within the country’s largest kosher meatpacking plant. The raid and ensuing revelation of worker’s rights violations within the plant sparked an intense intra-Jewish debate over the extent to which unethically produced food could be considered kosher. This thesis analyzes the perspectives and actions of the debate’s major participants and argues that the discourse surrounding ethical kashrut in the context of the Postville immigration raid revealed that American Jewish communities have entered into a period of flux. Through this instability, many American Jews are challenging the once established power dynamics between “liberal” and “Orthodox” Jews, as well as the assumed binary between the two identities.



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