Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Food prices for Passover

As a followup of yesterdays blog regarding Passover hotel programs,we should not lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Jews of all religious persuasions, stay at home.Thus, they are forced to shop at supermarkets and other establishments that carry kosher foods.
Traditionally,many products are marked up by the stores prior to holidays,since they have a captive audience.This is true of wholesalers as well as retailers.
In light of the economy,now is the time for synagogues,local and national kashruth and synagogue organizations and especially RABBIS to become pro-active..They must visit stores and note prices of matzoh ,wine ,meat,fish etc.,and try to cajole them to hold the line on price increases.Publicizing their responses would be a sourc of public pressure.
The Rabbis do have an additional power.I recall as a child, when the price of esrogim was off the wall,that certain rabbinic leaders threatened that they would only allow each synagogue to buy one or two esrogim ,but not individuals.The threat of huge losses changed the picture.
During WW II we had meatless days and so on.
The consumer if organized has the power of the purse,and we should use it.