Is Ga. Kosher Law Kosher?

August 19, 2009

Author: Greg Bluestein

Source: Google News

Wire Service: AP

Rabbi Mark Zimmerman is the twelfth in a line of rabbis that dates back centuries. He has led a suburban Atlanta synagogue for 21 years. He considers himself well-versed in the intricacies of Judaism's dietary laws.

Still, due to a Georgia law that kosher food meet "Orthodox Hebrew religious rules," the rabbi from the Conservative Jewish movement does not have the authority to certify kosher restaurants.

Georgia is the latest front in the debate over whether kosher laws are kosher after Zimmerman and other rabbis, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, challenged the law. Similar rules have been struck down in at least two other states, and attorneys say five others could be targeted: Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin.

"You can't have the government of the U.S. or the government of the state of Georgia determining which branch of Judaism is authoritative," said Zimmerman.