kosher tax

The “Kosher tax” is a canard or urban
spread by anti-Semitic, white
and right wing extremist
organizations such as the National Alliance and Ku Klux
.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] It refers to the claim that food producers must pay an
exorbitant amount to obtain the right to display a symbol on their products (usually a K or U in a circle) that indicates it is
kosher or pareve, and that this cost is passed on
to consumers through higher prices which constitute a “kosher tax”. Additional false claims are made that this “tax” is used to
support Zionist causes or the state of Israel.[2]

The actual cost to the consumer is generally minuscule;[1][9] in 1975 the
cost per item for obtaining kosher certification was estimated by The New York
as being 6.5 millionths (0.0000065) of a cent per item for a typical product.[3] This is more than offset by the advantages of being certified.[1] Certification leads to increased revenues of
sales by opening up the additional markets such as Jews who keep kosher; Muslims who keep halal; and vegans,
Seventh-day Adventists, and the lactose intolerant who wish to avoid dairy products (products that are certified as pareve
may meet this criterion).[3][4][10] According to Berel Wein, “The cost of kashrut certification is
always viewed as an advertising expense and not as a manufacturing expense.”[6] Dispellers of the “kosher tax” legend argue that if it were not profitable to obtain such
certification, then food producers would not engage in the certification process, and that the increased sales resulting from
kosher certification actually lower the overall cost per item.[10][11]

Obtaining certification that an item is kosher is a voluntary business decision made by companies desiring additional sales
from consumers (both Jewish and non-Jewish) who look for kosher certification when shopping,[4] and is actually specifically sought by marketing organizations within food
production companies.[10] The fees charged for kosher
certification are used to support the operation of the certifying bodies themselves, and not Zionist causes or Israel.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Brunvand, Jan Harold
    [June 2001] (November 2002). “The Jewish Secret Tax”, Encyclopedia of urban legends, Reprint, New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 222–223.
    LCCN 2001-000883 ISBN 0-393-32358-7.
  2. ^ a b c Mikkelson, Barbara (May 24, 2002). The Kosher Nostra. Urban Legends Reference Pages. Retrieved on 2006-10-23.
  3. ^ a b c The “Kosher Tax” Hoax:
    Anti-Semitic Recipe for Hate
    . Anti-Defamation League (January 1991).
    Retrieved on 2006-10-23.
  4. ^ a b c Luban, Yaakov. The “Kosher Tax” Fraud.
    Orthodox Union. Retrieved on 2006-10-23.
  5. ^ Kaplan, Jeffery; Leonard Weinberg (February 1999). The emergence of a Euro-American radical right.
    New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers
    University Press
    , 163. LCCN 98-23536 ISBN 0-8135-2563-2.
  6. ^ a b Wein, Berel, “The problem with Shinui“, Jerusalem
    , December 27, 2002, pp. 8B. Retrieved on
  7. ^ Sullum, Jacob (July 1993). “Kosher Cops“. The Freeman 43 (7).
    Retrieved on 2006-10-24.
  8. ^ Lungen, Paul, “Jewish, Muslim groups join forces join to
    protect ritual slaughter
    “, Internet edition, Canadian Jewish
    , February 20, 2003. Retrieved on 2006-10-24. “Anti-Semites have advanced ‘the libel of the kosher tax’ to claim consumers are paying an
    extra tax on products that carry kosher certification.”
  9. ^ Wein, Berel, “The problem with Shinui“, Jerusalem
    , December 27, 2002, pp. 8B. Retrieved on
    2006-10-24. “…due to the volume of goods produced, the cost of certification per unit is
    so small that it really does not figure in the cost of the product.”
  10. ^ a b c Dispelling a rumor – there is no kosher
    tax or Jewish tax
    . Boycott Watch (December 22, 2003).
    Retrieved on 2006-10-24.
  11. ^ Sullum, Jacob (July
    1993). “Kosher
    . The Freeman, 43 (7). Retrieved on 200610-24 “For those who don’t buy Jewish-conspiracy theories, a more
    plausible explanation is that the companies have calculated that the extra business generated by kashrut certification more than
    makes up for the cost of supervision. (Hence no price increase is necessary.)”



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