April 3, 2013
Orthodox L.A. philanthropist buys Doheny meats
Shlomo Rechnitz, a prominent local businessman and philanthropist, has purchased Doheny Glatt Kosher Meats, the scandal-plagued kosher meat retailer and distributor.
Rechnitz, who co-founded a large medical supply business and also owns a number of nursing homes, purchased the store and distributor from its former owner, Mike Engelman. The sale closed on Sunday, March 31, just one week after its former kosher certifier, the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) revoked the store’s kosher certification.
Rechnitz could not be reached immediately on Wednesday morning for comment. RCC President Rabbi Meyer H. May confirmed the sale to The Jewish Journal early Wednesday morning.
“It’s really extraordinary,” May said of the purchase. “He’s going to preserve the richness of the meat supply and preserve the price structure for consumers.”
Rechnitz was involved in the response to the Doheny scandal from its earliest hours. He was one of a handful of non-rabbis in the room on Sunday, March 24, when Engelman spoke directly to the RCC’s leadership and rabbis from synagogues around the Pico-Robertson neighborhood.
Rechnitz also helped to facilitate the conversation between the RCC and his father-in-law, Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, a prominent rabbinic decisor in matters relating to kosher food.
May said that starting on March 25, he and other rabbis began to urge Rechnitz to buy Doheny.
Under Rechnitz’s ownership, RCC would likely resume its certification of Doheny, May said.
“If Mr. Engelman is out entirely and it’s owned entirely by Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, it’s likely that we will return our certification forthwith," he said.
Doheny is the largest RCC-certified distributor of meat in Los Angeles. Engelman, who had owned the shop for 28 years, was videotaped by a private investigator last month bringing unidentified products into his store at a time when its rabbinic overseer was absent.