Kosher Certifier Drops Crown Heights Hot Spot, Sparking Facebook Battle

It’s a kashrut shootout at the OK Corral.

And it involves Basil Pizza & Wine Bar, an upscale kosher Italian eatery just north of Eastern Parkway, which recently dueled in a pizza war with Calabria, the recently opened Roman-style pizza eatery across the street. (The two battled it out in Beit Din, or religious court, in March over competition for business and customers.)

This time around, though, Basil is trading volleys with its former kashrut certification provider, the OK.

On June 26, the popular New-York based kashrut agency posted a “Kashrus Alert” on their Facebook page to inform customers that the OK Kosher certification removed its certification from Basil.

“Basil NY violated the Kashrus Standards of their contract with OK Kosher,” the organization posted on their Facebook page. “They were not willing to maintain the standards that are required under the Certification Contract. Therefore we had no choice but to remove our certification.”

The clause they allegedly violated: working on Shabbat. A representative from the OK, who requested to remain anonymous, said the organization removed its certification because Basil was caught doing work on Shabbat.

Responding to the news in real time, Basil fired back on its Facebook page that the whole hullabaloo was a “big misunderstanding.” Some routine “maintenance work” outside the Basil building was misconstrued as work on Shabbat, the statement said.

“To reiterate, none of our Kashrus standards have been compromised in the slightest.”

A Basil spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Read more: Jewish Week

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