Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Le Marais IV: A Closer look at the Mashgiach..

The NY Post has an interesting article on the life of Izzac ( Yitzchak) Bitton former mashgiach of Le Marais of which I have written about extensively. For those of you who are not familiar with his background, it's a real eye opener. I had already read about his former life as a musician but what I really was surprised to find was a settlement he got from the city:1991 Crown Heights riots, Bitton and one of his young sons were attacked by an angry black mob as police stood nearby in riot gear; Bitton said the cops did nothing to help him. The city settled Bitton's lawsuit over the incident for $200,000.

Update:It seems that Mr. Bitton himself was the injured party in 1991 Crown Heights riot. The suggestion is that perhaps this has effected him mentally.


Anonymous said...

i still dont get how the OU honchos just abandoned their own emlpoyee like that

Jewish Blogmeister said...

They obviously don't look at that way. They stated they looked into his accusations and they were not justified.

Anonymous said...

Not buying it.

how are we to trust any of their mashgichim if they dont trust their own mashgichim???

Jewish Blogmeister said...

Anon...I'm not asking you to buy anything...I'm not selling anything here. If you are a mashgiach and find nothing for years then all of sudden you find something and decide to make a federal case out of it only to find your superiors disagreeing with you it may be enough to send a hard headed person really upset. Remember there are 2 mashgichim at this location only one of which is substantiating these claims. None of which have been found any merit by the OU. They are a large enough entity that losing this restaurant would make almost no impact financially. The fact they are backing it 100% and not backing down speaks volumes. If you don't agree don't eat there. I haven't been there in years so I couldn't care less.

Anonymous said...

The problem is the same WORLWIDE: Ashkenaz HATE Sfarad as rabbi shimon bar yochai law: עשו שונא את יעקב

Jewish Blogmeister said...

Anon, that's the dumbest thing I ever heard...I have plenty of sefardic friends. Since when does esav refer to jews?What are you smoking?

Anonymous said...

Has Mr. Bitton asked a Rabbi if he is permited to go public? Is it not considered Loshon-Hora??

Anonymous said...

what is sad is that without any truth known yet, without substantiation, and with merely a shadow of doubt against substantial opposition, this Bitton has brought Le Marais' business down 40%.

The place is as empty as the Champs-Élysée the day the Germans entered Paris,

This is unfair and unfounded.

onemanband613 said...

How on earth did you come to that statistical conclusion of a -40%? Did you take a survey?!

Anonymous said...

"this Bitton has brought Le Marais' business down 40%."


Shulom said...


Due to the general tenor of the arguments posted here, I chose not to reveal my identity, but I will say that as a producer for a Jewish media outlet in the midwest, I was able to confirm from "high placed sources" that this Yitzchak Bitton IS the same Jackie/Yitzchak Bitton of Les Variations (not the name)and Raya/Rava Mehemna fame. He suffered a terrible beating during the Crown Heights riots, and there is a very real possibility that his delusional thoughts of OU conspiracy are the result of brain damage incurred during that tragic attack.

Posted by: Shulom | April 18, 2007 at 01:24 PM

Jewish Blogmeister said...

Sorry buddy but there is no proof that he suffered any brain damage his son was the one who was beaten up not him, as per this article.

Anonymous said...

Who would a viable third party investigator be?
Another kashrut house with potential to gain through discreditng OU? A person whom Bitton chooses?

Who is universally trusted across the board and whose opinion would be respected for either not supporting the conclusions of the poor dejected mashgiach or those of the big goliath OU and Le Marais?

What Judaism lacks today is a unifying voice - which leaves the road open for any one man to destroy a business and a hugs kashrus agency or leaves a poor man to be pitted inapropriately against a firing squad.

Who wants to answer that?

A mashgiach can be wrong, just as the OU can be wrong. Even though the truth and facts are out there, the public sees what it wants, reads only the lines it deems important and judges based on forgone colclusions.

V'ahavta Laraicha Komocha. Sure, what the heck does that mean anyway?

Jewish Blogmeister said...

The bottom line is he chose to make this public instead of going the root of an independent bais din.

A Good Authority said...

The judge today released the gag order, saying that Bitton can say what he wants to say. Bitton's lawyer said that his client "was nuts" and that he is "on a mission and would not back down"

The judge also acknowledged the facts and said that Bitton would likely receive a judgment against him in a court of law on libel charges, but knows he could never pay it, nor have any assets worth pursuing, so, unfortunately, he is just about free to do say what he wants.

Bitton’s lawyer said that he’s stop blogging if Le Marais hires a supervisor to supervise the current chef – without firing the chef.

Le Marais will likely not pursue the law suit, as there is little to gain, being that it probably won’t stop the chatting and blogging and there really is little gain from pursuing Bitton any more.

Anonymous said...

I am an an acquaintance of both Mr. Bitton as well as the other mashgiach. I do not think Mr. Bitton is nuts. I listened to Zev Brenner on 2 occasion where this matter was discussed. The first occasion Rabbi Elephant answered a question concerning the margarine incident. He said that the other mashgiach was on duty, when the chef went to buy magerine. He came back and showed the margarine to the mashgiach. The mashgiach then told the chef the margarine can not be used, because it was OU-d.

Hearing this story, I do not see a problem.

The next morning after that Zev Brenner show, I asked that mashgiach if the chef showed him the margarine when he came back from the store. The mashgiach told me (and I have another witness),
“No. He did not show it to me, I found the margarine on the table ready to be used.”
While this does not completely agree with the story Mr. Bitton said, It clearly contradicts what Rabbi Elephant said, and also what was said on the Zev Brenner program last Motzoi Shabbos.

I am sorry to report this, but it is the truth. If the OU changed a detail like this about the margarine, then I do not know what to think about the other allegations Mr. Bitton has made.

Joseph Ratzger said...

And the issue continues...
The point is not the margarine - all sources agree that nothing was served and it was caught.

Bitton overall issue is that there is a Sonay Yisroel working there and therefore the restaurant is treif. I can walk into just about any top notch kosher place with a non Jewish chef (all of them have non Jewish chefs, in fact) and show you a violation or two here, and a fine, and a write-up by the mashgiach, but few will be charged with being a Sonay Yisroel.

This chef, in five years working for kosher places has strawberries and margarine on his list, and for that, he hates Jews. Did you stop and ask why it took Bitton two years to discover that this guy hated Jews? Did Levana or the OU see him hating Jews prior to Le Marais?


This is the point. Is Le Marais' chef a Jew Hater, rendering the place treif? Does Bitton make the case successfully?

You could not substantiate that based on the stuff he has blogged about.

Eat at Le Marais - Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the case that chef is a Jew hater can not be made.
The problem I have is not that the chef was caught Or that he is a Jew hater.

The issue is that the chef does not cooperate with the mashgichim at times.

What scares me is that the OU changed the way the incident occurred. It was stated by OU representives that the chef showed the mashgiach the magerine on his own free accord. I heard from the mashgiach that this was not the case.

We depend on the OU's integrity for our kosherous, and it seems to me they may have compromised it.

Jewish Blogmeister said...

I think I may go down there to check things out for myself...

Yonah Blau said...

That would be wonderful. Please do and give us your thoughts afterward. This situation needs another set of eyes, as I think Le Marais', Bitton's and the OU's may all have a different, but cloudy nonetheless, haze over their pupils.

Go with strength. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It is nice to see that the Constitution still applies in NY.

PrintEmailDigg ItStory Bottom

April 25, 2007 -- The "rockin' rabbi" is free to speak his mind about a Manhattan steakhouse, a judge said yesterday.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Mark Portnow lifted his gag order against Isaac Bitton, a former kosher supervisor at Le Marais in Midtown, who in his youth was the drummer for a chart-topping French rock band.

Bitton, 59, quit his job at Le Marais in March and posted a blog accusing its chef of violating various laws of "kashrut." A kosher-certifying agency found the violations were inadvertent.

The owners of Le Marais plan to dro

Anonymous said...

yes. Agreed.
Those scums (le marais & OU)had too much scum in their eyes to:
A: see the truth
B: realize they're idiots
C: stop while they're ahead
D: realize they would lose such a rediculous suit - while trying to shut someone up for using his first ammendment right to free speech and for being truthful.

has anyone noticed that Le Marais lawyer....um..yes, that SCUM of the earth ugly(really) loser is actually the nephew of the owners of the jewish Press(yes, that poorly written rag). point is:
the jewish press is linked/or somehow owned or CONTROLLED by the OU. How convenient....!
and the Juda Englemeyer dude...what is his link? us bloggers are all smart people. figure that one out.

basically Le Marais lawsuit and GAG ORDER was backed by the OU.
B-E-A-U-T-F-U-L work OU chevrah - you almost had us fooled :)- not!
Figure the rest out for yourselves.

Smaryahu Hertz said...

Hey, son of Bitton, you spelled B-E-A-U-T-F-U-L wrong.

Don't be so quick to knock the writing of the Jewish Press unless you have something better to offer.

Anonymous said...

Jewishish Bogmeister,
Have you been able to find anything out through your own research?

Did you listen to the recordings on Yitcak Bitton's web-site?

What do you think?