Jun 12, 2011

Kiddush Clubs To Change Drinks - New Jewish Booze To Be Annointed

In a retaliatory move, some people are looking to boycott Scotch whiskeys.

An excerpt from the Jerusalem Post:
The Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (FJMC) – a partnership of 250 Jewish men’s clubs that claims more than 25,000 members throughout North America – has joined with synagogues both in Israel and in the diaspora in “suggesting a boycott of scotch from distillers located in West Dunbartonshire Council in Scotland at Kiddush and [in] public and private” celebrations.

The FJMC, which is affiliated with the Conservative movement, has called for Jews to avoid certain brands of spirits following a boycott of Israeli goods instituted by the local council of the whiskey-producing region.

“A boycott is like a snowball heading downhill,” said FJMC Executive Director Rabbi Charles Simon.

“It begins at the top of a large mountain, and gathers momentum until it is transformed into an avalanche.

If we wish to stop it, we need to act as soon as possible.”

Among the distilleries named in the boycott are Morrison Bowmore, Loch Lamond and Chivas Brothers.

Chivas Brothers produces the well-regarded Chivas, Glenlivet and Ballantine’s brands which are the preferred spirits in many so-called “Kiddush clubs,” which gather following services in some synagogues.

The decision by Rabbi Simon to urge FJMC members to engage in a counter-boycott came after well known Israeli-Anglo blogger and pro-settlement activist, Jameel Rashid, publicized on his website a letter to several distilleries located within West Dunbartonshire. Rashid wrote: “the global counterboycott of Scottish whiskey products, distilled in the West Durbanshire council region, is beginning.”

Anglo-Israelis, an important target market for purveyors of liquor here, have been circulating e-mails calling on both Israeli and American Jews to cease consumption of Scotch whiskey, and urging supporters of Israel to send copies of Rashid’s missive to the distilleries in question.

When “your local council representatives boycott my country – under the most unethical and immoral of pretext – you cannot expect your market to sit idly and pretend you are not perverting justice,” wrote Rashid.

Both Rashid, the pseudonym for an anonymous Israeli who writes the popular Muqata blog, and the author of the widely read website Israellycool, have posted the home phone numbers of local council members, urging participants in the counter-boycott to call them to express their discontent.

Explaining his rationale for the initiative, Rashid stated that “its best to contact the whisky distillers directly, since the West Dunbartonshire Council of Wise Men couldn’t care less what a pro-Israel, proliberty, person might think... but they might listen to voices of their constituents – specifically the Scotch whisky distilleries in their council’s region.”

The boycott against Israel was initially introduced by the West Dunbartonshire Council in response to what councilmen described as “the disproportionate use of force used against Palestinians” during the IDF’s Gaza incursion in 2009.

The council resolved that it “recognizes the disproportionate force used by the IDF in Palestine and agrees to boycott all Israeli goods as a consequence. Officers should immediately cease the purchase of any goods we currently source, which were made or grown in Israel. Officers should also ensure we procure no new goods or produce from Israel until this boycott is formally lifted by WDC.”
Way to go Jameel!

My thoughts:

  1. I had no idea there was an official organizational body for the kiddush clubs. Fascinating. 
  2. While I know they mean shuls having kiddush after davening, the term kiddush club normally, in the frum world, refers to the groups who go out in the middle of davening, usually right before the haftorah, and make kiddush, returning to davening in time for mussaf.
  3. It is hard to believe that this boycott will be successful. Are they going to switch to drinking bourbon? While some (me) prefer bourbon over scotch, those who love scotch do not consider anything else to be a serious drink. Chivas and Glenlivet (and the Glen family) are very "Jewish drinks", like what J.B. used to be (trivia - what does J.B. stand for? Jewish Booze), with a strong foothold in the frum community, bearing a place of honor at the head table at the kiddush. It will be hard for people to make the switch.


  1. Bushmill's is Irish.

  2. להעדר םהתפילה זה בזיון קדושת השם


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