The June Freeman is out and includes my cover story on the Schechter Brothers, the four kosher butchers whose refusal to play by the codes of the NRA and commitment to the ethical laws of Kashrut led to the end to the NRA and the First New Deal. Here's the intro:
Jewish-Americans have a long history of finding role models who broke barriers, accomplished great things, or engaged in more mundane acts of heroism. Jewish religious schools are full of discussions of athletes like Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax, or the legions of Jewish entertainers and scholars, as ways to demonstrate the accomplishments of American Jews.
But in all those stories many of us heard growing up, one set of brave heroes was never mentioned: the Schechter brothers of New York City. The Schechters were kosher butchers operating in the 1930s who stood fast to their commitment to the dietary laws of kashrut in the face of ferocious pressure and prosecution by a powerful government. They eventually took their case to the highest court in the land—and won—defeating one of the most popular and powerful administrations in American history.
One would think this story of Jewish heroism and commitment to Jewish values would be inspirational for generations of young American Jews. But the Schechter brothers were up against Franklin Delano Roosevelt.