Shorts: U.S.

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

Agriprocessors sold to Canadians

The Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa, was sold to SHF Industries, a Canadian company formed in May by plastics manufacturer Hershey Friedman and his son-in-law Daniel Hirsch. In a sale that was approved this week by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Iowa, they bought the failed kosher meatpacking plant for $8.5 million.

Friedman, an observant Jew, has indicated that he plans to continue operating the business as a meatpacking plant focusing on kosher products, and that he hopes to have production up and running in time for the High Holy Days.

The purchase price was well below the $22 million the plant owes to unsecured creditors, including back wages and benefits to hundreds of employees. It is also much less than the $40 million Soglowek Nahariya Ltd. of Israel was prepared to offer going into a March auction for the bankrupt company. The company rescinded before the auction took place. — jta

AJWS president named to Obama task force

American Jewish World Service president Ruth Messinger has been appointed to serve on the Obama administration’s Task Force on Global Poverty and Development.

The task force, created by the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will identify key issues pertaining to hunger and poverty and recommend partnerships to effectively address these issues.

It also will examine how the Obama administration can partner with domestic faith-based and community groups at the grassroots level to raise awareness of global poverty and to develop a call to action for all Americans.

Executive replaces lost Madoff funds

A Massachusetts philanthropist who lost most of his personal fortune in the Bernard Madoff scandal has paid $5 million out of his own pocket to restore the retirement savings of employees who lost money in the multibillion-dollar scam.

Robert Lappin made up for the lost savings of the 60 employees of his company, Shetland Properties Inc., and of his charity, the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, whose 401(k) plans were managed by Madoff.

The foundation, which sends Jewish youths to Israel, closed briefly when it lost $8 million in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Lappin said his net worth is less than $10 million, a 10th of what it was before the scandal. — jta

Memorial event conflicts with Rosh Hashanah

Members of Congress have called for the rescheduling of the National Weekend of Remembrance to avoid conflicting with Rosh Hashanah.

In a bipartisan effort, Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) and more than 25 of his colleagues, in a letter delivered July 21, urged the White House Commission on Remembrance to make the change so that every military family, regardless of religious affiliation, can participate in the first remembrance weekend on Sept. 18-19.

Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Sept. 18 and ends at nightfall on Sept. 20.

“As Jewish Americans and military veterans, we believe that religious obligations should never preclude military families from coming together to remember their loved ones lost in battle,” said Ira Novoselsky, national commander of Jewish War Veterans. — jta