The Manischewitz Company
Type Privately held company
Industry Kosher Foods
Founded Cincinnati, Ohio, United States (1888 (1888))
Founder(s) Dov Behr Manischewitz
Headquarters Secaucus, New Jersey, United States
Area served Nationwide
Products Matzo
Kosher Wine

Manischewitz is a leading brand of kosher products based in the United States, best known for their matzo and wine. Founded in 1888 and under family control until 1990, it is the world's largest matzo manufacturer and one of America's largest kosher brands.



Logo for Manischewitz Wine

The B. Manischewitz Company, LLC was founded by Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz, in 1888 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company built a second production site in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1932, to better serve the large Jewish community of the New York metropolitan area, and the Cincinnati facility was eventually closed in 1958.[1] In 1990 a $1 million fine was levied against the company for price fixing with its two main competitors at the time, Streit's and Horowitz.[2] Ownership of the B. Manischewitz Company was maintained by the Manischewitz family until it was purchased by a group led by Kohlberg & Company in 1990 for $42.5 million.[3][4][5] In 2004 its name was changed to R.A.B. Food Group, LLC and today is known as The Manischewitz Company.[1] Manischewitz remains the world's top matzo manufacturer and one of America's top kosher brands.[3] In the 1930s, in order to produce their products all year round, the company created the Tam-tam cracker, which looks like little matzos, according to a recent book Manischewitz: The Matzo Family, written by the founder's great-granddaughter, Laura Manischewitz Alpern. Their original product, the square matzo, revolutionized matzo making, which until the family's production process, used to hand roll the matzo and trim the edges. It was also considered quite revolutionary to make matzos by machine.[6]

On June 14, 2011, a new 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) state-of-the-art facility was announced. Located on 80 Avenue K in the East Ward of Newark, NJ, it would act as both plant and corporate Headquarters for The Manischewitz Company.[7]


Manischewitz has revolutionized the way in which matzo is produced. By mass producing matzos they turned matzo making from a strictly local product into a national, and eventually international product. Manischewitz matzos were also the first to feature uniform texture, taste, and feel. When the company first began shipping matzos they also decided to make them square, whereas before matzos had been consistently round.[5][8] Manischewitz's main innovation - making matzos with machines instead of by hand, aroused some initial controversy. Some rabbis of the era claimed that in order to be acceptable for religious use, the matzo had to have been made by a man and not a machine.[3][9] Manischewitz was ultimately able to overcome these concerns, in part by demonstrating the meticulous adherence to the religious rules that were being demonstrated.[9]

In addition to matzo, Manischewitz-labeled foods include cookies, pasta, and soups. Other well-known kosher brands associated with R.A.B. include Carmel, Elite, Mother's, Rokeach, Mrs. Adler's, and Tradition; many of these were acquired by R.A.B. after successful runs as independent kosher labels.[10] Kosher foods such as these are staples of many supermarkets in the United States.

R.A.B. is not involved with Manischewitz wine, however, except in name: it has, since 1986, licensed the Manischewitz brand name to the Manischewitz Wine Company, a subsidiary of Canandaigua Wine Company (now Constellation Brands).[11]


The Manischewitz winery is located in Naples, New York, and has since 1987 been the property of Constellation Brands, which continues to license the Manischewitz name from R.A.B. Foods.[12] The Winery was founded by Leo Star and run by the Star family since 1927.

The Manischewitz winery is best known for its sweet concord wine, which is widely available in much of North America.[13] Made from labrusca grapes, its aroma is unusual, and is combined with a large amount of residual sugar.[citation needed] As concord was popularized over the years by U.S. media as being the kosher wine, it is often the wine used by non-Orthodox Jews in celebrating Passover. However, Manischewitz's sweet Concord contains corn syrup, a sweetener derived from corn, which is a food forbidden for Passover among Ashkenazi Jews (see Kitniyot for details on why corn is forbidden). Manischewitz produces special Kosher for Passover bottling of their wine which are sweetened with cane sugar as opposed to the corn syrup used throughout the year.[14]

It is also used as Communion wine.[citation needed]

The sweetness of Manischewitz wine and other kosher wines is often the fodder of jokes. However, Kosher wine does not have to be sweet. One of the reasons for the prevalence of sweet kosher wine in the U.S., and in the Americas generally, dates back to the early days of Jews in America, when there was the need to locally produce kosher wine for the Kiddush ritual on the Shabbat and holidays. The combination of a limited choice of grape varieties that could grow in the areas where Jews had settled, along with limited time available to produce the wine and a market dominated by hard cider, yielded a bitter wine that had to be sweetened to make it palatable.[15]

Indeed, so well-known is the sweet Manischewitz variety in the U.S. that the existence of a thriving kosher wine industry anchored by vineyards in France and Israel, along with a growing U.S. industry, is often a surprise to Americans unaccustomed to taking kosher wine seriously.[11]


The company has used the slogan "Man-O-Manischewitz What a Wine!" for advertising.[16]

List of foods

  • Matzos
    • Unsalted Matzo
    • Saltine Matzo
    • Thin Unsalted Matzo
    • Thin Salted Matzo
    • Thin Tea Matzo
    • Whole Wheat Matzo
    • Spelt Matzo (Kosher for Passover)
    • Savory Garlic Matzo
    • Egg & Onion Matzo
    • Everything Matzo
    • White Grape Matzo
    • Concord Grape Matzo
    • Egg Matzo
    • Yolk Free Egg Matzo
  • Matzo Crackers
    • Regular Matzo Crackers
    • Egg Matzo Crackers
    • Everything Matzo Crackers
    • Original Tam Tam Crackers
    • Garlic Tam Tam Crackers
    • Whole Grain Lighted Salted Tam Tam Crackers (Kosher for Passover)
    • Whole Grain Garden Herb Tam Tam Crackers (Kosher for Passover)
    • Onion Tam Tam Crackers
    • No Salt Tam Tam Crackers
    • Everything Tam Tam Crackers
  • Matzo meal
    • Matzo Meal Canister (Kosher for Passover)
    • Potato starch Canister (Kosher for Passover)
    • Matzo Farfel Canister (Kosher for Passover)
  • Whole Grain Noodles
  • Egg Noodles
  • Yolk Free Egg Noodles

See also


  1. ^ a b "Manishewitz - History". Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  2. ^ Tregarthen, Timothy (1999). The Matzo Fix. Worth Publishers. ISBN 9781572594180. 
  3. ^ a b c Lukas, Paul (2004-04-01). "Days of Wine and Matzos: How a Cincinnati family became the name in kosher foods.". CNN Money. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  4. ^ Martin, Douglas (2003-09-23). "Bernard Manischewitz, Last In Family Firm, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  5. ^ a b Alpern, Lara Manishewitz (2008). Manischewitz: The Matzo Family. ktav. ISBN 9781602800038. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Ginsburg, Johanna (2008-03-27). "A Manischewitz writes family history of kosher food giant". New Jersey Jewish News. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  9. ^ a b "The Americanization of Matzah". Retrieved 2008-09-06. [dead link]
  10. ^ "R.A.B. Food Group LLC". Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  11. ^ a b Howard G. Goldberg (March 23, 1994). "Manischewitz Only Sweet? Not Anymore". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  12. ^ "Manischewitz wine - heritage - history". Archived from the original on 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  13. ^ "Manaschewitz wine -". Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  14. ^ "Manischewitz wine - FAQ". Archived from the original on 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  15. ^ "The 11th Plague? Why People Drink Sweet Wine on Passover". Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  16. ^ Man-O-Manischewitz!

External links

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