With Pesach fast approaching, the offer to tour the Manischewitz matza factory seemed like an opportunity that was too good to pass up.
Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey since 2006, Manischewitz controls a sizable portion of the mass produced matza market in the United States, where 80 percent of all matza consumed is made by machine. Videographer Yossi Tepper and I made the trip to Manischewitz headquarters to watch how man and machine work together throughout the tightly synchronized matza making process to ensure that matza is made quickly, accurately and most importantly, in strict accordance with halacha.
The Manischewitz matza factory, which boasts two 22,000 water gallon water tanks to hold its mayim shelanu and has a 150 foot oven which runs at over 600 degrees, is a far cry from the small matza bakery opened by Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz, a Lithuanian immigrant who began baking matza for his family and friends in Ohio in 1888.
As time went on, demands for Rabbi Manischewitz’s matza grew within Cincinatti’s Jewish community and by improving on existing matza making machinery, switching to gas ovens and making other upgrades, Rabbi Manischewitz soon began shipping matzas to Jewish communities worldwide.
Today, Manischewitz produces over 75 million matzas each year, all under the strict supervision of the Orthodox Union. Several eagle eyed mashgichim are in place throughout the entire production run, removing any potentially problematic matzas from the line.
Manischewitz produces 5,000,000 pounds of matza each year and gears up for Pesach production after Tish B’Av each summer. Included in the company’s annual matza totals is a special one day run of 3,500 cases shmura matza, made with flour from a specially supervised mill and is available in 10 ounce boxes both online and in select New York area stores.
Watch below VIN News video for a fascinating inside look at Manischewitz’s automated matza production.
The tour was given on mar. 11, 2015 by Randel Copeland VP of operations at Manischewitz, and Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz Chief Rabbi at Manischewitz plant.