Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Predominantly German and Norwegian for much of its existence, a group of Hasidic Jews of the Lubavitch movement from New York purchased a Kosher slaughterhouse there in 1987. Since then, Postville has seen a large influx of many ethnic peoples, especially Ukrainians, Russians, Mexicans, Guatemalans and Filipinos. The town has been the focus of much attention in seeing the Postville natives interact with the very different newcomers of their town. A book on the town, Postville: A Clash A Cultures of Heartland America was written by Stephen G. Bloom, a professor at the University of Iowa.
Although there has rarely existed outright hostility between the Postville natives and newcomers, there has often been tension between them, especially among the Hasidic community. In September 1991 , a Hasidic Jew from Postville robbed a convenience store in Decorah, Iowa, seriously wounding the clerk. This event drew a lot of negative attention towards the new Jewish community moving into Postville. Another attempted murder within the Hasidic community and a murder within in Hispanic community in 2000 furthered disenchantment between Postville natives and newcomers. Other religious differences have existed as well. For example, the decision of putting up Christmas decorations in the downtown district proved to be more difficult than before, and was a major argument on the city council in 2002.
Postville's growth during the last 15 years has been due two the presence of two large meat processing plants, AgriProcessors and Iowa Turkey Products. AgriProcessors, the Kosher meat plant, is the largest of its type in the world, which as of December 2004 employs about 700 people and purchases $100 million worth of livestock annually. Iowa Turkey Products, which burnt in December 2003, was another major employer in the community. The plant hopes to rebuild in Marshall, Minnesota.
AgriProcessors has often been shrouded with controversy. In 2004 a lawsuit was filed against Agriprocessors alleging that the producer violated the Clean Water Act by dumping water with high salt concentrations into public water resovoirs. PETA also released a videotape in December 2004 showing what they believe to be "inhumane" practices in the Kosher slaughter of cattle. This has sparked the attention of the USDA, Orthodox Union and K'hal Adath Jeshurun to examine AgriProcessors' methods of slaughter.
Orthodox reacation to PETA
The Orthodox Judaism movement has come out in support of AgriProcessors and denounced PETA's tactics and aims. See the:
- Message from Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb , Orthodox Union executive Vice President, and Rabbi Menachem Genack , OU Kashrut rabbinic administrator. 
- Statement of Rabbis and certifying agencies on recent publicity on kosher slaughter. 
- Rabbi Dr. I.M. Levinger , international veterinary expert on kosher slaughter praising procedures at AgriProcessors. 
- Iowa's Agriculture Secretary Patty Judge calls kosher slaughter at Agriprocessors' "humane". 
Postville is located at 43°5'6" North, 91°34'10" West (43.085102, -91.569515).
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 2,273 people, 792 households, and 548 families residing in the city. The population density is 421.9/km² (1,093.6/mi²). There are 824 housing units at an average density of 153.0/km² (396.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 79.59% White, 0.00% African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 17.03% from other races, and 2.07% from two or more races. 20.63% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 792 households out of which 32.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% are married couples living together, 8.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 30.7% are non-families. 25.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 15.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.78 and the average family size is 3.17.
In the city the population is spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 100.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $32,667, and the median income for a family is $40,125. Males have a median income of $22,083 versus $16,596 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,264. 12.7% of the population and 9.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 12.7% of those under the age of 18 and 10.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
- Official Site, City of Postville
- Postville Herald Leader
- Postville Community Schools
- 89.1 FM, Postville
- Jewish Bulletin Article about Stephen Bloom's book on Postville
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