For kosher consumers, who once had to forgo Oreo cookies in favor ofHydrox, the new products have been a boon, offering more choices andeasier shopping. For Manischewitz, the largest kosher-only food companyin North America, the changes mean both new markets and new competition.

Half of Manischewitz's sales still come from the months leading upto the eight-day festival of Passover, the spring holiday commemoratingthe Jews' exodus from Egypt. During those eight days, even many Jews whodon't keep kosher the rest of the year celebrate Passover andforgo all regular bread and baked products in favor of unleavened bread,or matzo.

While the kosher industry has changed and Manischewitz's businessplan has changed, day-to-day life at Manischewitz hasn't. The JerseyCity plant blends the old with the new. For the most part, the old wins.

Much of the plant's equipment dates to 1932. The plant has asynagogue, which has held weddings and bar mitzvahs, and is always openfor morning prayers. In a tradition going back to the time of animalsacrifices, some matzo from each batch is burned in a ritual oven.

Many of the workers at the Jersey City plant have been there for20-plus years. Shop steward Charlie Weinstein, 84, has been with the company for 67 years.

When asked why he decided to work at the plant, he said, "Myfather forced me. I had to go to work to bring money home. I decided toplay ball, but he decided I should work."