"Private Kashrut supervision" articles

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Editorial: Kosher competition

http://www.jpost.com/

The capitalist forces of free competition that exist, say, in the US kosher supervision market, are nonexistent in Israel.

The best solution to this situation is to break the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly over kashrut supervision and adopt the sort of model that exists in the US.

Instead of entrusting the Chief Rabbinate with both providing kashrut supervision and enforcing kashrut fraud laws – which creates inherent conflicts of interest – a state-run, secular consumer protection agency should be responsible for enforcing kashrut fraud laws.

Jerusalem restaurants scrambled up by Rabbinate’s kashrut monopoly

http://www.timesofisrael.com/

Carousela restaurant owner: “We need more awareness of the issue. It’s not about getting rid of the rabbinate, but reorganizing the institution and the way it works. The politicians need to take this to the next level. The law needs to be changed.”

Jerusalem’s kashrut rebels unveil new ally: an Orthodox rabbi

http://www.haaretz.com/

"I don’t intend to eat in every place that advertises itself as kosher, but I think it is the right of every place to do so,"Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz said in response to the war the Jerusalem Rabbinate has been waging against the capital’s restaurants.

Increasing number of eateries challenging Jerusalem Rabbanut kashrus

http://www.jerusalemkoshernews.com/

Rabbinate Rabbi Schlesinger concluded by stating “if you advertise as being kosher without a teudah from the local rabbinate, in this case Yerushalayim, you are breaking the law”.

Opinion: Grassroots kashrut in Jerusalem

http://www.jpost.com/

By Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz

Competition in kashrut supervision in Jerusalem is long overdue, and I firmly believe it is the only way to bring change. 

The rabbinate should be given the poetically just role of enforcing the best practices of private agencies through supervision, investigation and the legal prosecution of fraudulent standards.

This way, the market would drive industry quality up, and the government would be positioned in its natural role of legislation and enforcement.

Female kosher supervisors deemed ‘immodest’

http://www.ynetnews.com/

"We had a meeting with officials from the Rabbinate’s Kashrut Enforcement Division, and they agreed to allow women to integrate in two fields: shatnez lab tests and checking supervised leaves for bugs.

In both fields the woman does not work at the actual business, but rather in an isolated and hidden place, for modesty reasons.”

Is the Rabbinate ordaining its cronies as rabbis?

http://www.ynetnews.com/

"Sometimes, the applicant receives the ‘authorization’ to serve as a rabbi within weeks or months - thanks to his personal connections rather than his skills."

Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah noted that as far as they knew, since the State’s establishment, dozens or even hundreds of rabbis have received a certification to serve in the Rabbinate – or as city rabbis – without being required to take these exams.

Kosher certification of Israeli farmers who misuse pesticides may be revoked

http://www.haaretz.com/

'Bug-free' veggies to be declared not kosher

http://www.ynetnews.com/

Stop bugging me - and my kosher cuisine

http://www.haaretz.com/

Some Restaurants In Israel Declare A Kosher Rebellion

http://www.npr.org/

"There are many restaurants and institutions where the inspector comes in once a month simply to collect a check and does not appear the rest of the month," Rabbi Andrew Sacks says. "But beyond that, a serious problem is that the inspectors themselves are paid directly by the restaurateur. So there can be no objectivity."

Rabbi Ehud Bandel says it is time to reclaim Judaism from the religious establishment. “It’s up to us to make sure that the Knesset will change this legislation and enable freedom of religion and free market of religion, which will only be good for religious life here in Israel.”

See also AUDIO story

See also TRANSCRIPT

Jerusalem restaurants sue over rabbis’ kosher certification rules

http://www.washingtonpost.com/

“The restaurant owners are definitely on the front line,” Jerusalem City Council member Rachel Azaria told the Times of Israel, “and as pioneers in this battle they are exposed to the risks.”

Modern-Orthodox Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz, who is spearheading a training program for volunteer kosher supervisors, said the Rabbinate’s oversight of its supervisors is inconsistent.

 “Owners complain (the supervisors) come very seldom,” he said. “Some complain they show up only for their paycheck.”

VIDEO: “What’s Love Got to Do with It? Who Decides Who Can Marry (or Divorce) in the Jewish State”

The Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly
November 11, 2014 Jerusalem

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VIDEO: JFNA GA: “The Wall at the Heart of Israel: How it Connects and Divides a Nation”

November 11, 2013 Jerusalem

Moderator: Jerry Silverman, JFNA

Panel:

  • Natan Sharansky, Jewish Agency
  • Anat Hoffman, Women of the Wall
  • Aliza Lavie, MK Yesh Atid
  • Ronit Peskin, Women for the Wall

~ video via Shalom TV

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North America’s Jewish leaders talk to The Jerusalem Post about how they see some of the biggest issues facing Israel, including Women of the Wall

see original article here: “Inside the GA”

http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-Features/Inside-the-GA-331129

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Q: The Women of the Wall have been gaining increasing Israeli and international attention. What do you think is the solution to the ongoing dispute?

David J. Butler, member of the Executive Committee of JFNA

The Women of the Wall dispute is only one part of a larger concern regarding civil society in Israel, and the need to loosen the stranglehold of the Ultra-Orthodox in matters of personal status and personal observance in Israel. Women should be permitted to pray at the kotel as they choose, just as men should be permitted to have an array of prayer services at the kotel – not just orthodox services and observances. The solution is to redefine the role of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and to take them out of total control of Jewish personal status issues.

Jay Sanderson, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles

Women praying at the Wall is a symptom of a bigger challenge, the challenge of being a pluralistic society with Judaism at its core. Israel needs to be a Jewish State open and welcoming to all Jews where Jews of all denominations and from all backgrounds have equal rights and equal access.

Michael Gelman, chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of the JFNA

I believe that there should be equal access to the Wall for all Jews. Early photos show both men and women praying in the same space. The situation at the Wall, however, is only a microcosm of the real problem. That is, what I refer to as the “tyranny of the minority,” that is, too much control over personal issues by the ultra-Orthodox rabbinate.

Israel is the only democracy in the world that does not have freedom of marriage. More than 20% of Israelis are going overseas to marry. That is an untenable situation. The most recent law that loosens municipal control over marriages really changes nothing. Part of that law now makes it a crime (up to two years in jail) for a rabbi that is not recognized by the ultra-Orthodox Rabbinate to perform a wedding in Israel and the same law applies to the bride and groom. Why did they need that law when Israel does not recognize those marriages in Israel anyway?

The ultra-Orthodox Rabbinate will continue to drive Israelis further and further away from Judaism and will drive a wedge between Israel and the Diaspora. Ultimately it could become a security issue as well. It is estimated that within two generations, 50% of American Jews will not be considered halachically Jewish according to the Rabbinate. This could threaten US support for Israel as American Jews become less committed to Israeli’s safety. It’s just one more thing to worry about.

Susie Gelman, North American Co-Chair of the JFNA’s 2013 General Assembly

I remember the first years of visiting Israel, in the early ‘70s, when the Western Wall plaza was one large expanse with no mechitza. Somehow, everyone was able to pray in his or her own way then without offending others. Over time, I have personally experienced how the women’s side has gotten smaller and smaller and how restrictive the situation at the Wall has become for women. I support the goals of Women of the Wall and would hope that a solution can be found that is respectful of all styles of worship. The dispute about access to the Kotel is really a symptom of a much larger issue facing Israel and the Diaspora, namely equal treatment of and respect for all branches of Judaism. Currently, the religious practices of 85% of Diaspora Jews (and a growing number of Israeli Jews) are not recognized in Israel. That situation has got to change.

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Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett letter to Diaspora Reform and Conservative rabbis on Kotel

"Dear Journalist, Attached is a letter that Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett sent out tonight to the community of Reform and Conservative rabbis throughout the Diaspora. The letter relates to the recent changes at the Kotel and the construction of a temporary prayer platform there for pluralistic, egalitarian and progressive prayer services. [ … ] “

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Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett letter to Diaspora Reform and Conservative rabbis on Kotel

"Dear Journalist, 

Attached is a letter that Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett sent out tonight to the community of Reform and Conservative rabbis throughout the Diaspora. 

The letter relates to the recent changes at the Kotel and the construction of a temporary prayer platform there for pluralistic, egalitarian and progressive prayer services. [ … ] “

(click image to open letter; then click again to enlarge)

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VIDEO: Interview with Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin on Women of the Wall

via JTN.tv

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VIDEO: Israel Channel 2 TV News

Livni vs. Bennett: Justice Minister Livni backs Jerusalem District Court decision on Women of the Wall; opposes any changes to Kotel law by Religious Services Minister Bennett.

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VIDEO #3: Women of the Wall - Rosh Hodesh Sivan May 10, 2012

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VIDEO #2: Women of the Wall - Rosh Hodesh Sivan May 10, 2012

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VIDEO: Women of the Wall - Rosh Hodesh Sivan May 10, 2012

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