"Private Kashrut supervision" articles
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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.
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.”
"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.
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”.
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.
"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.”
"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.
"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.”
“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.”