Home LATEST-NEWS Restaurants in Jerusalem enthusiastic about possible new kashrut rules

Restaurants in Jerusalem enthusiastic about possible new kashrut rules

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Jerusalem restaurant Crave, located near Mahane Yehudah Market, is raving about the potential kashrut trust bust proposed in the Knesset on Tuesday.

“If you don’t have competition, I think it’s bad for business,” said co-owner Tzvi Maller vertelde The Jerusalem Post. “If we were the only restaurant, I could serve you anything. You must eat something! When you have competition, you have to constantly improve your game.”

Crave has kosher oversight from the Jerusalem Rabbinate, as is the case with many restaurants in the area. Currently, only local rabbinates headed by a municipal chief rabbi can issue kashrut licenses to food companies, and these rabbinates are also responsible for assigning kashrut supervisors to oversee those companies, as well as appointing inspectors to oversee the regulators. .

Some of the problems caused by the monopoly are corruption and strange demands. For example, Crave is getting backlash from the rabbinate for using Heinz Ketchup in their restaurant, even though it is kosher certified by the Orthodox Union (OU), one of the largest and most recognized Kashrut organizations in the US. The rabbinate asks that they use products that the rabbinate directly approves.

“[The rabbinate] makes no money from the OU,” Maller said.

Moshe Segev, owner of the Segev restaurant across the street from Crave, said the Rabbinate’s monopoly could be “oppressive” for entrepreneurs. He said the Rabbinate argued with him about the names of his dishes as to whether or not they were kosher.

“I would be very happy if they ended this [system]’ said Segev. “Everyone [should] choose who they want to work with.”

Maller said he is not happy with the rabbinate and would consider changing the kashrut certifications if they continue to put their demands on OU products. He said he would continue to work with the same kashrut standards regardless of who certifies them.

However, there is an alternative. Tzohar gives a kosher certificate to restaurants. They are a moderate Religious Zionist organization working to improve Jewish life in Israel through advocacy and legislation, according to their mission statement. The wording of their kashrut certification has been approved by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, according to a video on their website.

In April 2021 Kadosh told Café Patisserie The Jerusalem Post that the rabbinate threatened to revoke their kashrut if they did not label their packaged products as dairy, even though their certification stated the restaurant was dairy. They switched to kosher supervision from Tzohar after the incident.

According to the rabbinate, they feared that someone would think the packaged products were pareve and eat it with meat. Mixing meat and dairy products is prohibited according to halacha.

Kahana’s plan is to put the Chief Rabbinate in charge of outside Kashrut providers, such as Tzohar or the ultra-Orthodox Badatz Mehadrim. He said this would strengthen the Rabbinate while removing their monopoly on Kashrut in Israel.

According to the chief rabbinate, the new proposals will create a conflict of interest in the field of kashrut.

“The Chief Rabbinate completely rejects the dangerous initiative of the Ministry of Religious Services to destroy Kashrut in Israel,” they said. “The abolition of kashrut in the State of Israel and the opening of a bazaar for organizations with business interests that will grant kashrut and allow any wheel dealer to give kashrut when the result will be the destruction of kashrut.”

Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report

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