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Layman Wins Post of Miami Inspector of Kashruth; Orthodox Wanted Rabbi

The Miami Beach City Council has reappointed a layman for a two-year term as City Inspector of Kashruth after Jewish religious leaders had differed sharply as to whether or not only a qualified rabbi could fill the job. The inspectors task is to police meat markets to see that there is no violation of the city’s ordinances on representation of products as kosher.

A strong fight against reappointment of Frank Brickman to the job was led by spokesmen for the Community Vaad Hakashruth of Greater Miami, which insisted that the appointment had to go to a rabbi. The organization charged that “the City of Miami Beach can not disregard the Orthodox community by covering the kosher merchants with a city ordinance that infringes upon Orthodox religious law.”

Rabbinical supporters of the inspector said that the question of kashruth fell into two categories, religious, dealing with the meat itself, and surveillance, which was primarily policing against misrepresentation. A rabbi was not needed for the policing job, they said. The council held that the city inspector was not supposed to pass on a religious matter like kashruth but only to make certain there was no misrepresentation involved.

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