(JTA) – New York is about to lose its last two state kosher inspectors.
The state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets will eliminate the jobs as part of a statewide effort to achieve $250 million in work force savings, according to the Times Union in Albany. The department once had 11 kosher inspectors.
Explaining its decision to lay off the final two inspectors, the department told reporters that the jobs have become obsolete since a 2004 change in the state’s kosher law prevented state inspectors from enforcing Orthodox standards of kashrut.
According to the new law, kosher establishments must disclose the standards they use and under whose authority they operate, but are not required to adhere to Orthodox regulations. State kosher inspectors may only ensure the establishments are doing what they purport to do.
Jewish groups including the Rabbinical Alliance of America and the National Council of Young Israel came out against the proposed cuts earlier this year, according to Yeshiva World News.
Hundreds of state employees received layoff notices last week as part of Gov. David Paterson’s goal of cutting 898 state jobs by the end of the year.