Chief Rabbinate’s kosher certification services undergoing overhaul

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Plans to overhaul kosher certification services offered by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate include having different levels of certification and outside companies employ the supervisors.

Naftali Bennett, who serves as minister of religious services, and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau announced the reforms on Monday at a news conference.

Under the new system, the restaurants and other kosher establishments will not pay the kosher supervisor directly, which could lead to graft. The supervisors will be paid by an outside company, which will be paid by the owner of the kosher establishment.

Also under the new system, establishments can choose one of three levels of kosher certification, or kashrut: regular, mehuderet (stringent) and mehadrin min hamehadrin (very stringent).

Establishments seeking very stringent certification previously had turned to outside agencies.

The new system reportedly will cost the restaurants less and could lead other proprietors to become kosher.

“The ultimate goal is to bring back the public’s trust in kashrut by regularizing work relations, removing foreign interests, and upgrading the kashrut array with new and transparent technology,” Deputy Minister of Religious Services Eli Ben-Dahan told the news conference.

 

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