Chief Rabbinate warns Israeli businesses using alternative kosher supervision


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Chief Rabbinate has started warning restaurants that use an alternative kosher supervision they will face legal action if they continue to present themselves as kosher.

The warning notices circulated Wednesday came two days after Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that businesses cannot describe themselves as kosher unless they have official certification from the rabbinate. The ruling includes indicating that the business is kosher even if it uses other words to describe its food or services.

Many of the businesses receiving notices use Hashgacha Pratit, translated as private certification, a well-known private kashrut supervision service. Hashgacha Pratit director Ayala Falk told The Jerusalem Post that the organization is rewording the supervision certificate it gives to restaurants using its services in order to comply with the Supreme Court ruling.

At least 25 food businesses are certified by the private service. Users of the supervision service complain that the rabbinate’s monopoly on kosher supervision leads to corruption, and a general adversarial relationship between the businesses and the agency.

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