Monday, September 18, 2017

Israel's High Court Erodes Rabbinate's Monopoly On Kosher Certification

By a vote of 5-2, last week an expanded panel of Israel's High court of Justice handed down a ruling which moves toward breaking the Chief Rabbinate's monopoly on designation of which restaurants in the country are kosher.  As reported by Haaretz and Arutz Sheva, the ruling stops short of allowing alternative private kashrut certification. It upholds the Rabbinate's position that Israel's Kosher Fraud Law prohibits a business from representing itself as "kosher" without a certification approved by the Chief Rabbinate. However the decision does allow businesses "to display a true representation about the standards they follow and the way they are supervised in keeping them, which also includes an explicit clarification that they do not have a kashrut certificate."  The court added:
Assuming it is telling the truth, nothing prevents a food establishment from clarifying that the meat it serves was purchased from a slaughterhouse that carries kosher certification; and that the fish it serves are only those with fins and scales.