Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Israel's High Court Upholds Chief Rabbinate's Monopoly On Kosher Certification

In Israel on Monday, a 3-judge panel of the High Court of Justice in a 2-1 ruling upheld the official Chief Rabbinate's monopoly on kosher certification.  As reported by the Times of Israel, at issue was the ability of restaurants to use a alternative private kosher supervision service which issues certificates that do not use the term "kosher" in attesting to compliance with Jewish religious dietary requirements. The restaurants involved only displayed the Private Supervision certificate on their websites.  However, the High Court majority held:
a business is prohibited from presenting its kashrut status in writing, whether by using the word kosher or not, unless it was given a kosher certificate by the body authorized by law to do so.
The majority however said that the Chief Rabbinate would have to make reforms in its certification process within two years to eliminate the requirement that restaurants pay the salaries of inspectors who certify them.  The restaurants say they will seek review of the ruling by an expanded bench of the High Court.