Tel Aviv – Jerusalem Restaurateurs Sue Chief Rabbinate; Claim It Operates As A Monopoly


    Tel Aviv – The Chief Rabbinate of Jerusalem is facing another legal battle after five restaurant owners filed suit claiming that the rules for earning kosher certification are capricious, burdensome, and overly costly, and that the Rabbinate functions as a monopoly.

    This latest legal action brings the total to nearly a dozen restaurants which have terminated their relationship with the Rabbinate’s kosher supervisors after receiving fines of between $270 and $525 for promoting their establishments as kosher without the rabbis’ permission, according to The Washington Post ( Some of the restaurants have opted to hire private kosher inspectors instead.

    To qualify as kosher, an Israeli restaurant must display its certification prominently and pay the supervisors directly for their services. “The problem is, the supervisor was almost never there,” said Carousela restaurateur Yehonatan Vadai, who received a $270 fine for not having an official kosher certification. “They require us to purchase lettuce and other vegetables from specific vendors who use strong pesticides. It’s just not necessary. I can’t wash off the pesticide and I won’t serve them to my customers.”

    Vadai said that the supervisors are deliberately ignoring the recent ruling of Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar who stated that, “Insects can be removed by washing, the way it has been done for generations.”

    The Rabbinate is financed by the Israeli government.

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    Reb Yid
    Reb Yid(@reb-yid)
    10 years ago

    “Insects can be removed by washing”
    Applies to a frum yid, not a non-religious restaurateur.

    10 years ago

    Where is the mashgiach?? Can’t be a valid t’udah if the mashgiach not around!!

    10 years ago

    No, No, No… You have it all wrong.
    In the Alter Heim we never had water issues. Today they use chemicals in the water and there are “bugs” in the water. So when you wash off the lettuce you are putting live bugs onto the produce. This is a major machlokes if you can eat fruits and vegetables directly from the field or do you need to wash them off with (remember NYC water problems) with water.
    There is a new revolutionary product being introduced to clean the Lettuce. It is the iZapper, this app (Oy! not for those with internet phones..sorry) when placed near the lettuce will scan them and send a beam that zaps anything that is living and disintegrate them. therefore there will be no “Shailoh” of eating live or dead bugs.
    Personally I am a Meat and nuts kind of guy and stay away from those unhealthy vegetables anyway.
    Tizku Limitzvos

    10 years ago

    “…five restaurant owners filed suit claiming … that the Rabbinate functions as a monopoly.”

    What are they talking about? There is no monopoly. If those five restaurants are really kosher, they can always go with Badatz Yerushalaim. And there are other serious choices. If anything, it’s the opposite. Nobody who is careful about kashrus would eat from the government rabbonus.