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

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    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 (http://wapo.st/UorACG). 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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