President Shimon Peres’s chief of staff Efrat Duvdevani has sent a letter to
Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar calling on them to thoroughly
investigate the catering company Pri Haaretz, which allegedly served non-kosher
meat at the president’s Independence Day party at his Jerusalem
First reported by Ma’ariv, the company that catered the
festivities had a large consignment of meat intended for the party which was
spoiled. Panicked, one of Pri Haaretz’s chefs allegedly purchased a new batch of
meat for the event at a non-kosher butcher in Abu Ghosh outside
Rafi Yohai, head of the Chief Rabbinate’s division for the
enforcement of kashrut laws, said that an investigation has been opened into the
matter and that the rabbinate requested on Tuesday a court order for Pri Haaretz
to hand over documents relating to the incident.
Yohai also said that it
is 100 percent certain that one of Pri Haaretz’s chefs purchased 80 kg. of meat
from the non-kosher butcher in Abu Ghosh. Pri Haaretz’s kashrut license has been
revoked as a result.
Duvdevani explained the series of events in her
letter to the Chief Rabbinate. She said that the catering company had presented
a kashrut certificate from the Chief Rabbinate and the regional religious
council of Emek Hefer, and brought along a kashrut supervisor for the duration
of the event.
Pri Haaretz admitted that the original consignment of meat
was spoiled but claimed that they had replaced it with kosher meat from their
However, one of the catering company’s chefs was
identified on security camera video footage from the butcher in question buying
a large quantity of meat.