Chambers of Commerce work with chief rabbi to ease kosher imports

Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger has set up a joint committee together with the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, to find solutions for the difficulties food imports face.

By SHARON WROBEL
May 24, 2006 06:45
1 minute read.
yona metzger 88

yona metzger 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger has set up a joint committee together with the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, to find solutions for the difficulties food imports face because they having to obey Jewish law, or halacha. "We will be setting up a steering committee with representatives of the FICC and the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, who will meet on a regular basis," Metzger said. "We want to help businesses to boost imports, while keeping kashrut standards." This is the first time a forum has been set up between food importers and the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, which is responsible for supplying import permits for kosher food, to present and discuss the day-to-day problems and difficulties importers are facing opposite the rabbinate. One of the main complaints from the sides of importers is the lack of a central body and guidelines, which would, for example, provide a list of recognized rabbis in Israel and abroad for the purpose of kashrut certification. Another issue, which will be raised in the forum is the lack of a centralized list of handling prices, for example, for the services of kashrut supervisors. "The lack of clear guidelines and central regulation has ballooned the costs and expenses of importers and as a result increased the prices of imported goods," Haim Oz, director-general of the affiliated divisions at the FICC told The Jerusalem Post. "For example, there is no Internet site for information, guidelines and regulations." During the first meeting of the forum, which was held last week, an array of issues were raised connected to the kashrut authorization, kashrut supervisors, timetable for the issuance of kashrut certificates and other related issues. "There is a new wave of openness and willingness shown from the sides of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and the chief rabbi for better and more efficient services," Yehezkel Daskal, Director-General of the FICC noted.

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