Jerusalem rabbi conducts surprise checks at restaurants to uphold kosher inspection standards

Since taking office, Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern has conducted several spot checks on different restaurants to investigate whether the supervisors are fulfilling their duties.

By
May 25, 2015 17:32
2 minute read.
Arye Stern

Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Rabbi Arye Stern at Independence Day dinner, April 22, 2015. (photo credit: SHLOMI COHEN)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Aryeh Stern has begun a campaign of surprise inspections of kosher restaurants in the city as part of efforts to improve the reliability and quality of kashrut supervision services.

Stern has identified as a particular problem the way in which kashrut supervisors are paid directly by the restaurants they supervise, representing a conflict of interests.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Complaints have frequently surfaced in the industry, nationwide, that some supervisors do not provide the requisite supervision services and only go to the restaurant to collect their monthly paycheck from the owner.

Since taking office, Stern has conducted several spot checks on different restaurants to investigate whether the supervisors are fulfilling their duties.

Last week, two kashrut supervisors were replaced at the restaurants they were supervising, including one of the main cafe chains, since Stern deemed them to be not in compliance with the standards required for reliable supervision.

In one case, Stern found that the supervisor would only visit the restaurant once a week since he said the workers were religious and he therefore did not need to inspect the site more often.

Regulations stipulate that a supervisor must visit a restaurant or business under his supervision at least once a day.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Yehoshua Yishai, chairman of the Jerusalem Religious Council, which oversees kashrut supervision in the city, said infraction of the regulations for kashrut supervision would not be tolerated.

“Happily, these incidents are the exception, but we continue to conduct surprise inspections to prove to the public that the Jerusalem Rabbinate deserves the trust it has earned,” said Yishai.

In an interview earlier this month, Stern said one of his main goals at the beginning of his tenure was to increase public trust in Jerusalem’s kashrut supervision by insisting on the full compliance of supervisors with the guidelines established by the local religious council and the chief rabbi of the city.

Stern intends to implement a pilot program whereby an independent body will be set up to employ and pay kashrut supervisors who are then assigned to restaurants and other food-based businesses, thereby disconnecting the direct relationship between the supervisor from the business.

The pilot program is expected to be launched in the coming weeks.

These developments come against the background of a recent legal victory for an independent kashrut supervision initiative in Jerusalem.

In a decision at the beginning of May, the attorney-general said restaurants could not be fined for displaying certification of kashrut supervision from a supervision authority other than a local rabbinate subject to the Chief Rabbinate.

The decision has been heavily criticized by the Chief Rabbinate, which will contest it when the issue is brought before the High Court of Justice later this year.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

November 17, 2018
Messa Mediterranean

By SHAWN RODGERS