Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem in battle with religious council officials over religious services in the city

Stern has conducted numerous surprise inspections of restaurants to check if supervisors are working in accordance with the required standards, but also tasked his staff with more serious concerns.

July 20, 2015 19:02
2 minute read.
Arye Stern

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


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 uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • 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 Don't show it again

An all-out war has erupted between Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern and the head of the Jerusalem Religious Council, Yehoshua Yishai, over the management of religious services in the city.

Stern was elected the city’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi in October. Since then, he has sought to reform the provision of religious services in the capital, which he told The Jerusalem Post have suffered from a lack of proper oversight and management.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

He particularly focused on kashrut, which is known throughout the country as a field open to corruption.

Stern and his staff have conducted surprise inspections of restaurants to check whether supervisors are working in accordance with the required standards, as well as investigating more serious concerns of impropriety.

Stern’s staff discovered that two cousins of Yishai’s were working as kashrut supervisors, as were brothers of the head of the council’s kashrut department, David Malka.

Guidelines of the Religious Services Ministry ostensibly prohibit the appointment of relatives by council members.

In addition, not only is Malka the head of the kashrut department, but he also acts as a kashrut supervisor, an apparent conflict of interests.

Stern’s staff found that Malka was the appointed supervisor for a branch of one of the large supermarket chains in Jerusalem, but that he has not visited the premises of the store since Passover.

Stern’s staff found various kashrut problems at the site, such as raw liver stored for longer than 24hrs, which renders the liver non-kosher according to Jewish law.

In light of the troubling findings, Jerusalem City Council member Elad Malka (Hitorerut) submitted complaints to both the police and the State Comptroller’s Office over the various infractions.

As a result, Yishai allegedly demanded that Stern fire a senior member of staff and threatened that he would not cooperate with Stern if he does not comply.

Yishai denied the allegations and said that he believes his relatives were appointed as kashrut supervisors before he became chairman of the council, and that as they are distant cousins it does not contravene ministry guidelines.

He said he would not reveal the content of his discussions with Stern regarding reports that he had demanded the rabbi fire his chief of staff.

David Malka also stated that some of his relatives were appointed to be kashrut supervisors before he was a member of the council, while others were appointed before he became head of the kashrut department.

He added that he was unaware of any conflict of interests in managing the kashrut department while also being a kashrut supervisor.

Related Content

Reuven Rivlin
July 22, 2018
In shadow of Hayun questioning, Rivlin holds Tisha Be’av study session