(photo credit: REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov)
Kosher certification inspectors of the Chief Rabbinate will receive significant
new powers, according to a bill proposed Monday by Deputy Religious Affairs
Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, with the support of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David
The legislation is intended to prevent defrauding and misleading the
public about what is kosher. The bill has the support of the government, which
is expected to enable its passage.
“The rabbinate has had a department to
enforce kosher certification regulations for 14 years but the department’s
authority has never been set,” the bill states.
The bill would give
kosher certification inspectors the right to enter restaurants, and other
establishments that provide food, and remove kosher certification notices that
They would be authorized to probe restaurant owners like
police and even confiscate items connected to their offense.
the kosher inspectors would wear uniforms while on duty, and they would be
required to wear badges identifying them.
Ben-Dahan said the bill was
necessary to end kosher certification fraud and return credibility to dietary
“Until now, due to their lack of authority, the inspectors
have been too weak to confront the unkosher criminals, who have been able to
avoid punishment,” Ben-Dahan said. “This bill would give them the tools to fight