Kedma - A modern kosher meat restaurant.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Bayit Meshutaf – Secular Wing of Bayit Yehudi, an independent group
affiliated with the political party, announced on Wednesday that it had set up a
telephone hotline for restaurateurs and other catering businesses to report
kashrut supervisors who fail to carry out their duties in a professional
There are widespread reports in the industry of supervisors
failing to provide adequate inspection and supervision, demanding cash payments
and engaging in other unprofessional behavior.
Because of these reports,
Inbal Liber, chairwoman of Bayit Meshutaf, said the group established the
hotline to provide restaurant owners and caterers with a discreet channel for
reporting malfeasant supervisors.
Liber said that on Wednesday morning,
the first day of operations, the hotline, 052-873-6395, faced a deluge of
The complaints will be transmitted by the hotline staff
to the Public Affairs division of the Religious Services Ministry, where each
report will be investigated and further action taken if necessary.
said that one of the most common issues restaurateurs speak of are supervisors
who arrive at the kashrut-licensed establishment and spend barely any time
performing the required checks and inspections before demanding payment and
Another complaint has been of supervisors demanding payment in
cash and refusing to provide a receipt.
In one report received by the
hotline on Wednesday, a caterer from Bat Yam called and related how at a bar
mitzva party, a kashrut supervisor had demanded that his family be provided food
at the event, otherwise he would not provide him with kashrut
In another complaint, a restaurateur reported that the
supervisor had demanded he use only mehadrin (a strict level of supervision)
products despite the fact that his establishment was licensed by the
Liber said that the issue was relevant for religious and
secular people alike, since kosher restaurant owners and caterers see
professional and legitimate kashrut supervision as a crucial element of their
businesses, whether they themselves are religious or not.
She also noted
that many people who define themselves as secular nevertheless observe kashrut
and are therefore similarly interested in appropriate standards of
Bayit Meshutaf is an autonomous group connected with Bayit
Yehudit that seeks to provide representation for the party’s nonreligious
It is comprised of volunteers from around the country and is
independent, although it does receive party funds for certain activities.