A religious storm has broken out in Kfar Saba after the head of the city's religious council announced that he was taking over the issuing of kashrut certificates from the municipal kashrut department, complaining of "irregularities" in how the department has operated, reports www.local.co.il. The 15 kashrut supervisors employed by the department have all resigned in protest against the take-over, and Mayor Yehuda Ben-Hamo has asked the Religious Affairs Ministry to intervene, saying the council has overstepped its authority.
According to the report, the storm was sparked by a letter written recently by religious council head Bechor Vaknin to kashrut department head Rabbi Yehuda Najati. Under the headline, "Irregularities in the Kashrut Department," Vaknin wrote that kashrut certificates were being issued to businesses without proper documentation and without the businesses paying the required fee. Vaknin demanded that the department stop issuing kashrut certificates immediately, and said his council was taking over.
"All the services of your office will be carried out only by the religious council's offices," the letter said, adding that any request by the department for a kashrut certificate would need to go through the council's secretary, who would ensure the document was properly written, numbered and paid for. The letter also said Najati would have to report on the kashrut inspectors' work arrangements, and salaries would be calculated based on these.
As a result of the letter, the kashrut inspectors handed in their resignations, and turned to the Histadrut Labor Federation for advice. Ben-Hamo said he had asked the religious affairs minister to intervene, saying this was not the first time the religious council had overstepped its authority.
"I have warned many times that the religious council is not functioning properly, and here we are witnesses to the sorrowful results of its management," Ben-Hamo said.
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