'Non-kosher meat served at President's Residence'

Peres's chief of staff calls on chief rabbis to investigate claims that catering company served non-kosher meat at Independence Day event.

Beit Hanassi 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Beit Hanassi 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
President Shimon Peres’s chief of staff Efrat Duvdevani has sent a letter to Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar calling on them to thoroughly investigate the catering company Pri Haaretz, which allegedly served non-kosher meat at the president’s Independence Day party at his Jerusalem residence.
First reported by Ma’ariv, the company that catered the festivities had a large consignment of meat intended for the party which was spoiled. Panicked, one of Pri Haaretz’s chefs allegedly purchased a new batch of meat for the event at a non-kosher butcher in Abu Ghosh outside Jerusalem.
Rafi Yohai, head of the Chief Rabbinate’s division for the enforcement of kashrut laws, said that an investigation has been opened into the matter and that the rabbinate requested on Tuesday a court order for Pri Haaretz to hand over documents relating to the incident.
Yohai also said that it is 100 percent certain that one of Pri Haaretz’s chefs purchased 80 kg. of meat from the non-kosher butcher in Abu Ghosh. Pri Haaretz’s kashrut license has been revoked as a result.
Duvdevani explained the series of events in her letter to the Chief Rabbinate. She said that the catering company had presented a kashrut certificate from the Chief Rabbinate and the regional religious council of Emek Hefer, and brought along a kashrut supervisor for the duration of the event.
Pri Haaretz admitted that the original consignment of meat was spoiled but claimed that they had replaced it with kosher meat from their central kitchen.
However, one of the catering company’s chefs was identified on security camera video footage from the butcher in question buying a large quantity of meat.