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Israeli Court Clears the Way for Alternative Import Kashrut Supervision

By 06/22/2023 3:56 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

Israel’s High Court of Justice on Wednesday opened the door for an alternative kashrut supervision of imported food goods in response to a challenge to the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly.

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s decision to not recognize Tzohar as a kashrut certifier for imported goods was overturned by the court after it accepted a plea from the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization’s Kashrut section.

Many kashrut supervisors from the ultra-Orthodox community, like the Badatz and Beit Yosef supervisions, have been able to certify products made abroad since the Chief Rabbinate permitted the privatization of certification for imported items some years ago.

In the meantime, the Rabbinate denied the Food Supervision Division of Tzohar’s attempt to receive a similar recognition, citing operational irregularities and criminal activity, which prompted an appeal to the Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice.

More than 800 Zionist Orthodox rabbis from Israel make up the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization.

In an effort to break the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly, Tzohar established a supervising authority in 2017, and since then, many Israeli enterprises have turned to it as a substitute.

The Chief Rabbinate was required to pay Tzohar for its legal expenses associated with lifting the prohibition in Wednesday’s court decision, which found no merit in the Rabbinate’s allegations of any illegal behavior or poor management on its behalf.

The legal team representing Tzohar, which is comprised of Asaf Benmelech and Orit Lavi, stated in a joint statement, “We commend the Supreme Court for reaching this decision and the Rabbinate for accepting that mistakes were made.”

“We hope to have the opportunity to work closely with the Rabbinate to further enhance kashrut observance in Israel and to advance competition in ways that will only benefit the Israeli and kosher-consuming public,” the company said.


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