After Court Upholds Rabbinate's Monopoly, Alternative Kashrut Organization Changes Wording

Private Supervision, a private grantor of kosher certifications, rewords its text to fall in line with new restrictions.

Yair Ettinger
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Jerusalem's Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar signs a kashrut certificate, December 2014.
Jerusalem's Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar signs a kashrut certificate, December 2014.Credit: Itzik Harari
Yair Ettinger

Ten days after the High Court of Justice ruled that that only the Chief Rabbinate is authorized to grant businesses their kashrut certification, the alternative kashrut organization Private Supervision has awarded 27 certificates to businesses under its supervision.

The certificates have been reworded to fall in line with the restrictions imposed by the court.

According to the Law to Prohibit Fraud in Kashrut, the court ruled, a certificate that is not issued by the rabbinate cannot display a "kashrut representation," or any simile of such, including the use of words such as "supervision" or "control."

Nor can it testify to accordance with the principle of halakha (Jewish law) as was the case with the previous certificates issued by Private Supervision.

The new certificate does not refer to the preparation of the food at all. The owner of the business signs a document, which is counter-signed by Rabbi Aharon Leibowitz, the head of the private organization and its halakhic supervisor, which says:

"We regard the trust put in us by Rabbi Leibowitz and his team regarding the activities of this business as being of sacred social value. We will make every effort to abide with the conditions they have set us so that they community can eat with us safely."

The new wording was prepared by the organization's legal adviser. The certificate now speaks about a "trusted alliance," implying that it is implicit, and the logo no longer has the slogan "Private Supervision."

A caveat has been added to the bottom of the certificate saying that "to avoid any doubt, this certificate is not a 'kashrut certificate' in terms of the Law to Prohibit Fraud in Kashrut."

The Chief Rabbinate said in response that "the court's ruling was clear. Anything in writing that is intended to give the impression that a place is kosher is forbidden by law. Kashrut certificates are only given by the Chief Rabbinate and local rabbinates that have been legally approved."

"Certificates from uncertified elements that try to bypass the law are a contravention of the law and show contempt for the court," the response added.