Supreme Court eases business kashrut rules

Tel Aviv Chief Rabbinate  photo: Tamar Matsafi

Businesses can display their standard of kashrut in writing without any Rabbinate certificate.

Starting today, businesses will be entitled to display in writing what standard of kashrut they observe. They will no longer be required to obtain a kashrut certificate from the Rabbinate, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

The court ruled, "Under the Kosher Fraud Law, a food business that does not possess a kashrut certificate is barred from posting any display asserting its kashrut (compliance with Jewish dietary laws). At the same time, the law does not forbid a food business that does not possess a kashrut certificate from displaying a true statement of the standards it observes and the method of supervision for its kashrut compliance that also includes an explicit statement that it has no kashrut certificate."

The Supreme Court thereby unanimously dismissed a petition by two Jerusalem restaurant owners for another hearing on the Supreme Court ruling that they must not display a sign asserting that they observe kashrut. According to the interpretation used by the Supreme Court majority opinion (President Miriam Naor, Vice-president (ret.) Salim Joubran, and Justices Esther Hayut, Hanan Melcer, and Uri Shoham), however, and against the dissenting opinion of Vice-President (ret.) Elyakim Rubinstein and Justice Noam Sohlberg), a food business with no kashrut certificate cannot make any kashrut display, but it is allowed to post a true display about the standards that it observes and the method of supervision for its kashrut compliance that also includes an explicit statement that it has no kashrut certificate.

Section 3 of the Kosher Fraud Law established a mechanism designed to prevent consumer fraud concerning kashrut in a food business. It states that the owner of a food business must refrain from displaying a written message stating that the business is kosher unless he or she has been granted a kashrut certificate. A food business owner with a kashrut certificate and a food business with a display stating that it is kosher must not serve or sell products that are un-kosher according to Jewish religious law.

The agencies authorized under the law to grant kashrut certificates are the Chief Rabbinical Council and a rabbi that it has authorized to do so. A breach of these sections has been classed as an administrative violation punishable by fine.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on September 13, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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Tel Aviv Chief Rabbinate  photo: Tamar Matsafi
Tel Aviv Chief Rabbinate photo: Tamar Matsafi
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