Kosher News Pages + new post Discussions Home Files About this group Edit my membership Group settings Management tasks Invite members Chief Rabbinate Warning Regarding Unauthorized Kosher Certificates

From Chief Rabbinate of Israel Kosher Bulletin 009, dated January 29,
2008. Among the many issues addressed is the bulletin is the matter of
two non-authorized kosher certifications, “Keter Kashrut” and “Vaad
Kashrut Mor U’Levona”.

These bulletins are released periodically by the Chief Rabbinate of
Israel, intended for rabbis of cities and municipal authorities to
warn them of kashrut-related pitfalls they may encounter.

“The certificates are not valid and are issued without authorization
in violation of the 1983 Kosher Law prohibiting fraudulent kosher
activities. One should not in anyway rely on the certificate and one
should distance oneself from the stumbling block”.

The bulletin goes on to state that regarding the Keter Kashrut, there
have been “deficiencies found regarding the kashrut” of establishments
displaying the certificate.

The Keter Kashrut certificate is quite commonplace in downtown
Jerusalem, but admittedly, the Mor U’Levona is new to me as well and
requires additional research. I do not recall seeing it anywhere in
Jerusalem to date.

I hope to begin gathering photos of the certificates and post them to
the group homepage, with labels to enable you to familiarize yourself
with them. This is the best way to remain alert, by having a photo
reference since today; there are too many certificates for most people
to remember.

I caution you that the distributors of the certificates do a
magnificent job, and the documents appear quite authentic and
trustworthy.

They usually mention words like “mehadrin”, “mehadrin min ha’mehadrin”
and “Beit Yosef meat” numerous times.

What is strikingly absent is any reference to shmitah and/or orla
(fruits prohibited for the first three years) and other matters of
prime kosher importance, matters addressed by the conventional
mehadrin certifying agencies.

In my OPINION, the certificates use the keywords to enlist the
confidence of unsuspecting kosher consumers. I also believe most shop
owners are unaware and believe the certificate is authentic in every
way. It is not coincidence that one will not see these certificates in
hareidi areas such as Har Nof, Geula, Meah Shearim, and Bnei Brak,
where people know better.

I hope to have the first photos on the page sometime next week. Please
bear with me as this is a one-man operation.

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