Kashrus Briefs – Wednesday, May 6, 2009

1.    Kashrus Returned to Pizza Ha’emek – Kiryat Arba

I have spoken to R’ David Edri, the Kiryat Arba Religious Council Mashgiach, who confirms reports that the supervision has been restored to Kiryat Arba’s Pizza Ha’emek, stressing the certificate is regular and in no way to be perceived as mehadrin.  
2.    Restaurant Database
I continue to receive requests to post a list of places to eat and their kashrus supervision. I wish to explain that this is not planned, at least for now, for a number of reasons.

The idea of a database, as is found on a number of kashrus websites, is indeed an attraction and may serve as a significant public service.
That said, it can also be a major stumbling block for the certifications of eateries change too frequently and I cannot possibly keep such a database up-to-date. As such, I feel it advantageous to avoid building one at present, at least until I can find a system that will permit me to constantly update it.

That is why in many cases, my response to emails is that the last article written by me was on ‘such and such a date’ and I cannot state with accuracy what a particular hechsher is today.
In general, one is advised to check a place out in advance. One can visit, see the sign and call the religious council in that city or kashrut supervising agency should one wish to verify that the certificate is indeed legitimate.

One that note, I spoke with the folks at the Badatz Beit Yosef after Pessach, wondering why I have not been able to find their kashrut handbook that so many agencies publish annually, generally around Pessach time. They explained they stopped four years ago, more or less for the same reason. The status of too many businesses change during the course of a year and they do not feel comfortable providing a list which in all likelihood will not be accurate during the year. In the case of Beit Yosef, one may visit the website (http://www.badatz.biz/) and write in, or phone. That is what they request for anyone wishing to confirm the certification of a particular restaurant or product.

I feel compelled to add that I have been on the phone with this agency many many times and have always found the person responding most attentive, as well as exhibiting a genuine desire to respond to my inquiry.

3.    Trying to Get Around the Country
A quick note for those of you who request that I visit eateries in other cities than Jerusalem, I would love to accommodate and from time- to-time, I even succeed. The reason is simple. This website and its reports are done on a volunteer basis. My job responsibilities and time constraints do not permit me to leave Jerusalem too often. I am actually planning a day in Tiberias as soon as I can swing it, hopefully to provide some information ahead of the spring summer when many travel to the north. I would also like to visit the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station, Jerusalem hospitals, additional hotels and so- forth. It is not for the lack of desire, just a matter of time.

By the way, I am also working on a posting with photos of the many, many shops in Machane Yehuda carrying legitimate kashrut supervisions.
I do not want readers to think the entire shuk is bogus, but it does demand vigilance since there is a large number of stores seeking to present themselves in a deceptive fashion. Baruch Hashem, the majority still seem to have legitimate certificates.

One comment

  • Yitzie Selengut
    May 6, 2009 - 20:18 | Permalink

    I for one know this, and even though not living in Israel as of today (Aug 4 IYH), I truly appreciate everything to do, and convey to the list (and myself). A VERY hearty Yasher Koach to you for this most important of endeavors.

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