Petach Tikvah’s Kosher Festival – Is Everything Kosher?

Rabbi Rafi Yochai, who heads the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Kashrut Fraud Division, confirmed that while a “Kosher Festival” is held in Petach Tikvah, no one bothered to approach the Petach Tikvah Rabbinate for kosher supervision.

R’ Yochai explained that in past years, his office contacted organizers of the event, informing them it is prohibited to display photocopies of kosher certificates from stores, citing such a situation is illegal and does not represent kashrut supervision in any fashion. This is especially true he explains since food is cooked and heated at the festival, demanding onsite mashgichim.

This year his office explained a number of mashgichim must be present to supervise, in addition to the appropriate steps to ensure the kosher integrity of food being brought in. Yochai also told organizers that cooking at the festival must be done only by Jews.

Rav Yochai stated that despite a meeting with the Petach Tikvah Rabbinate, nothing was done by event organizers to arrange for kashrus at the event. Organizers stated the responsibility for kashrus is that of participants, preferring to throw the ball into another court rather than addressing the issue at hand. At present, only one restaurant made arrangements for kashrut supervision according to Yochai, while the Petach Tikvah Rabbinate says no one has done so, as is evident by the letter from the Petach Tikvah Rabbinate displayed on the website.

In short, the Petach Tikvah Kosher Festival has only one restaurant participating with a hechsher.

R’ Yochai adds that unfortunately, the Jerusalem-based popular ‘Chutzot HaYotzer’ festival is the same, with participants displaying photocopies of teudot hechsher, with thousands of visitors falling into this “trap” without realizing they were eating food without a proper hechsher.

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7 Comments

  • August 26, 2009 - 21:10 | Permalink

    You wrote: “participants displaying photocopies of teudot hechsher, with thousands of visitors falling into this “trap” without realizing they were eating food without a proper hechsher”. Just to clarify: is the food actually not kosher or is it that proper administrative procedures were not followed?

  • yechiel-admin
    August 26, 2009 - 21:16 | Permalink

    Since there were no mashgichim, one may if one wishes assume the food was kosher but one cannot know with absolute certainty since no one was responsible for kashrut at the event. The same holds true for food in transport, utensils, cooking on site by non-Jews perhaps and many other problems that may arise even if ingredients are kosher.

  • Michal Levy
    August 26, 2009 - 22:31 | Permalink

    This year all the food stands at Chutzot Hayotzer had original hechshers, issued especially for the event.

  • Ira
    August 27, 2009 - 15:14 | Permalink

    Yisrael Medad asks, “s the food actually not kosher or is it that proper administrative procedures were not followed?”

    The answer is that the food may or may not be kosher. We have no way of knowing. I would say from my own point of view that there should be no problem eating from Shtissel, based on the proprietor’s own piety. I do not know if any other vendors there are trustworthy, but in any event, the food there is unsupervised.

  • Dovi
    August 27, 2009 - 18:51 | Permalink

    Ira, if the proprietor was really pious he would ensure a proper Teuda.

  • Milhouse
    August 31, 2009 - 09:28 | Permalink

    Dovi, why on earth should he?

  • Dovi
    August 31, 2009 - 12:54 | Permalink

    Milhouse, The article states that the restaurants had photocopied teudot which is prohibited, so either Shtissel should have a proper teuda or non at all but not a photocopied teuda. Now I don’t know how many pious people would opt for no teuda at all, that would be rather strange, hence the proprietor should have ensured a proper teuda.

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