Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital Mall

2 Cheshvan 5770
October 20, 2009 

hadassah-ein-kerem-mall-outside1I visited the mall at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in the hope of reporting to you on eateries with legitimate mehadrin hechsherim.

Most disturbing is the fact that there is at least one store claiming “mehadrin” when in fact this is not the case. It has a regular Jerusalem Rabbinate hechsher but the store sign states “mehadrin”, once again showing you that you absolutely must check for a valid kashrut certificate before ordering food, anywhere!. The store sign is no substitute for a kashrut agency certificate.

 Neeman Café
The Jerusalem Rabbinate Mehadrin certificate according to the store employees, confirmed by mashgiach Rabbi Blumenthal, covers the store [of course] as well as the SamBooki opposite.

Rabbi Blumenthal assures me they are both mehadrin in every sense of the word, and the bishul yisrael accommodate sephardim as well as ashkenazim. He adds that the greens are washed and everything that entails mehadrin food preparation is adhered to. By the way, dairy products are Tnuva mehadrin. I did not ask which brand of bug-free greens is used nor did I ask many other questions, which I do at times when conducting a more in-depth interview. He explained that he does not maintain a constant presence, but pops in continuously during the course of the day.

I did not stay around to obtain a first-hand look at food preparation as I was too late to catch the morning startup period, an essential time to ascertain the standard.

Rabbi Blumenthal thanked me for speaking with him [on the phone] and urges and encourages others to do the same. He can be reached at 052-440-4099. He already left when I arrived unannounced, assuring me he is in and out all day.

I will comment that upon my arrival all the workers that I saw in both stores appeared to be Jews, although not necessarily appearing outwardly shomer shabbat.


Jerusalem Rabbanut Mehadrin certificate

Jerusalem Rabbanut Mehadrin certificate


Hillel Café
The Hillel Café branch at Hadassah seems to be joining the growing number of the franchise’s stores under the mehadrin supervision of Badatz Beit Yosef.

I went over to the counter and explained I would like to order something but I would like to know if the mashgiach is in. The female counterperson asked that I wait a moment, and in a few minutes, Yossi the young mashgiach appeared.

I explained I was uncertain if was going to order but wished to ask him questions. He said “no problem” and we sat down and he began to explain. Upon his arrival in the morning, he checks all deliveries, then washes greens, lights stoves and does whatever cooking required from the mashgiach. He maintains a constant presence in the kitchen until 3:00pm when his replacement arrives. The dairy is Tnuva mehadrin.

I must comment that while Beit Yosef gets a bad rap in some communities, I for one have yet to find a restaurant without a mashgiach on site when told one is constantly on the premises. I cannot say the same for most other supervisions to date.

This is not an endorsement, but a clear factual statement based on my limited research, in Jerusalem and other cities involving Beit Yosef restaurants. Once again, you may determine the Beit Yosef level is not for you, but from my research, this is one organization that deliveries and makes good on its promises.


Badatz Beit Yosef Mehadrin certificate

Badatz Beit Yosef Mehadrin certificate


Tal Burger
As you can clearly see from the store sign, it reads “mehadrin” but equally clear is the store’s Jerusalem Rabbinate regular supervision. Thumbs down to this guy for trying to deceive the public.

store sign clearly says "mehadrin"

store sign clearly says "mehadrin"

Non-mehadrin certificate says otherwise

Non-mehadrin certificate says otherwise


  • Ben Waxman
    October 20, 2009 - 09:36 | Permalink

    I will comment that upon my arrival all the workers that I saw in both stores appeared to be Jews, although not necessarily appearing outwardly shomer shabbat.

    in terms of mehadrin kashrut, is being outwardly shomer shabbat (i assume that you mean the guys wear a kippa) is this important? plus how can you judge this anyway? some guys sports a kippa at work, so what? a lot of the mehadrin caterers require their employees to wear a kippa at functions, but that is quite meaningless.

  • Sara
    October 20, 2009 - 10:14 | Permalink

    My daughter, a Shomer Mitzvot pants wearing graduate of a good Ulpana, worked at Neeman Ein Kerem for almost two years. The kitchen workers are :bnay mi’utin”; the other employees including the manager, are not necessarily religious but are all instructed to keep strict separation between milk and parve products. The mashgiach comes and goes and was very happy to have a religious girl behind the counter (after getting over the initial shock that trousers and strict shmirat mitzvot CAN go together).

  • yechiel-admin
    October 20, 2009 - 10:24 | Permalink

    The reference to employees not “appearing outwardly shomer shabbat” was not intended to appear critical of any dress code, but more importantly, to politely place the reality before you, the reader, to ponder if this is an acceptable standard since we cannot know if any employee is knowledgeable enough regarding kashrut, and if he/she is G-d (job) fearing enough to adhere to the instructions of a mashgiach in his absence.

    This might be especially noteworthy in an establishment boasting a ‘mehadrin’ hechsher, which is understood to maintain a stricter adherence to the stringencies of kosher.

    Had I written “none of the workers are shomer shabbat” the correct and likely response would have been “how can you make such an assessment”, prompting me to word my thoughts as I did.

  • Dovi
    October 20, 2009 - 11:26 | Permalink

    Did Tal burgers originally have an unauthorised Mehadrin? That would explain the Mehdrin sign. The one in Talpiot had an unauthorised Mehadrin Teuda when I checked last year.

    I suspect that many of the stores that have removed the unauthorised Mehdrin Teudot, are not quick to remove the mehadrin sign.

  • Ben Waxman
    October 21, 2009 - 09:53 | Permalink

    the workers don’t need to know a thing about kashrut. they need to know how to follow instructions. i used to be a kashrut supervisor and i can state flat out – the more “religious” the person, the more trouble he gave.

  • moshe
    October 21, 2009 - 15:33 | Permalink

    Thanks for this article.

    The Tal burgers store used to only have one of the fake kashrut certificates (I forget if it was nezer hakashrut or another phony one) – and they would *hide* their regular rabbanut certificate, showing only the “mehadrin” one. I have called the rabbanut about them numerous times, and they finally only hve their rabbanut certificate out. This information needs to be passed on to the rabbanut machleket hona’a – telephone number 02-531-3187

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