Treif Served at Independence Day Event at President Peres’ Residence

8 Iyar 5772

April 30, 2012

not-kosherAccording to the report first appearing on NRG filed by Chaim Gridinger, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has revoked the kashrut supervision of the Pri Haaretz catering company, among the most prestigious caterers in Israel, used at state events.

It appears Pri Haaretz catered the event last week on Yom HaAtzma’ut in the Presidential Residence. After the Chief Rabbinate’s Kashrut Enforcement Division inspected, acting on the allegations made in the report, it was learned the meat originated from Abu Gosh, treif meat that came from the Arab municipality located in the Jerusalem corridor along the Jerusalem Tel Aviv Highway.

Rabbi Rafi Yochai, who heads the Kashrut Enforcement Unit confirms that the meat originated in Abu Gosh and that the mashgiach “rubber stamped it” without really knowing the origin. The mashgiach also signed a statement attesting to the meat coming from a respectable source but surveillance cameras tell another story.

The food in question was served at the official residence of President Shimon Peres for the main Independence Day event, including the event during which 120 IDF soldiers were cited for excellence.

A hearing was set by the Emek Chefer Religious Council with the caterer to permit him to explain ‘the other side of the story’ but no one showed. In attendance were Rabbi Chaggai Bar-Giora of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, Rabbi Eliezer Simcha Weiss, the rav of the area and the mashgiach involved, Yisrael Ginsburg. After no one showed to tell the caterer’s side of the story, the rabbinate removed the company’s kosher certification.

According to Maariv, the caterer is not too concerned, releasing the following statement. “Pri Haaretz is among the leaders in the catering industry for the past 13 years and has served thousands of satisfied guests. We have a steady mashgiach kashrut and comply with all the requirements of the Chief Rabbinate”.

The Presidential Residence responded by stating “the findings are most shocking. The legal department will in coming days evaluate the situation to determine if legal action is warranted”.

6 Comments

  • cmb
    April 30, 2012 - 19:59 | Permalink

    yeah! real shocking!!!

  • Shimon
    April 30, 2012 - 20:09 | Permalink

    Something looks very strange here.
    The article above states: “A hearing was set”…”In attendance were”…
    “and the mashgiach involved, Yisrael Ginsburg. After no one showed to tell the caterer’s side of the story, the rabbinate removed the company’s kosher certification.”

    This implies that the mashgiach was a member of the panel waiting to hear the caterer’s excuses.
    But isn’t the mashgiach himself the criminal here??? Your article says:
    “and that the mashgiach “rubber stamped it” without really knowing the origin.”. That is a a whole slew of crimes, like דיווח כוזב (false reporting by an official), מעילה באימון (breach of trust by an official), not to mention outright lying and being מכשיל את הרבים! Why hasn’t the mashgiach been sacked and denounced as a criminal?!?

  • Darth Zeidah
    April 30, 2012 - 20:27 | Permalink

    “Why hasn’t the mashgiach been sacked and denounced as a criminal?!?”

    Because this is Israel: corruption rules.

  • Mike
    April 30, 2012 - 20:42 | Permalink

    It’s a sad story; I hope we’ll learn something from it.

    So far, the fact that everything is being handled transparently is promising; one can take issue with some of the Rabbanut’s policies, but halevai that all organizations would be as honest when mistakes or negligence occurs as they are.

    BTW, Darth Zeidah, do you think your comment falls under the category of dibas haaretz? And do you live here now, or are you still in Jersey?

  • Bat-El
    May 1, 2012 - 22:22 | Permalink

    “Pri Haaretz is among the leaders in the catering industry for the past 13 years and has served thousands of satisfied guests. We have a steady mashgiach kashrut and comply with all the requirements of the Chief Rabbinate”.

    1. I wouldn’t be shocked if this sort of practice has occurred in the past, even more than once. Mah Pit’om that it should “suddenly” occur at the President’s Independence Chagigah? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire… follow the smoking trail!
    2. I don’t quite understand their ba’al gaiyvanik statement, re: “…we have a steady mashgiach kashrut and comply with all the requirements of the Chief Rabbinate” That is a completely false statement… their “mashgi’ach kashrut” was NOT ON THE BALL, didn’t know where the meat came from, didn’t seem to care, as we read, or rather didn’t read – any mention of him seeking confirmation of the source of the meat! To top it off, they state: “…comply with all the requirements of the Chief Rabbinate”. What are they smoking? They have not complied with any of the requirements of the Chief Rabbanut, unless the Rabbanut is now in the business of authorizing the use & sale of 100% TREIF meat to be purchased from our Camel Jockeys [who would love to murder us]… see the photo & caption from Ma’ariv Ivrit paper
    http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/362/768.html
    In addition, that article states that representatives from the FRAUD DEPT OF THE KASHRUT DIVISION ON MEAT arrived on 4/29/12 to question the owners of the Butcher Store in Abu Gosh, which sold the meat to the catering company. They, also, obtained SECURITY CAMERA TAPES from the Butcher Store, which shows that one of the TABACHIM/CHEFS of Pri Ha’aretz is purchasing LARGE AMOUNTS OF MEAT [Pargiyot/Pullets]!

  • Simon
    May 2, 2012 - 17:19 | Permalink

    The kashrut situation is shocking. The catering company is obviously dodgey etc and this is NOT OK.

    However, do your homework before attacking the Arabs of Abu Gosh. They sided with the Jews in the war of independence, and don’t really get on well with the other Arabs and don’t want to kill us. The main Jerusalem -Tel Aviv motorway cuts through their village and is you never hear of trouble. The dodgy people here are the mashgiach and the chef, not the butcher shop which probably doesn’t pretend to be kosher.

    Or maybe they have kosher sourced meat, albeit mitalem min haayin, and the chef might have innocently not known about that issur.

  • Comments are closed.