Chief Rabbinate of Israel Update 15/5773 (Summer Vacation)

23 Tammuz 5773

July 1, 2013

The following is a loose translation of Chief Rabbinate of Israel Kashrus Bulletin 015/5773, addressing summer vacation. The original Hebrew text appears in the PDF document. That link appears at the end of this translation.

Summer vacation is upon us …
Many Israelis visit shopping, leisure and resort sites throughout the country. The Rabbinate of Israel presents a collection of tips to help prevent eating non-Kosher foods:
1. Demand to see an original Kashrut certificate. Do not rely in any way on copies!
2. Make sure that the local Rabbinate name which appears on the certificate belongs to the area where you are.
3. Make sure that the date on the certificate is valid.
4. Make sure that the business name and address, as provided on the certificate, actually fits the business in question and doesn’t belong to another business or location.
5. Check if the Mashgiach is present. If not, try to reach him by the phone number which appears on the certificate, or ask the owner for his cell number in order to speak with him and be confident of the Kashrut of the business.
6. Do not patronize a business that presents a certificate of supervision, without first confirming the presence of a Kashrut certificate from the local rabbinate.
7. Do not accept excuses of the business owner that he’s Kosher, but due to being open on Shabbat he has no certificate.
8. Also, do not accept the excuses that the certificate isn’t present because the “Mashgiach hasn’t yet brought it from the local Rabbanut…”, etc. – just leave the place immediately!
9. Do not rely on the Kashrut of foods sold in bulk unpackaged without supervision, altered packaging, or packaging with only kosher symbols but without the manufacturer’s name and other identifying information.
10. Guest houses and Tzimmers should be checked for the following besides Kashrut: What are the existing arrangements regarding the observance of the Sabbath, such as Eruv, Kashrut supervision on Shabbat, automatic doors, air conditioner operation by opening a door or window, automatic toilets, electronic faucets, Shabbat elevator approved by a legitimate organization, etc.
11. It is important to be aware that there are Tzimmers without supervision that claim to offer kosher meals. Some of them cook the dishes in their kitchen using their own pots, and some provide sealed supervised meals from catering companies. It is recommended to check this issue prior to making reservations.
12. Vacationers making hotel reservations for Shabbat should make sure when booking that the deal includes room cleaning after Shabbat.
13. Problems in Kashrut in a supervised location which may cause the public to be deceived, must be reported to the Kashrut organization of the city listed on the Kashrut certificate. In the event of suspected fraud please call the national Kashrut law enforcement unit prohibiting fraud by fax: 02-5313169 or email address: achifa1@rabbinate.gov.il and we will try to handle the complaint as soon as possible.

The information is provided as a public service by the National Kashrut Department of the Chief Rabbinate.

Chief Rabbinate Update 15-5773

2 Comments

  • Chaim
    July 2, 2013 - 16:44 | Permalink

    Reb Yechiel,

    It’s very kind of you to translate this, and to post it here for everybody’s benefit.

    Very basic and thoughtful advice!

    Yasher Koach!

  • pesach
    July 11, 2013 - 08:17 | Permalink

    As you know there are ‘kosher’ restaurants that no longer play the game of getting kosher certification as it is expensive and also according to a friend who is a chef at such a place, the certificate is issued without proper supervision in many cases simply by buying off the mashgiach. So where does that leave us the public. Many many years ago I conducted an experiment on my own. I dressed like the ultra-orthodox and went from hotel to hotel in tel Aviv and checked the kashrut. In many places the certificate was issued on condition of supplying the masgiach and his family with food for free! Such is the state of our nation.

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