Basher Cheese Store & Bistro

12 Shevat 5774
January 13, 2014

Kashrus police accompanied by Israel Police conducted a raid in the Basher cheese store in Shuk Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem and the Basher Bistro on nearby Aggripas Street. They were armed with a search warrant.

In the shuk store they found dozens of illegal teudot hechsher from various products from a hashgacha known as Rabbi Moshe Alloun, France. That supervision was checked out by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Import Unit. It was determined the hashgacha is problematic and its products cannot be imported for sale as kosher in Israel. Problems include the fear that “chalav akum” items are marked “chalav yisrael”.

Police also found stickers from Rabbi Moshe Alloun’s hashgacha, leading to suspicions that workers were affixing that hashgacha to products in the store as opposed to the hashgacha being affixed by production line mashgichim in Europe.

Some of the teudot kashrus that were found were marked “temporary Kosher for Pesach” while others stated “year round use only”, which means not kosher for Pesach. This added to the suspicion of inspectors.

In the bistro store on Aggripas Street a sign is on display “Ishur Kashrus” from Keter Kashrus, headed by R’ Sami Mizrachi. This kashrus is illegal and there was no mashgiach on the premises. In addition, some of the imported cheeses found had no legal kosher identifying markings on them, leading to suspicions as to their origin.

Head of the Kashrus Enforcement Unit of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel (Kashrus Police) Rabbi Rafi Yochai added the store in the shuk and bistro are well known and there are suspicions as to the integrity of the kashrus claims relied upon by the kosher consumer due to illegal kosher markings. Yochai adds “to our sorrow there is a fear that many residents were duped.”

1. Teudat kashrut from Rabbi Moshe Alloun, France
2. Ishur Kashrus from Keter Kashrus
3. Photo of the stickers with Rabbi Alloun’s logo on them.

JKN received this reports from Zvi Maor, the spokesperson for the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.




  • Ephraim
    January 13, 2014 - 12:35 | Permalink

    R’ Yechiel’s persistance paid off, they’re finally taking action against this place. For many years R’ Yechiel has been trying to warn the public about the lack of kashrus in this place. I hope this is only the begining of their new enforcemnet against places like this.
    Yaaser Koach R’ Yechiel!

  • Aviela
    January 13, 2014 - 15:46 | Permalink

    Finally! Must add, though, that kosher consumers continue to be illiterate lemmings. I was in the shuk today and this shop is still running, full speed. Full of men and women with the gammut of head coverings, as well. Pity.

  • jewish 1st
    January 13, 2014 - 16:42 | Permalink

    IMO the Shuke is Michshal מִכשׁוֹל and should be avoided if possible

    it is complex to enforce any standard IN A SHUKE let alone Kashrus

    i try to use it for packaged goods only

  • farchez
    January 13, 2014 - 22:56 | Permalink

    I was once standing outside of this establishment and relating to my friend the kashrus concerns regarding this store which I had seen posted on this site. As we were speaking in english a french jew passed us and noticed that we were apparently talking about the store. He volunteered to us in his limited hebrew that we should not buy anything there and that the french rabbi who’s name appears on the labels has passed away years ago and that some of the cheeses are completely treif! I wasn’t buying anything there anyway.

  • ADB
    January 14, 2014 - 00:21 | Permalink

    I know that Basher has long been considered suspicious. I. myself, have concerns about some of the cheese they sell.

    There are many things unclear in this article, although I shall restrict myself to focusing on just this:

    I remember that on this site, there has been issues raised about Keter haKashrut before- what are the concerns?

    The article sites not having a mashgiachah on site, but a chalavi restaurant requires yotseh v’nichnas and not a mashgiach tamidi- so what are the genuine halachic concerns with it?

    What makes it illegal? If illegal means that the rabbanut don’t like it because the people behind this hecsher wont play ball with them (and I’m not saying that is why this hecsher is illegal), that does not necessarily call into question the ability of the rav/ rabbaim involved to provide reliable hashagachah.

    In short why is it illegal and what are the substantive halachic concerns with this hecsher?

  • J B
    January 14, 2014 - 17:19 | Permalink

    I was at the shuk just a short while ago today, and I too see that the store is running full steam. I am shocked – I would have expected the shop to be forcibly closed if they were caught in a violation. Or was it merely a strong suspicion, and no violation has been verified?
    R’ Yechiel, what is the Rabbanut policy in these cases? Did the Rabbanut merely confiscate all of the questionable items until clarification can be made, and they let the shop keep running?
    Not everybody knows to read the kashrut bulletins; what measures does the Rabbanut make to protect the people?

  • Aviela
    January 15, 2014 - 19:17 | Permalink

    From what I understand of “the system”, the rabbanut does not have the power to close down the shop, they only have the power to confiscate false claims of kashrut, which is what they did.

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