Rabbi Ben-Dahan to Establish a State Kashrus Authority

20 Shevat 5774
January 21, 2014

Deputy Minister of Religious Services Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan is working to establish a nationwide Kashrus Authority under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

This new entity will result in changing the long-standing arrangement by which a mashgiach providing hashgacha for a local rabbinate will no longer be employed by the store/restaurant, but by the rabbinate. To date, a local rabbinate would inform a store owner how many hours of hashgacha are required and the mashgiach would be hired by the restaurant owner.

Some praised this system for it prevents a store from dismissing a mashgiach for doing so would compel paying severance payment and other benefits. Most however frown on the arrangement, for simply stated, how can one expect a mashgiach to file complaints against a business that employs him.

Ben-Dahan is finalizing his plan, which will compel stores to pay a kashrus surcharge to the state agency and this money will be used to pay for the mashgichim. The deputy minister hopes to put an end to any deal-making between a proprietor and mashgiach and the law will include a prohibition against a mashgiach receiving any remuneration or compensation from a proprietor. Ben-Dahan explains that today, there are too many complaints against mashgichim for making unreasonable demands and insisting on unattainable conditions regarding the conditions of their employment.

Ben-Dahan plans to establish a state agency that will receive the kashrus surcharge in a similar fashion that one pays arnona property tax and this agency will employ and pay the mashgichim. The agency will operate in line with a code of ethics which mashgichim will be compelled to abide by, setting clear employment policy for all the kashrus personnel. The contact information for each mashgiach will appear on the teudat kashrus.

Ben-Dahan plans to strengthen the Chief Rabbinate kashrus, which he admits has been compromised by the many private hashgachos that have entered the marketplace.

One comment

  • Ronald Kreitman
    January 22, 2014 - 12:49 | Permalink

    Not before time. As an Oleh I am confused by so many Hechshers some genuine and some not, and I hope this will make my shopping simpler. I would also suggest that the Hechsher on packaged goods be made larger as some cannot be read without a strong magnifying glass.

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