The Petach Tikvah Rabbinate has recently begun implementing the move, inspired by a Supreme Court ruling, to stop the direct employment of supervisors by business owners, Kipa reported Wednesday. In a letter issued by the city’s religious council about a month ago, business owners were required to arrange the employment of kashrut supervisors through an external manpower company that won a tender to manage kashrut in Petach Tikvah.
The letter noted that “the religious council will not be able to issue certificates of kashrut other than for businesses in which the overseer’s salary will not be arranged by the supervised business.”
Similarly, Chief Rabbi of Petach Tikva, Rabbi Micha Halevi, issued a ruling that “the employment of overseers who receive wages from the supervised entity should not be continued, based on an argument “the essence of supervision” is being lost in the employment of overseers in this manner.
On Wednesday, several dozen local rabbis and synagogue managers (gabaim) distributed a letter calling on the public to cooperate with the kashrut revolution that had taken effect in recent weeks in Petach Tikvah:
Rabbi Amihud Salomon of the Knesset Israel synagogue and dean of the Ohavei Daat beit midrash, who was also among the rabbis who signed the support letter, told Kipa that that “every reasonable person understands that the situation that existed in the past in the employment of [kashrut] supervisors required a correction. Thanks to the efforts of the city’s rabbi, we have a historic opportunity to make a tikkun for the common good. As consumers, the strict adherence of everyone to a valid kashrut certificate will help this important move take place.”
Yaakov Reichman, Gabbai of Mishkan Israel Synagogue and one of the organizers of the initiative to distribute the letter, said that “as residents of Petach Tikvah we have been privileged to have a chief rabbi who is devoted both to Torah observance and to strengthening and improving the kashrut from which we all benefit. Now we have the opportunity to be partners in such an important step that the rabbinate leads for the kashrut which will undoubtedly serve as an opening for hope (Petach Tikvah in Hebrew) for the entire kashrut consumer community. It is very exciting to see how more and more communities are joining. This is a great Kiddush Hashem.”
Yaniv Shapira, chairman of the national committee of Kashrut supervisors, issued a statement saying, “I express deep sorrow over the manner in which the rabbinate of Petach Tikva operates, preventing residents and business owners in the city from being issued [proper] kosher certificates, out of their desire to promote a manpower company that has nothing to do with kashrut, and which undermines the economic stability of kashrut inspectors in the city.”