The kosher reform that Minister of Religious Services Matan Kahana (Yamina) is promoting (Matan Kahana’s Kashrut Reform Bill Revealed, Here Are Some Key Items) came up for a vote on Tuesday in the Committee for Special National Infrastructure Initiatives and Religious Services, headed by MK Yulia Malinowski (Israel Beiteinu), and was approved on Wednesday morning over thousands of objections that were filed by the opposition. The Reform will reach a vote in the plenum in the coming days.
MK Dr. Shlomo Karhi (Likud) commented on the approval of the reform, saying: “As of today, the citizens of Israel must carefully examine every certificate, so they won’t accidentally enter an establishment with the fabricated kashrut certification issued by the Malinowski and Kahana Committee. Will the Chief Rabbinate set the standard? Will there be a supervisory body? Lies and falsehoods! Yesterday we proposed to withdraw all our objections on the condition that the Chief Rabbinate could monitor kashrut standards and they rejected it. This is a dark day for Judaism!”
Minister Kahana, for his part, said: “I am happy and thank the members of the committee and its chairman, MK Yulia Malinowski, for the in-depth discussions of the kashrut program.”
Kahana added “Special thanks to the Knesset members from the opposition who, despite their resolute contention of the law, many of them acted with a praiseworthy businesslike approach and contributed important changes and amendments.”
The Minister of Religious Services added that he is committed to “doing everything possible so that the kashrut program improve kashrut services and strengthen the status of the Chief Rabbinate.”
MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) repeated the description of Wednesday as a dark day and vowed not to give up. “You may end it here, but now I’m just starting the war. Kosher consumers will not have trust and confidence in the Kashrut,” he said. “People went hungry for bread because there was no kosher food. There is no kashrut here. You have not seen before your eyes the civil rights nor the religious rights in the Land of Israel, The law may have passed but we’re just starting the war now. We will reach every child in the country to inform him that your Kashrut is an absolute fake.”
The main points in the approved reform:
▪️ The kashrut market will open to unrestricted competition in about a year (January 1, 2023) when private entities will be allowed to grant kashrut certification. These entities will receive approval from the Superintendent of Kashrut at the Chief Rabbinate.
▪️The entities will be able to act according to their choice, according to a kashrut standard to be determined by the Chief Rabbinical Council or according to a standard to be determined by three rabbis.
▪️The religious councils will be able in about two months (January 1, 2022) to award a kashrut status anywhere in the country and not just in the cities to which they belong.
▪️The price of kashrut certificates for businesses will not be uniform and will be determined by each kashrut supervision corporation and religious council.
▪️The provision of kashrut certification for imported products will be given to all of the above entities except the religious councils.
▪️Kashrut supervisors will be required to be certified by the Chief Rabbinate.
▪️ There will be a parliamentary oversight by the committee on the implementation of the new law.