Kosher supervisor
Kosher supervisorFlash 90

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit sent a message to the Chief Rabbinate warning he would cancel the Rabbinate's monopoly over kashrut unless the payment relationship between the businesses and the kashrut supervisors is settled, reports News 2.

More than a year ago the Supreme Court ruled the relationship between kosher supervisor and business should be severed, and that overseers' wages not come through the business they oversee.

As of now, the Rabbinate has not implemented the Supreme Court ruling. Therefore the Attorney General's office delivered the threat in a letter sent also to the Prime Minister, the Chief Rabbis, the Finance Minister and the Religious Services Minister.

Avichai Mandelblit
Avichai MandelblitNoam Moscowittz/POL

Mandelblit imposed a deadline: If a bill severing the supervisor/supervised relationship is not submitted within a month, a further Supreme Court postponement request will not be possible. If this happens, there is a possibility it will be determined impossible to enforce the legal provisions regarding private bodies issuing kashrut certificates, and thus the monopoly would be harmed.

In a 2016 Supreme Court ruling regarding the Rabbinate's authority over kashrut matters the Court ruled that under current laws the Rabbinate and local councils did indeed have total and exclusive authority in the kashrut sphere, but severely censured the status quo.

Among the criticisms leveled by the Supreme Court was was the conflict of interest inherent in the current system. Kashrut supervisors are often paid their salaries by the owners of the very same establishments they supervise, creating an incentive to see that the business succeeds regardless of actual compliance with kashrut standards. Under a privatized system, the supervisors would be paid by the private kashrut companies, mitigating this conflict of interest.