Rabbi David Stav
Rabbi David StavYoni Kempinski

The Tzohar rabbinical organization and the Emunah women's organization announced announced that they were launching a program to train women to be kashrut supervisors, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The course will consist of both basic kashrut education and also a secondary stage to extend into the more complex aspects of properly preparing kitchens for intense food preparation and other more intricate issues connected to kashrut. Topics to be covered include “kashering” of meat, removing bugs from vegetables, technological challenges in food preparation and other issues kosher supervisors will confront in their careers.

Emunah has run programs to train female kashrut supervisors, but says that its new partnership with Tzohar will allow it to reduce the cost of the coוrse and to expand its appeal to a wider cross-section of Israeli society.

Following the course, participants will be eligible to take the Chief Rabbinate's kashrut supervisor exam and if they meet the requirements, to serve in any restaurant which is under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate.

The Chief Rabbinate originally opposed allowing female kashrut supervisors, but a 2013 Supreme Court ruling declared that women must be allowed to become kashrut superviors if they meet the qualifications. American Torah Sage and world-renowned halakhic decisor (posek, ed.) Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zt"l allowed a widow whose husband had been a kashrut supervisor to take his place. However, very few women are currently working in the field of kashrut supervision.

Tzohar Founder and Chair Rabbi David Stav said: “We believe it is wholly fitting that women are included in the kashrut certification effort and they certainly have a great deal to contribute to making our kitchens and eateries conform to the high standards of kashrut.”

Rabbi Stav said that Tzohar has been actively investigating entering into the kashrut certification process in Israel, and that this partnership t is a further step toward that goal. “We can certainly say that we are working in the advanced stages of preparing our organization for the challenges and opportunities that will come with being an approved kosher supervisor.”

Leora Minka, Chair of Emunah said: “There is nothing more natural than integrating women into the kashrut supervising process and it is regrettable that it hasn’t happened until now. While we acknowledge that this effort might be viewed as groundbreaking, despite what some might claim, this is not in any way crossing any halakhic boundaries.”