Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit ruled Thursday that businesses cannot present the kashrut certificate of a private body, such as the Tzohar rabbinical organization, instead of the Chief Rabbinate.
The opinion indicates that the business will be permitted to write factual data about the kosher standards they follow and even to show that the business is supervised by an external body, but it is forbidden to present a certificate with the logo of a kashrut entity.
The business owner will also be required to state explicitly that the place is not supervised by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
The Chief Rabbinate of Israel welcomed the opinion of the Attorney General and said that it significantly reduces the risk of misleading the kosher consumer. "The lack of clarity of the Supreme Court ruling in the High Court of Justice ruling today came to an end with the opinion of the Attorney General, That. This led to the conclusion of attempts to misinterpret the verdict on the part of various parties, leading to a significant concern to mislead the public.
In the ruling given by the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Naor opened a "third option," according to which owners of diners who do not have a kashrut certificate from the rabbinate can remain open and determined that even though a restaurant that does not have a kosher certificate is not allowed to present any kosher presentation, the owner can present a detailed and true representation of the standards he or she upholds and the manner in which the standards are monitored. However, the owner is required to state explicitly that the establishment does not possess certification from the Chief Rabbinate.
Following the court's ruling, the Chief Rabbinate asked the Attorney General to obtain clarifications regarding the ruling and the required manner of enforcement. The Attorney General said that while restaurant owners cannot present or display kashrut certificates from sources other than the Chief Rabbinate, they can personally indicate to customers that the establishment is under the supervision of a kashrut organization.
"The State Kashrut System in the State of Israel is facing a significant improvement that will correct the deficiencies that arose, among other places, in the State Comptroller's report," the Chief Rabbinate stated, "where they are working to improve the kashrut system.".
The Chief Rabbinate added that "any desire to 'challenge' the rabbinate from the outside in the field of kashrut is surprising. The national kashrut system is and complex system with implications for millions of people in the State of Israel who consume kosher food.