The Supreme Court accepted a petition put forth by the Tzohar Kashrut Division, reversing an Israeli Rabbinate decision that had prevented the recognition of Tzohar as a kashrut certifier for imported food items, the Tzohar movement announced Wednesday.
The organization called the court's move a rare decision that has broad consequences for kashrut supervision in Israel."
Tzhohar stated: "Several years ago, the Rabbinate approved the privatization of certification for imported goods which opened the door for numerous kashrut supervisors from the haredi community, including the Batatz and Beit Yosef supervisions, to grant kashrut approval to goods being produced outside the country. With most food products produced outside of Israel, that approval injected hundreds of millions of shekel into the local food supervision process and allowed foreign importers and manufacturers to label their products as “kosher.”
"Despite that decision, two years ago the Import Committee of the Israeli Rabbinate rejected a request by Tzohar’s Food Supervision Division to be similarly recognized, alleging operational mismanagement and illegal activities.
"On Wednesday, June 21, as the Court accepted Tzohar’s petition, the Rabbinate agreed to reverse their decision with the Court further stating that there was no basis to the Rabbinate’s claims of illicit activity or mismanagement on the part of Tzohar. The Court even ordered that the Rabbinate should be required to compensate Tzohar for the costs involved in reversing the decision," the organization said.
Tzohar’s legal team led by Adv. Asaf Benmelech and Adv. Orit Lavi responded to the decision saying, “We commend the Supreme Court for reaching this decision and the Rabbinate for accepting that mistakes were made. We hope to have the chance to work closely with the Rabbinate in order to further improve kashrut observance in Israel and to advance competition in ways that will only benefit the Israeli and kosher-consuming public.”