May 12, 2021

Israeli Rabbis Warn Consumers to Ask for the Mashgiach

Tel Aviv…The unfortunate incident of the death of a young allergic woman who was served dairy in a meat restaurant set off a new debate on the role of the Chief Rabbinate in certifying restaurants. Kashrus sources blamed the absence of a mashgiach for the presence of the dairy creamer which a worker had bought when the restaurant ran out of the non-dairy creamer. But the trend of some restaurants opting out of Chief Rabbinate certification continues to grow prompting some rabbis to warn consumers not to eat in a glatt kosher restaurant that does not have a mashgiach (kosher supervisor). Recently, Café Kadosh, a renowned establishment of five decades’ standing in downtown Jerusalem, had opted out of the kosher inspection system of the state Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Instead, it chose an alternative organization called Tzohar to inspect its kitchen and supply it with a certificate that its products are indeed kosher. Many US rabbis pointed out that both the Chief Rabbinate and Tzohar do not require mashgichim, prompting some to counsel diners not to eat in a kosher restaurant that does not have a permanent mashgiach.