(JNS.org) Israel’s Religious Services Ministry intends to create a kosher observance authority to put an end to the practice of business and restaurant owners having to pay individual kosher inspectors directly, Israel Hayom reported.
According to the plan, which is expected to be presented for government approval in the coming weeks, business and restaurant owners seeking kosher certification will pay a fee to the government, which will supervise and pay the inspectors. The authority will function under Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, which answers to the Religious Services Ministry.
The purpose of the plan, initiated by Deputy Religious Services Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, is to fight the phenomenon of underhanded deals between inspectors and business owners, and to ensure that state employees work independently of vested interests.
Numerous business owners have complained of overblown monetary and other demands by kashrut inspectors and of improper conduct by government-service providers. According to Ben-Dahan's proposal, a government body will be established to be responsible for collecting the fee, similar to the body that collects municipal taxes.