Holes in training reform: excess regulation and no competition

Holes in training reform: excess regulation and no competition
Holes in training reform: excess regulation and no competition

Matan Kahana (Photo: Olbia Pistosi / Flash 90)

Kashrut reform: The plan I published three years ago to regulate the kashrut system and open the market to private entities was based on knowledge and experience I gained during the four years I managed the kashrut field in the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

During my work I made in-depth visits to about 50 religious councils, each time a full day where I met with the head of the religious council, the director of the kashrut department, the supervisors, the field supervisors and the business owners.

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In these tours I learned about the special characteristics of the training system derived from the types of businesses, the number of businesses and their geographical distribution, the differences between religious councils, the different and the needs derived from the type of authority, municipality, local council or regional council.

I also learned to get to know in depth the work of the Kashrut Division of the Chief Rabbinate on its various departments, the employees, the working methods, and their professional abilities.

MK Yulia Malinowski Summary of Kashrut Reform (Photo: Knesset Spokeswoman)

Anyone familiar with the area knows that any plan to regulate a training system should be based on the following principles:

Providing state and basic local kosher – In small businesses there is no economic possibility for competition, business owners are not looking for competition, they are looking for a basic kosher certificate in a simple and accessible route and at an equal price for each person.

2. Creating good competition for the kosher market, but it will take place mainly in large businesses, factories, hotels, banquet halls, etc. Of course, small businesses can also choose a private entity, but for the vast majority it will not pay off and they will not.

Regulation and regulation – the state should invest its energies in streamlining and regulating the local kashrut system that it operates through the religious councils, the private kashrut bodies should impose a minimum of regulation, and the market should regulate itself.

4. There should be a complete separation between the halakhic role of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and the administrative side that should be entirely in the hands of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, it should be so both to maintain the halakhic status of the rabbinate and also because the Chief Rabbinate is unable to address the market needs.

I also presented these principles a year ago at the Knesset’s kosher conference for improving religious services in the Knesset, with Matan Kahana establishing and leading the lobby.

The kashrut reform approved this week by the Knesset’s Religious Services Committee is contrary to all these principles. It abolishes (almost completely) local kashrut, imposes excess regulation on private kashrut bodies that hardly allow competition among them, (and it does not regulate the work of religious councils), it places all responsibility for initiating and enforcing the law, in the failed and lax hands of the rabbinical kashrut department The main (without approving the budget required for it).

Not for nothing does the law include a section that authorizes the minister to postpone the implementation of the law for six months time after time – as we will now see it is the only section in the law that is actually implemented.

The author served as director of the kosher field in the Ministry of Religious Affairs, published a comprehensive program to regulate kosher and create competition in the field of kosher, and was the professional advisor of the “Lobby for Improving Religious Services” who led Matan Kahana in the 23rd Knesset

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