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Wednesday, November 14, 2012 

Chief Rabbinate opposes female kashrut supervisors over - gasp! - modesty

By this point, I can understand if even women from Haredi communities find the very mention of "modesty" enough to drive them up the wall in aggravation. The following article on Ynet was first published for Makor Rishon's women magazine, and tells of another absurd form of discrimination in the food industry:
Courses for female kosher supervisors shut down: Up to two years ago, women interested in working as kashrut supervisors in restaurants and different businesses in Israel would receive a permit from the Chief Rabbinate after taking a course in Israel or abroad. Now, that is no longer possible.

An investigative report published recently by the Nashim (women) magazine reveals that women seeking to join kashrut supervision courses these days are told that they are now open to men only "for modesty reasons".

In 2010, the Ministry of Religious Services issued new procedures aimed at regulating the status of supervisors and maintaining transparency and control.

According to the new procedures, a person applying for the job must "undergo proper training in an institution recognized by the Chief Rabbinate" and "take exams and receive authorization from the Rabbinate to serve as a kashrut supervisor."

The practical meaning of the new procedures is that each training course must be approved by the Rabbinate, but the courses opened by the Rabbinate are designed exclusively for men.

Emunah, the national-religious women's organization, decided to open a special course for women. Its representatives turned to the Rabbinate and requested a permit for the new course, but have failed to receive a response for the past six months.

According to Emunah, which has obtained protocols from meetings discussing the issue, the Rabbinate is intentionally delaying its response "for modesty reasons".
The very mention of "modesty" has become almost hilarious by now. Read the rest of the article, which tells that Emunah will be taking this to court, and I applaud them for doing so.

In any case, I will say that this is just why it's high time for resturant owners to stop relying solely on the chief rabbinate for kashrut approval and services, and just go with private supervisors instead. To my knowledge, there are some working on this now, and I hope they get something going. Then, we can all enjoy some good kosher food without concerning ourselves about corrupt bureaucrats who're only concerned about greed for themselves.

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