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Saturday, December 07, 2013 

Chief rabbinate agrees to allow female kashrut supervisors

The chief rabbinate has done the right thing, and removed a biased stipulation that their kashrut department is for men only:
The Chief Rabbinate has removed a stipulation that kashrut supervisors must be men, thereby paving the way for the first female supervisors to be employed for the job.

The decision comes following a petition filed by the Emunah women’s rights group to the High Court of Justice, demanding that women be allowed to fill the role.

The previous guidelines for anyone taking the rabbinate test for kashrut supervisors included clauses that to all intents and purposes prevented women from applying.

But last week, the State Attorney’s Office informed the High Court that Chief Rabbi David Lau had decided to remove these stipulations.

[...] The rabbinate’s decision, which was heavily opposed by some members of the Chief Rabbinate Council, means that women will now be able to take the exam and then apply to restaurant and catering businesses for work as kashrut supervisors.

[...] “There is no reason in Jewish law that women cannot serve as kashrut supervisors, and as far back as the 16th century, women were working as animal slaughterers and were taking responsibility for matters of kashrut,” [MK Aliza] Lavie noted.
The real reason some of the board members of largely Haredi-controlled rabbinate don't want lady supervisors has to do with the socialist structure they go by, that came up in the 19th century. They've made the right choice to cut it out, and I've got a feeling they know perfectly well that in past history there were women who worked in this field, possibly all the way back to the ancient days of the country. Nevertheless, I do believe private kashrut companies should challenge their system, as Emunah's been doing.

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