Israel's Chief Rabbinate Seeking To Establish "Kashrut Police"

Want uniformed officials to enter restaurants to inspect food


Officials of Israel's Chief Rabbinate are seeking to establish a "kashrut police," in an effort to broaden the authority's power over businesses that present their merchandise as kosher but have no rabbinate-issued kashrut certificate.

In a memorandum of law distributed Sunday in the Knesset, Deputy Religious Services Minister Eli Ben Dahan proposed that the rabbinate's kashrut inspectors be allowed to enter restaurants and businesses, take food samples, and oblige citizens to identify themselves and even be summoned to questioning.

Inspectors of the "kashrut police"—members of the Chief Rabbinate's Kashrut Fraud Division—would wear identification badges and even uniforms, according to the memorandum.