As the Chief Rabbinate of Israel probes ways to improve the state kashrus system, one of the ideas being floated is to license private hashgachos, with the latter employing the mashgichim that will provide supervision.

The private hashgachos would sign a contract with the Chief Rabbinate, acting as an outside contractor, committing to provide hashgacha on the level detailed by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. The Chief Rabbinate would employ inspectors who would randomly monitor implementation of the kashrus and the Chief Rabbinate would maintain the right to cancel the hashgacha of a business and oust the private hashgacha for failing to maintain the proper standard.

In a recent ruling of the High Court of Justice, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel was given the exclusive control of kosher supervision, ruling against Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz and his “Hashgacha Pratit” organization that has replaced the Jerusalem Religious Council, providing a hechsher for close to 20 stores.

However, the court mentioned its displeasure with the current Chief Rabbinate system, stating it must improve the system within two years or the ruling will be reversed and permit the entry of private organizations.

It appears the Chief Rabbinate may be leaning towards contracting out the service, possibly to existing ‘badatz’ hashgachos who might operate as an arm of the Chief Rabbinate, providing kashrus to the stores which would be in line with the regulations set forth by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

It is stressed the arrangement reported above is in the preliminary stages of discussion.