Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Dovid Baruch Lau Shlita is working to revamp the state kashrus system and has appointed a committee which will soon make recommendations to him on kashrus-related matters. Rav Lau has come to the realization there is much to correct with the state-run system and he hopes to implement improvements and bring a halt to unacceptable practices.

According to a Ynet report, the committee has been working for about a year and is scheduled to announce its recommendations soon. The two primary changes expected are the establishment of a kashrus entity which will oversee the entire state-run system. The second is the appointment of kashrus overseers by a business who will be responsible for the work currently being carried out by mashgichim today. These kashrus overseers will replace mashgichim and remain under the responsibility of the Chief Rabbinate and its representatives, the local religious councils.

The kashrus entity will be made up of professionals; namely mashgichim and their supervisors and the committee members will be civil service employees. Only the local rav who is responsible for kashrus will be an elected official. The new kashrus entity will assume the responsibility for kashrus currently in the hands of the nation’s religious councils. This will place the kashrus directly in the hands of the Chief Rabbinate and not the religious councils, as is the case today.

The second recommendation, if accepted, will do away almost entirely with mashgichim. The job will be divided between appointed employees of a business and a mifakeach (supervisor) employed by a local religious council or the kashrus entity. Each mifakeach will not supervise more than 12 stores. Hence, the position mashgiach as it operates today, will be entirely eliminated.

Rabbi Lau is working to eliminated the corruption, as has been found in the Jerusalem Religious Council kashrus unit, but more than this, he hopes to cut the cost of providing kashrus and this will result in lowering the prices of food products. It is explained that in most cases today, the mashgiach who works for a religious council is paid by the business he is supervising.

With Rav Lau in charge of the state kashrus, it is likely he will accept the recommendations. Others involved in the approval process include Finance Minister (Kulanu) Moshe Kahlon, Minister of Religious Services (Shas) Moshe Azoulai and Minister of the Interior (Shas) Aryeh Deri.