Tzo­har, Emu­nah of­fer new course for fe­male kashrut su­per­vi­sors

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By JEREMY SHARON

Tzo­har, an or­ga­ni­za­tion of Na­tional Re­li­gious rab­bis, has joined with Emu­nah, a Na­tional Re­li­gious move­ment for women, in pro­vid­ing a course for women to be trained as kashrut su­per­vi­sors.

This lat­est step by Tzo­har into the world of kashrut would ap­pear to be a fur­ther in­di­ca­tion of its in­tent to set up its own kashrut au­thor­ity, as it has stated it is se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing.

The course will be com­prised of two stages, to­tal­ing 40 hours of study over seven weeks.

The first part of the course will pro­vide the fun­da­men­tals of kashrut su­per­vi­sion in or­der for the par­tic­i­pant to work con­fi­dently as a kashrut su­per­vi­sor, in­clud­ing tasks such as kosher­ing meat, check­ing for in­sects in food, as well as im­part­ing an un­der­stand­ing of food tech­nol­ogy and pro­duc­tion.

The sec­ond half of the course will in­clude a more in-depth look at kashrut laws and re­quire­ments.

Emu­nah has run a course to train fe­male kashrut ad­vis­ers in the past, but says that the col­lab­o­ra­tion with Tzo­har will al­low them to re­duce the cost of the course and broaden its ap­peal to a wider au­di­ence.

At the end of the course, the par­tic­i­pants will be able to take the Chief Rab­binate’s kashrut su­per­vi­sor exam and the­o­ret­i­cally su­per­vise in restau­rants and busi­nesses that use the rab­binate’s kashrut su­per­vi­sion.

The Chief Rab­binate was ini­tially op­posed to the idea of al­low­ing women to serve as kashrut su­per­vi­sors, so Emu­nah pe­ti­tioned to the High Court of Jus­tice, which ruled in 2013 that the field must be opened up to women.

Emu­nah then launched a course which 12 women took part in, all of whom passed the chief rab­binate’s exam.

How­ever, the Chief Rab­binate and the Re­li­gious Ser­vices Min­istry were not ea­ger to in­te­grate th­ese women into the kashrut su­per­vi­sion sys­tem, and only a few are cur­rently work­ing in the field.

Emu­nah at­tor­ney Tzip­poret Schim­mel says that the or­ga­ni­za­tion is cur­rently work­ing on dif­fer­ent strate­gies to en­able more women to be able to ob­tain em­ploy­ment as kashrut su­per­vi­sors, in­clud­ing pro­mot­ing more women to seek po­si­tions in lo­cal re­li­gious coun­cils which con­trol re­li­gious ser­vices in mu­nic­i­pal and re­gional au­thor­i­ties.

Fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of the joint course with Tzo­har, Emu­nah Chair­woman Liora Minke said that noth­ing was more nat­u­ral than in­te­grat­ing women into the kashrut sys­tem, and said it was highly sur­pris­ing that it has not hap­pened un­til now.

“This is a pro­fes­sional course, even ground­break­ing, but in no ways breaks the bound­aries of Jewish law,” said Minke, while ex­press­ing dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the at­ti­tude of the Chief Rab­binate to the in­te­gra­tion of women into the field un­til now.

Said Tzo­har Chair­man Rabbi David Stav: “We be­lieve, in Tzo­har, that it is a pos­i­tive step to in­te­grate women into the kashrut sys­tem who will be able to do the job ex­cel­lently.”

He added that Tzo­har is now “in the ad­vanced stages of ex­am­in­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of es­tab­lish­ing a kashrut sys­tem of our or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

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