COM­PE­TI­TION HASN’T HURT THE BETH DIN

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

I re­fer to your ar­ti­cle, Rabbi beat­ing Beth Din in kashrut war ( JC, Oc­to­ber 26). You missed the real story, which is that, not­with­stand­ing Dayan Wes­theim’s res­ig­na­tion from the Manch­ester Beth Din three years ago, he has de­cided to com­pete with his for­mer em­ployer in the busi­ness of kashrut and she­chi­tah. I leave it to your read­ers to judge whether this was morally or eth­i­cally right. The im­por­tant de­bate here is whether kashrut and she­chi­tah should re­main within the do­main of com­mu­nal non-profit mak­ing or char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tions or should be pri­va­tised or com­mer­cialised for the ben­e­fit of in­di­vid­u­als. De­spite the com­pe­ti­tion from Dayan Wes­theim, your mis­chievous head­line and the in­fer­ence from the ar­ti­cle that the com­pe­ti­tion has brought dev­as­ta­tion to this author­ity is in the realms of fiction.

For the last 50 years or so, this author­ity has al­ways raised funds for those ac­tiv­i­ties and fa­cil­i­ties which are of a strictly char­i­ta­ble na­ture, such as the Manch­ester Com­mu­nal Mik­vah which has a short­fall of be­tween £30,000-£40,000 per an­num.

I am sure Dayan Wes­theim’s com­ment “that most peo­ple came to the Manch­ester Beth Din be­cause of him” will have been taken out of con­text; he would not have wanted to in­sult his for­mer col­leagues. David Pine Manch­ester Kashrus Author­ity and Beth Din Bury Old Road, Manch­ester M7

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