COMPETITION HASN’T HURT THE BETH DIN
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