Rabbis clash over kashrut supervision
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Rabbis clash over kashrut supervision

RABBI Yosef Feldman has taken it upon himself to provide a provisional kashrut license to new Sydney caterer Amaze In Taste (AIT) until a solution can be reached with the Kashrut Authority (KA).

RABBI Yosef Feldman has taken it upon himself to provide a provisional kashrut license to new Sydney caterer Amaze In Taste (AIT) until a solution can be reached with the Kashrut Authority (KA).

But the decision has put Rabbi Feldman at odds with many of his colleagues on the Rabbinical Council of NSW (RCNSW), of which he is the immediate past president. The AJN understands that at a RCNSW meeting held on Saturday night, rabbis voted overwhelmingly against the action.

Rabbi Feldman, who is the Chief Minister of Southern Sydney Synagogue and Rabbinic Administrator at the Yeshiva Centre, told The AJN he hadn’t had the opportunity to properly present his case.

“I did not have the opportunity to present my halachic findings from my inspection of the AIT facility and why it is so imperative that there be an interim supervision,” he said.

“I am definitely concerned and therefore I’m calling for another meeting as soon as possible for all the rabbis to hear my halachic findings and then have the necessary information to make a fully informed decision.”

He added that “as many in the community were using them [AIT] anyway, it is better that they should have some rabbinic supervision until they are under the KA”.

Rabbi Feldman has the support of South Head Synagogue Rabbi Benzion Milecki, who while qualifying he was not interested in politics said “I believe that Rabbi Feldman is at least as capable of providing a high standard of kosher supervision as the KA”.

“If the KA cannot reach agreement with a caterer, and Rabbi Feldman can, I support Rabbi Feldman’s supervision,” he said.

Great Synagogue Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence said: “Despite the strong and principled position of RCNSW which I wholeheartedly support, it would be improper to suggest to congregants seeking to hold a kosher function that the food provided by AIT under Rabbi Feldman supervision was not kosher.”

Amaze In Taste spokesperson Hilton Cohn said the company would “continue to work hard with all interested parties to arrive at an equitable long term solution for kashrut in NSW generally”.

“AIT hopes that this announcement will reassure the community that it is the intention of this caterer to make kosher more accessible to our community without in any way compromising either the principles of kashrut or the quality of our product,” he said.

KA president Baron Revelman said the KA was pleased with outcome of the RCNSW meeting “on the maintenance of unity of kashrut supervision”.

Revelman also confirmed that the KA is “cooperating fully” with a forensic audit – the scope of which is currently unknown – that is being conducted into its operations.

“We’re delighted at the opportunity to do it,” he said.

RCNSW president Rabbi Yoram Ulman declined to comment.

GARETH NARUNSKY

Rabbi Yosef Feldman.

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