In addition to his other responsibilities, it appears Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman is concerned with the kashrus of the nation’s senior citizens’ and assisted living facilities. The ministry has sent a questionnaire to facilities addressing a number of issues, including a request regarding the hechsher of the facility and particulars of the mashgiach if one exists. The minister also wishes to know if a mashgiach is employed, how many hours is he present.
As far as the operators of such facilities are concerned the law does not compel them to have a kashrut certificate or a mashgiach, and as such, these details cannot be linked to the renewal of one’s operating license. The deputy minister however appears to be ready to make this an issue.
Officials in the Ministry of Welfare & Social Services do point out that the law does require accommodating residents who are requesting kosher food. The law however does not compel assisted living facilities to employ a mashgiach.
Health Ministry officials seem to view the law differently, stating a privately owned facility must at the very least employ a mashgiach.
For now, the question remains is just what does Litzman plan to do with the kashrut data when he receives it?
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)