According to the report first appearing on NRG filed by Chaim Gridinger, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has revoked the kashrut supervision of the Pri Haaretz catering company, among the most prestigious caterers in Israel, used at state events.
It appears Pri Haaretz catered the event last week on Yom HaAtzma’ut in the Presidential Residence. After the Chief Rabbinate’s Kashrut Enforcement Division inspected, acting on the allegations made in the report, it was learned the meat originated from Abu Gosh, treif meat that came from the Arab municipality located in the Jerusalem corridor along the Jerusalem Tel Aviv Highway.
Rabbi Rafi Yochai, who heads the Kashrut Enforcement Unit confirms that the meat originated in Abu Gosh and that the mashgiach “rubber stamped it” without really knowing the origin. The mashgiach also signed a statement attesting to the meat coming from a respectable source but surveillance cameras tell another story.
The food in question was served at the official residence of President Shimon Peres for the main Independence Day event, including the event during which 120 IDF soldiers were cited for excellence.
A hearing was set by the Emek Chefer Religious Council with the caterer to permit him to explain ‘the other side of the story’ but no one showed. In attendance were Rabbi Chaggai Bar-Giora of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, Rabbi Eliezer Simcha Weiss, the rav of the area and the mashgiach involved, Yisrael Ginsburg. After no one showed to tell the caterer’s side of the story, the rabbinate removed the company’s kosher certification.
According to Maariv, the caterer is not too concerned, releasing the following statement. “Pri Haaretz is among the leaders in the catering industry for the past 13 years and has served thousands of satisfied guests. We have a steady mashgiach kashrut and comply with all the requirements of the Chief Rabbinate”.
The Presidential Residence responded by stating “the findings are most shocking. The legal department will in coming days evaluate the situation to determine if legal action is warranted”.