KASHRUS SCANDAL: Treif Served at Independence Day Event at President Peres’ Residence


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”.

(Jerusalem Kosher News, Israel)


  1. One would think a jewish frum newspaper would have heard of a concept called “loshon hara”. I didn’t read the article, chas v’shalom, but rather clicked on it just to scroll down and comment on how disgusting this is that YWN would post such a thing about a fellow yid.

  2. Two points, one pro and one contra:

    1. If the mashgiach is not checking every box of meat and controlling the meat coming in and going out, the situation is ripe for fraud. And this, many say, is one of the things seriously wrong with the Rabbanut kashrut. There is too much room in their system for allowing fraud and deception.

    2. The opposite – mistakes and fraud happen under every kashrus organization under the sun. It is a fact of life. At least in the Rabbanut there is transparency. When something like this happens, everyone knows about it, the results are public and people are made aware of the issues. That transparency means that the Rabbanut will work to seal the breach and make sure it does not happen again. When it happens under the watch of private kashrus organizations, one has no idea that anythign happened, they answer to nobody and report to nobody, and who is ever to know if the breach was fixed.

  3. #1; Shocking. why do you insinuate YWN is thrilled to have this happen? Unless i missed something,, and you care to clarify?
    #2; If you didnt read something how can you comment? Besides using your logic thread, all kashrus alerts should be banned, huh?( Not that i read your comment of course Chas V’sholem, i just scrolled to the end. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.)

  4. Shows how THOROUGH the Rabbanut Kashrut system, how TRANSPARENT it is, and how PROFESSIONAL it is.

    The guy was caught, complete with videotape evidence, and both the Rabbanut and President Peres took it very seriously.

    As for those who think this is nothing, aside from teh fraud, it also meant that many, many Yidden — some Dati and some not Dati — ate TREIF, for the first time in their lives! You think this is nothing?

    You think that Israeli soldiers, many of whom are traditionally religious and many of whom are EXTREMELY religious don’t matter, that they are not as good as you are?

  5. There should be some mechanism for suing a mashgiach who is guilty of fraud. There should be a method to hold those who we depend on to basic minimums of competency and honesty. Perhaps some type of breach of contract and progressively larger fines…

  6. This is different than the Monsey scandal. In Israel, the guy was fired, in Monsey, the Mashgiach is still giving out hashgachos.