MK Muallem Takes On Eida Following Reports Of Racism Against Ethiopian Jews


The news that the Badatz Eida Chareidis has instructed Barkan Winery to remove religious Ethiopian employees from halachically sensitive areas of wine production has left the Eida with more than a black eye. Rishon L’Tzion HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef Shlita led the assault by calling the Eida’s decision “Racist”.

In the Knesset, MK (Bayit Yehudi) Shuli Muallem is planning to submit a bill that will prevent private kashrus organizations such as the Eida from making such demands, insisting the policy stinks from racism and is unacceptable. The Eida has explained that since the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has called for giyur l’chumra, there are those who view the Yiddishkeit of those who have not undergone the process as questionable, and therefore, they requested to change their work place at Barkan to avoid halachic issues as the Eida is always machmir.

Muallem insists the Eida’s decision is “anti-halacha”, and that the hashgacha has no right to instruct an employer to remove a worker from any position. Muallem insists the Eida has demanded the dismissal of the Ethiopian employees but reports from the Eida state the persons in question were simply reassigned to another position at the winery.

An Eida statement said, “The Eida Chareidis respects the Ethiopian community as well as its contribution to Israeli society. Many Jews from Ethiopia are employed in factories supervised by the Eida, and they are known for their dedication with mutual respect and trust”.

The Eida also points out in the case of Barkan, in an effort to avoid insulting an individual, three persons were reassigned in the winery, not one.

Despite its explanations, the Eida is under fire and now stands accused of being racist against Jews from Ethiopia, even those who are shomer Shabbos.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. In other words MK Muallem wants to dictate the Rabbonim how to apply Halochoh and we are meant to eat a Hechsher based on Knesset decision!

  2. Anything with negative slant towards the frummer reported on this site needs to be taken with a grain of salt! This site relishes in anti Chareidi reporting. If it doesn’t sound right there’s a good chance it isn’t! I’m not buying the story quite yet – certainly not as reported here.

  3. mayerfreund
    June 27, 2018 10:36 am at 10:36 am
    The eideh has a right to set any standard that they want. whoever don’t like it don’t have to ask them for hashgacha.
    And in the same token the rabbanut who oversees all hashgachos in Israel can tell the eidah to stop with thier shinanegens or close your hashgacha.and if they dont like it they can go give hechsher on hallal

  4. HaRav HaGaon Ovadia Yosef zt”l ruled that these Ethiopians are Jews.
    There’s nobody in the Eidah who is a bigger gadol than he was.

  5. This is ridiculous. Do you know what racist means? It means forming opinions or making decision about a group based on a physical distinction that group carries that does not inherently relate to that distinction. To say, for example, that black men have higher incidents of heart disease is not racist, it is the truth. To say black men are bad based on their skin color is racist. It is common knowledge, and the opinion of the Rabbinate, that many of these ethiopian jews have questionable ancestry, and undergo geirus lichumrah to remove any such sfeikos. I have never met a frum jew that would do a shidduch with an ethiopian before undergoing geirus lichumrah- they really could be not Jewish. For the eida to insist on their policy based on skin color is not racist in the slightest. It may reflect a laziness to do a background check, but there’s nothing racist saying a person belonging to a group that’s questionable in its ancestry is questionable. It like heart disease, not thinking they’re bad.

  6. Perhaps it’s good to be me machmir — but one has to balance peoples’ feelings. What if a mashgiach would pull over a bunch of workers who wore a kippa with a color from the “other” group (fill in the blank what “other” means) — and say that those Jews are baalei teshuvah, geirim with questionable conversions, or voted for the wrong political party?

    The list goes on…
    When do we draw the line between chumra and halacha here?

  7. To all sfardim: the eida has plenty of Talmidei chachamim miflagim just as great or greater then your maran just because your potek patkened differently you don’t need to attack anyone! Btw all Ashkenazi poskim including r Moshe ordered them go be mgayer lchumrah