The High Court of Justice on Tuesday ruled that Israeli restaurateurs are permitted to inform their clientele that they serve kosher food even if they do not have kashrut certification from the Israeli state rabbinate.
The ruling may mark the end of a years-long battle over whether the ultra-Orthodox-controlled state rabbinate is the only body which may publicly claim a food establishment is kosher. …
On Tuesday, however, writing for the majority view, Chief Justice Miriam Naor ruled that the law’s intent to ensure consumers are not misled — a purpose she said justified the prohibition on using the term “kosher” without state approval — did not extend to a business giving its customers details about where it obtained its raw materials or how it prepared its food.
There is a “third door” into the question of kashrut, beyond the simplistic labeling of each business as either “kosher” or “non-kosher,” she wrote.
“Assuming it is telling the truth, nothing prevents a food establishment from clarifying that the meat it serves was purchased from a slaughterhouse that carries kosher certification; and that the fish it serves are only those with fins and scales [as required by the laws of kashrut],” Naor ruled.
Such reporting of its sources and practices to customers is no different from “a food establishment stating it carries only vegetarian food.”