Women working to break Rabbinate’s monopoly over kashrut supervision
February 22, 2017
… Meanwhile, it’s business as usual for the women kashrut supervisors. Under the exceptions of the law, they make sure that the place is kosher, but they don’t grant a certificate.
“I don’t understand who decided that kashrut supervision is a man’s job,” says Hemdah Shalom. “With all due respect, I know a little bit more about cooking. The male monopoly in the field comes from the Rabbinate’s need to give yeshiva students a livelihood that relates to their main occupation—Torah studying. They can also be allowed to be supervisors, but not exclusively. Women deserve it too.”
From a halachic perspective, there is indeed no reason why women cannot work as kashrut supervisors. In practice, however, apart from a few exceptions, all supervisors in Israel are men. For years, the Chief Rabbinate refused to allow women to participate in kashrut supervision courses “for modesty reasons,” and it remained an exclusively male profession.