CK Statement – current kashrut situation in NSW May 2022 – Iyar 5782

by CK on May 26, 2022 in Kashrut

The Community Kashrut Board and Vaad Ha’Rabbonim have observed substantial dislocation in the kosher food sector as experienced recently by the NSW Jewish Community.

Since its inception in 2015, CK has been dedicated and working to improve the provision of kosher services in NSW. As of today, CK’s kashrut supervision services are benefitting the very vast majority of the Community through the supervision of Sydney’s leading kosher caterers (Felicia’s Catering, June Edelmuth, Kepos Kitchen and Jodi’s Kitchen). CK brought in significant innovation to the NSW kashrut scene through, to name a few, the introduction of pop-up kosher events, the certification of Iggy’s bread and Paesanella cheese, both of which CK initiated with the manufacturers and convinced them to become Kosher. CK provided thousands of work hours to members of our Community working as mashgichim at various events or with our licensees.

We have also observed a significant improvement in kosher supervision services across Sydney. We firmly believe these improvements experienced by the Community at large were brought about by the introduction of competition and market forces. CK is a force for good.

Yet, since our launch, we have experienced relentless criticism regarding our Kashrut standards. We want to re-affirm to the entire Community that we have full confidence in the Kashrut of CK. The highest standards of kashrut as sought and applied under Rabbi Krauthammer’s leadership, together with Rev Mendy Gershowitz’ on-the-ground activities and the guidance from the leading Rabbis of our Vaad HaRabonim: Rabbi Blackman, Rabbi Krebs and Rabbi Reich. We remind the Community that our Rabbis are available at any time to discuss CK’s kashrut and can answer any legitimate questions.

The approval of the kosher certification of Paesanella by CK was a very long process that took many months in the making, involving consultations with several eminent halakhic authorities and kashrut certification organisations around the world to ensure full confidence in its kashrut. Paesanella’s certification by CK was approved by leading kashrut Rabbonim in Israel. CK’s Rav, Vaad and mashgichim carried out countless inspections of Paesanella’s manufacturing facilities, reviewed their entire ingredients lists, checked out their suppliers’ manufacturing facilities, especially the milk and buffalo milk processing factories.

We will never enter into or respond to any kind of machloket, as we firmly believe that “All its paths lead to peace” and these machloket are not for the sake of Heaven.

We were saddened by Kosherwold’s closure as the only NSW based butcher, Hadassa, and Katzy’s, one of our Community’s long-standing kosher institutions. We believe this presents an unprecedented issue for our Community. Even though the provision of kosher meat continues to be maintained thanks to the efforts of Victoria kosher butchers and local retailers, the situation puts the Community at significant risk. There is a confluence of several factors that led to the current situation, yet this situation could have been mitigated. CK worked tirelessly with Rabbonim, communal leaders and suppliers both in Sydney and Melbourne in an effort to bring about significant reduction in supervision costs, ensure supply and ultimately Hadassa’s long-term viability. This effort met blocks beyond the control of Kosherworld and CK.

Under the auspices of the two leading Jewish Community representative organisations, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the Council of Orthodox Synagogues of NSW, CK continues to work for the Community and is looking to bring more innovation and more competition, including new exciting products, new catering opportunities and more structural changes.

We wish you all a meaningful Shavuot and stay tuned for more updates from CK.

CK BOARD Vaad Ha’Rabonnim
Nico Meer (President) Rabbi Yedidya Krauthammer (Rav HaMachshir)
Ian Charif (Treasurer) Rabbi David Blackman
Rosana Tyler (Honorary Secretary) Rabbi Gad Krebs
Patrick Cemal Rabbi Asher Reich
Bernice Charif Rabbi Aaron Rom
Jodi Kofsky
Bryan Sher
Mervyn Stein