Religion Magazine

Mehuderet Update

By Gldmeier @gldmeier

Back in August the Rabbanut of Jerusalem announced that it was forming a new hechsher called Rabbanut Mehuderet. It would be "less" than Mehadrin, but more than regular Rabbanut. It would be mostly mehadrin, but some of the restrictions would be loosened from the mehadrin level.
The Jewish Press has an update on that situation that I thought is worth sharing (organized kashrut is an interest of mine).. it turns out that the Mehuderet solution has become very popular among restaurants in Jerusalem.
Mehuderet update
From The Jewish Press:

The certification, called “Mehuderet”, is designed for Jerusalem restaurants who are interested in providing Badatz and Mehadrin level certified foods and Kashrut to their clients, but aren’t interested in the politics and prices that the private Badatz certifications bring along with them.
Typically, the private certifications have high monthly fees and lock the restaurants into specific suppliers, especially in the case of meat, even if the other Badatz and Mehadrin products are considered just as kosher.
The “Mehuderet” certification requires that all the products used in the restaurant be at the Badatz and Mehadrin level, but don’t require an additional private Badatz certificate or purchase of products from only specific Badatz certifications.
In addition, unlike the standard Jerusalem Mehadrin certificate, meat that is certified as Mehadrin by the Rabbinate from other cities and not just Jerusalem may be used, which can sometimes result in major cost savings.
One Jerusalem restaurant who made the switch told, “I pay for the Jerusalem ‘Mehuderet’ certification less per year than I was paying the Badatz each month, and that fee was above the cost of the Mashgiach! After I switched to the Jerusalem Rabbinate’s ‘Mehuderet’ certification I kept my same exact Mashgiach, but I now have flexibility in choosing my Mehadrin and Badatz suppliers and products. My clients care about Mehadrin and they are definitely OK with this new certification.”
In recent years, due to the high certification costs, some Jerusalem restaurants began to forgo the Badatz/Mehadrin certifications completely, trading them in for the minimal Jerusalem Kashrut, while still only using Mehadrin and Badatz products. But that cost saving measure also resulted in a loss of customers.
This new certificate may reverse that tide, by assuring customers that the food they’re eating is Mehadrin and prepared according to the Mehadrin levels they want, while significantly lowering prices.
If this new Jerusalem certificate continues to grow in popularity, we may see other other local Rabbinates in Israel begin to copy the model, creating a revolution in Israel’s tightly controlled Badatz/Mehadrin Kashrut certification industry.

A solution that makes good kashrut more affordable for people, and they find it to be an acceptable level - I like it. Good job, Rabbanut Jerusalem.
Note: this is not an endorsement for any specific hechsher, including mehuderet. Eat the food of whatever hechsher you find acceptable, and don't eat from hechshers you dont find to be acceptable.

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