It is a well-known fact that the kosher status of a home kitchen is best safeguarded by the woman who cooks in that kitchen. We therefore find it natural and self-evident that women also engage in kashrut supervision at the vocational level, especially given that there is no halachic problem with a woman being a kashrut supervisor. Emunah has developed a special course for women kashrut supervisors, the first of its kind in Israel – but the initiative has encountered problems. Ministry of Religious Services procedure calls for kashrut supervisor studies to be recognized by the Israeli Rabbinate only if they are offered at institutions that have been authorized in that area by the Rabbinate. That is, in order for women to be recognized by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate as kashrut supervisors at the end of the Emunah course, we need the Rabbinate's authorization for the very existence of the course. We have asked the Rabbinate to certify the course. As we have received no response on several occasions, we have concluded that the Rabbinate opposes the recognition of women as kashrut supervisors, meaning that our objective will not be easily achieved.
We have been forced to petition the Supreme Court. Our first petition caused the Rabbinate to change its approach and allow women graduates of Emunah's kashrut supervision course to be tested, thereby opening up a new vocational path for women.
In his ruling, Justice Noam Solberg wrote: "And thus the issue that is the object of the petition is resolved. The petition has exhausted itself. The Chief Rabbinate has had its say to the petitioners' satisfaction, and the Ministry of Religious Services has established the matters as they unfolded in the Director-General's Circular. Indeed, the halacha states that, 'In terms of trustworthiness there is no concern; so long as she is considered to be a reliable woman who knows and understands how and what to supervise, she should be trusted,' (see Iggerot Moshe, Yoreh De'ah Part II, Siman 44; also the discussion of serara – authority). In short: there is no longer any obstacle to women, as such, serving as kashrut supervisors."
We at Emunah believe in the justice of our cause, and will not cease our activity on all fronts to ensure that women are able to engage in all occupations that they desire, in accordance with the principle of freedom of occupation.