Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

8 Sivan 5761 - May 30, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Increased Demand for Shearis Yisroel Products in Europe
by Arnon Yafeh

Food products under the supervision of the Badatz Shearis Yisroel are currently in great demand in Europe, especially in the French chareidi community, according to Shearis Yisroel Director Rabbi Yekusiel Dershowitz. Rabbi Dershowitz made this statement during a visit to the Euro-Kosher exhibition in Paris.

At the exhibition of various European and American kosher food products and hechsherim that took place in the giant Paris Expo Center at the Porte de Versailles, the Shearis Yisroel booth aroused considerable interest. Several suggestions for joint projects were discussed.

This was the first kosher food exhibition to take place in France. Until only a few years ago, the only chareidi supervisory organizations were small, local ones throughout the country. It was only twenty-seven years ago that a mehadrin kashrus network was set up in France by HaRav Chaim Rotenberg, zt"l. Today there are many more chareidi hechsherim, and foods under their supervision are sought after throughout Europe.

Rabbi Dershowitz noted that the purpose of the exhibition was to encourage European food manufacturers to accept chareidi kashrus supervision and to encourage marketing of their products throughout Europe. Many Israeli products were on display.

According to the organizers, more than 5,600 buyers attended the two-day event. The attendees represented 35 countries, including the United States, Israel, Australia, Argentina, Uruguay, Russia, and most European Union countries. Among those attending were many chareidim. A beis knesses that was set up in the exhibition hall was packed to capacity, and minyanim were continuous.

Einav, an importer of Shearis Yisroel products to Europe, distributed the Glatt guide to kashrus at their booth. At the beginning of the booklet, words of chizuk of Maran the rosh yeshiva HaRav HaGaon Menachem Man Shach, shlita, appear. The letter notes, "One must vigorously strengthen oneself in keeping the laws of kashrus of food. Each person must limit what he puts into his mouth and restrain himself." Since Shearis Yisroel was set up to provide products that meet these strict standards, these words serve as testimony to the quality inherent in the Shearis Yisroel hechsher.

Pierre Levy, director of the exhibit, stated that its purpose was to strengthen kashrus and encourage the distribution of kosher food in large food stores outside of the Jewish-populated areas, to enable Jews to purchase food with mehadrin hechsherim throughout the country. The kosher food market has a turnover of some five billion dollars annually.

During the exhibition, there were discussions on the process of going kosher, the opportunities in Europe, the impact of Mad Cow disease and Foot and Mouth disease, and cooperation between kosher and Hallal, the Muslim food requirements. Some of the speakers represented the rabbinate, the Muslim community, manufacturers, American food experts and others.

The main European hechsherim are striving to unite to form one common hechsher. Shearis Yisroel, as the quality hechsher for Israeli bnei Torah, is widely sought after by the growing chareidi communities throughout Europe.

Rabbi Dershowitz reported that Shearis Yisroel in Paris enjoys close cooperation with the Kehal Yirei'im bnei Torah community under the leadership of HaRav Yitzchok Katz. The community imports many kosher products. Several products, such as olive oil and wine, will soon begin production under the joint supervision of Shearis Yisroel and the moreh horo'oh and dayan of Kehal Yirei'im, HaRav Michael Benita. Several other joint projects are in the planning stages. The numbers of European bnei Torah are growing, and consequently, the call for mehadrin products.


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