22 June 2018
9 Tammuz 5778
Dear community members
As communicated, the UOS put in place a number of interventions to address the Stan & Pete incident. The first report has been concluded and we would like to share it with you.
The Association of Kashrus Organizations (AKO) was asked to conduct an independent review of the Beth Din’s kashrut supervision system and to make recommendations for improvement. This resulted in a visit by three independent kashrut experts and AKO executive committee members, including the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the OU – the world’s largest Kashrut organisation. Their full report was sent to the UOS earlier this week and we have now made it publicly available on the UOS website. You can view the full report by clicking here.
The findings of the report were:
“We were pleased to find that the general set-up of the supervision system of the Kashrus Division of the Beis Din is sound. This applies to all the areas of the kashrus supervision system: food service, factories and shechita. The recommendations we make in this report are aimed to improve and enhance this system.”
The report then goes into detailed recommendations in the areas of food services, factories and shechita. We welcome these recommendations and are committed to employing our best and urgent efforts to implementing them to ensure we deliver the very best service and standards to the South African Jewish community.
We would further like to share an update to the community on the forensic investigation by leading law firm, Bowmans, which was tasked with establishing whether the discovery of non-kosher chickens in the kitchen of Stan & Pete Caterers was an isolated incident or was part of a pattern of wilfully bringing non-kosher food into its kitchens. Their letter can be found on the UOS website. You can view this letter by clicking here.
As our most important stakeholders, we would like to invite the community to a public meeting at which the Kosher Department will present its operational plan, which addresses AKO’s recommendations as well as other imperatives. This will take place, please G-d, on Wednesday, 22 August 2018, at 6:30pm, at the HOD. We welcome any concerns and questions before then to Rabbi.Dovi@uos.co.za.
We are committed to keeping our community fully involved and informed as we move forward together.