Messianic baker Pnina Conforty still 'not kosher'

Sunday, March 14, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Messianic Jewish baker Pnina Conforty, owner and operator of the popular Pnina Pie bakery in Ashdod, is still being denied a kosher certificate due to her faith. That despite the fact that Israel's Supreme Court ordered the Ashdod Chief Rabbinate to issue her said certificate nine months ago.

Conforty originally had a kosher certificate, but it was revoked in 2006 when the Orthodox Rabbinical establishment discovered she was a believer in Yeshua (Jesus).

Following a lengthy legal battle, the Supreme Court ruled last year that the rabbinate could not deny Conforty a kosher certificate based on her personal faith, so long as she met the same technical requirements as every other bakery.

At Tuesday's contempt-of-court hearing, the rabbinate's lawyers claimed that Conforty had not met those requirements because she refuses to employ an Orthodox kosher supervisor to be present at her bakery at all times. However, the rabbinate only recently made that an official requirement, and only after the court originally ruled that demanding that of Conforty was unacceptable since other bakeries did not have to have a supervisor present.

The court ordered the rabbinate to produce official documents of what is required for every bakery to receive kosher certification, and official documentation of any changes that have been made over the past year. Conforty and her lawyers protested, as the decision basically ignored the original ruling. They also noted that the rabbinate was clearly lying and would continue to do so in order to deny her certification.

But the judges said the Supreme Court is unable to subpoena witnesses, and would therefore trust that the Ashdod Chief Rabbinate, as a public institution, would not deliberately deceive the court.

The Ashdod Rabbinate has said in the past that it will drag this process out as long as necessary, because neither it nor any other religious institution in Israel will ever give a Jewish believer in Jesus a kosher certification.

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