Aug 7, 2018

does the Eida allow female food employees or not?

According to Ynet the Eida Hachareidis kashrus organization has a rule, perhaps unwritten, that restaurants and food establishments under their supervision cannot employ females. The reporter dressed Haredi and tried to get jobs at Eida establishments in Jerusalem, Beitar and Bnei Braq and was repeatedly rejected and told by the establishments that the Eida does not allow them to hire female employees. A number of times she was told that women cannot work in food establishments and instead she should try to get a job in one of the clothing stores where women can and do work.

The explanations given included:
 - Haredi male customers come for food an drink and cannot speak to women. (I am wondering, how do the male employees converse with female customers?)
 - they aren't able to because in the past it has led to not good things happening..
 - men and women aren't allowed to work together..
 - it is a Haredi neighborhood - how would you work here?

She was told things like this by both manager, employees and owners, and they all blamed the Badatz Eida for this rule, even if they themselves would have no problem with, or even prefer, female employees. Of course they added it is a matter of business, and if they drop the hechsher to hire women, they will lose all their customers.

The Eida responded, in the article, that food establishments under the supervision of the Eida around the country employ hundreds of women from all streams and sectors in a variety of roles. The policies conveyed in the article are not representative of the policies of the Badatz.

Besides for the Eida response, the entire thing sounds like a redux of the Ethiopian employees of the winery situation.

So, we have businesses in 3 cities claiming the Eida doesn't allow them to hire women, and we have the Eida saying they allow businesses to hire women, and many do so. Someone is lying. For the storekeepers it might just be an easy answer to not hire someone and blame it on the Eida. For the Eida's claim, it should be easy enough to check - go into a bunch of Eida-supervised restaurants and food establishments and see how many employ women. I guess every establishment this reporter went into did not have female employees. The Eida restaurants (all pizza shops) in my area do not have female employees. Does anybody know

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  1. Back when Ya'ale Bakery was in the RBS A Merkaz Mischari, they had a Badatz Eida hechsher. There were several women working there - there was at least one female cashier, and there was a woman supervisor/manager type as well. I'm not a fan of the Eida at all (to put it mildly), but unless something's changed in the last year or so, this story is incorrect.

  2. maybe the real reason they closed down is because the eida wanted the women out! :-)

  3. I heard it was because of the health inspectors - they had too many violations.

  4. This happened at a kosher pizza shop in Toronto, many years ago (at least 10 - 12). The pizza shop was one of very few kosher food options on a Saturday night. A family from out of town went in to have dinner. They were told that they could not sit down to eat because they would lose their hashgacha. So they found a non-kosher restaurant instead.

    It turned out that COR never had a policy about seating being connected to kashrut. There was a Rabbi in the neighbourhood who said that if they didn't take away the Saturday night seating, he would instruct his talmidim that they could not eat there. Such instructions would likely carry over to part of the community.

    It seems that the research is very incomplete. It wouldn't be hard to check if Eida certified places have female employees without going undercover. It is also possible that there are other factors, where food establishments would avoid hiring women in the more Haredi neighbourhoods.

    1. I know that many years ago in Brooklyn, there was the principal of a right-wing non-chasidic school who had a "thing" against pizza shops. When one opened up near his school, he called an assembly of the entire school and announced that the newly-opened shop was Treif - despite it having a fine hechsher. As a rather impressionable young student (I was all of 11) in the school at the time, I saw it as my business to spread the fact that a supposedly Kosher store was selling Treif - and, together with my classmates, likely did some significant damage to the livelihood of a Frum man who was just trying to make an honest living.

      I still feel guilty about this, but even more so, I feel anger toward the school principal who deliberately lied to and misled impressionable children because of his personal agenda.

    2. Anonymous 10:38:

      If its the pizza store between Tel Aviv and Haifa in avenue J, he tried girls upstairs, boys downstairs, after a few weeks, the schools didn't agree.
      Yes, the owner is a nice guy, hardworking, etc. But he's Israeli, so the shknuzi principals didn't care for him. It was several schools, and I heard parents meekly objected.

      2. A pizza shop owner was told by a local vaad in NY area to sell her store, since she wears pants in her private life, not at the store (where she was mostly absentee owner) though she was perfectly accepted shomer shabbat.

  5. I have seen more than one food establishment in Jerusalem with the "Eida hechsher" that employs women.

  6. I was in a falafel place in Jerusalem this morning with an Eida hechsher and a female employee.
    The falafel place in Beit has an Eida hechsher and a woman employee.

    1. it has been ages since i have been there but you are right! (and it is very good falafel)


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