Kosher authority weighs-in on Ben & Jerry’s Israel controversy

Jewish spiritual teams are hoping to make use of their muscle, primarily by way of shopping for energy, to alter Ben & Jerry’s company thoughts after the corporate’s announcement that it’ll finish its franchise settlement with a manufacturing unit and distributor in each East Jerusalem and within the West Financial institution.

The corporate said on its web site that promoting its product in these territories is “inconsistent with our values.”

Jewish communities in Israel and past are inquiring if the product will nonetheless be thought-about kosher, or ritually applicable for consumption, following that announcement. The spiritual authority that certifies Ben & Jerry’s as kosher is now weighing in.

Final week’s announcement from ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s that it’ll finish its franchise settlement with a manufacturing unit and distributor in each East Jerusalem and within the West Financial institution continues to be met with criticism each in Israel and Jewish communiti (AP Photograph/Toby Talbot, File / AP Newsroom)


In a letter dated July 26, the Teaneck, N.J.-based KOF-Ok Kosher Supervision stated the Ben & Jerry’s matter, “is a extremely unstable scenario.”

KOF-Ok offers kosher certification for a lot of totally different meals manufacturers worldwide. Certification signifies a spiritual authority’s supervision of a meals product’s sourcing, manufacturing and distribution strategies. KOF-Ok’s certification may be noticed on a product’s packaging with a stamp, or “hechshire” of the Hebrew letter “Kof” encircling an English letter “Ok.”   

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KOF-Ok certifies Ben & Jerry’s ice cream as kosher outdoors of the state of Israel, together with inside america. Its administrative director, Rabbi Yehuda Rosenbaum, wrote that they’ve been in shut contact with Israel’s authorities and the Yesha Council, a physique overseeing Jewish settlements, about what the subsequent steps needs to be.

“KOF-Ok will proceed to satisfy its contractual obligations to Ben & Jerry’s whereas utilizing its affect to be sure that this anti-Israel coverage by no means turns into applied,” Rosenbaum wrote.


The ice cream edict from Ben & Jerry’s impacts a distributor that sells solely to East Jerusalem and the West Financial institution, which is inclusive of Israeli Jewish settlements. A separate franchisee sells the product inside the remainder of Israel. In line with Unilever, that relationship stays, though an autonomous board on the ice cream subsidiary had pushed to finish gross sales to all of Israel.

KOF-Ok is not the one group inspecting its relationship with Ben & Jerry’s after the controversial announcement. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have all directed companies inside their states to see if Ben & Jerry’s, a division and model of U.Ok.-based Unilever, violated their legal guidelines criminalizing boycotts of Israel.  Some U.S. shops have both pulled Ben & Jerry’s from their cabinets or diminished its visibility.