The London Beth Din has described its “considerable concern” after withdrawing its supervision of two Pesach hotels in Greece and Portugal, and has warned community members to be “vigilant”.
The United Synagogue’s kosher division last week advertised in newspaper Hamodia saying that “contrary to previous advertisement” the Grecotel Olympia Riviera in Greece and Viva Marina in Portugal were “not under the Hechsherim of the London Beth Din”.
Both hotels are advertised by Maagalim Tours (Maagalei Nofesh), a tourism company run by the Ibenbaum family, which specialises in religious holidays for the strictly Orthodox.
A spokesman for the London Beth Din this week said: “It is of considerable concern that Pesach Hotels are increasingly being certified by Rabbanim who are granting private Hechsherim.
“The named Rov, while possibly being a good Shul Rov, does not have the proficiency and expertise to run a kosher hotel, is responsible to no-one, and is often not even present.”
The spokesman added: “We would urge the community to be particularly vigilant and ensure that their Pesach holiday is supervised by a recognised Rabbinical Authority.”
A hotel targeting the UK community has been advertising that its supervision was under the Chief Rabbi of Spain, but he has issued a statement denying any knowledge.