Stop Hotel Discrimination!
If any of you have ever made a hotel reservation online, you know how important the rating system can be. If you are going someplace new and you have no first-hand recommendations to help you, seeing how many stars other guests have given a hotel is often all you have to inform your decision. The Orthodox Rabbinate here in Israel is trying to help people pick hotels with their own rating system, but this system is not based on price and customer service. Instead, it uses intolerance as its benchmark.
There are now plans to rate hotels' suitability for "kosher" travelers on criteria that go far beyond how the food is prepared. Hotels can lose stars in the Rabbinate's rating-system by committing such horrible infractions as: employing a non-Jew in the kitchen; not having a gender segregated swimming pool; or allowing people to speak on cell phones in public places during Shabbat. This is not the first time that the Orthodox Rabbinate has tried to increase its power through its influence over Israel's hotels. Last year, several youth groups (including NFTY groups) were not allowed to use musical instruments on Shabbat during their stay in hotels in Jerusalem. The hotels' kashrut supervisors felt that it was inappropriate in spite of the fact that the group was meeting in a private room. Following legal action, IRAC secured a letter from the Rabbinate clarifying that the playing of instruments on Shabbat will not hurt the kashrut certificates of hotels. We sent the letter to hotels and group operators who were bullied by the Rabbinate on this issue and helped them stand up to this abuse of power. We cannot allow the Rabbinate to push forward with their initiative to rate hotels in this manner. As the summer tourist season begins, many of you may be planning a trip to Israel. Now is the time to let the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, Yona Metzger, know that you will not tolerate this kind of corruption and intolerance. Even if you are not planning a trip in the near future, write him to say that when you go to a hotel that is kosher, you want to support the observance of Jewish dietary laws and not racism or segregation. With your help the hotels will understand that bending to the will of the Rabbinate is more costly than standing up for tolerance.
By clicking here you can write the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, Yona Metzger. You can use our prewritten template or write your own custom message. When you have finished you will be directed to a form that will allow you to forward this email to your friends. From that form you can also forward the letter from your own personal email. Please do not forget to post this letter on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet you use. Thank you for your support!