VA'AD HA RABANIM OF GREATER SEATTLE
Seattle Va'ad

Va’ad Services/Information


Serving Greater Seattle’s Kosher Needs and More…

The Va’ad oversees and handles all Kashrut issues and education, gives supervision to various kosher products and establishments, provides certificates for Meshulachim, functions as a Beit Din (religious court) hearing legal and quasi-legal dispute, facilitates and issues conversions (through the RCA), and provides services for a Get (religious divorce). For more information about scheduling a Get, contact the Av Beit Din,  Rabbi Kletenik at 206-228-0692.

The Rabbis behind the Seattle Va’ad come from varied backgrounds of Chassidic, Ashkenazic, and Sephardic, which bring together a unique and distinct cohesiveness to serve Seattle’s diverse needs.

Rabbi Kletenik
Rabbi Kletenik
Av Beit Din

Va’ad Rabbis

Rabbi FarkashRabbi KornfeldRabbi Levitin
Rabbi Farkashrabbi kornfeldrabbi levitin
Rabbi of Chabad of Bellevue/

Eastside Torah Center

Rabbi of Shevet AchimRabbi of Chabad

Lubavitch of Pacific Northwest

and Congregeation Shaarei Tefillah

Rabbi BenzaquenRabbi MaimonRabbi Meyers
Rabbi BenzaquenRabbi MaimonRabbi Meyers
Sephardic Bikur HolimRabbi Emeritus of Sephardic Bikur HolimRabbi at Ezra Bessaroth

Va’ad Staff

Chasya Sarah Walsh
1 VAAD PIC
Va’ad Administrator/Office Manager


Produce Checking PolicyKosher SymbolsKosher Restaurants and ShoppingKosher News/Alerts
PRODUCE CHECKING PICkosher symbolsportfolioBlog

List of Va’ad Approved Kosher Symbols

The symbols on the Va’ad list are all widely-accepted kosher certifications commonly found on products throughout the United States. With a little practice, it is very easy to spot these marks on food labels, usually near the product name, occasionally near the list of ingredients. There are many other certifications available, of varying degrees of strictness.

The most controversial certification is the K, a plain letter K found on products asserted to be kosher. All other kosher certification marks are trademarked and cannot be used without the permission of the certifying organization. The certifying organization stands behind the kashrut of the product. But you cannot trademark a letter of the alphabet, so any manufacturer can put a K on a product. For example, Jell-O brand gelatin puts a K on its product, even though every reliable Orthodox authority agrees that Jell-O is not kosher.

It is becoming increasingly common for kosher certifying organizations to indicate whether the product is fleishig, milchig or pareve. If the product is dairy, it will frequently have a D or the word Dairy next to the kashrut symbol. If it is meat, the word Meat or an M may appear near the symbol. If it is pareve, the word Pareve (or Parev) may appear near the symbol (Not a P! That means kosher for Passover!). If no such clarification appears, you should read the ingredient list carefully to determine whether the product is meat, dairy or pareve.

Checking Produce for Insects


SEATTLE VA’AD MEMBERSHIP
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 Benefits of Seattle Va’ad Membership include (must show current year membership card):

  • 10% off at Einstein Brothers (minimum $25 purchase) – when available by company
  • 10% off at Pabla Indian Cuisine (minimum $20 purchase) – when available by company
  • 25% off at 77 Central Menchie’s Mercer Island (effective April 1, 2014, Mon- Fri. between 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m).

 


All conversions to Judaism are done through the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), with the Va’ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle functioning as a regional Beth Din (religious court) of the Beth Din of America.

If you have any questions, please contact Rabbi Kletenik or your congregational Rabbi.


Beit Din: Gittin (Jewish Divorces)

Couples contemplating divorce are urged to consult with a Rabbi regarding the obtaining of a religious divorce (Get) in addition to a civil divorce. Please contact Rabbi Moshe Kletenik at (206) 228-0692 for this service.


The Va’ad Beit Din (or Beth Din, Bais Din) is a Rabbinic Court that serves the Greater Seattle area.

It oversees legal and quasi-legal disputes.

Introduction

When requesting a hearing before the Seattle Beit Din (Rabbinic Court) and the parties involved live in the Greater Seattle area, the Beit Din of the Va’ad is available to hear disputes brought before it, either through a Din Torah (hearing) or through Mediation. When the defendant lives outside the Greater Seattle area, the Beit Din will only convene a Din Torah or arrange Mediation if the parties voluntarily submit to its jurisdiction.

Our Rabbis state that the greatest blessing resides within the value of peace. This goal forms the basis for the operation of the Va’ad HaRabanim’s Beit Din and especially the Mediation services offered. The Beit Din will therefore strive for a dignified approach to resolution of difficulties within our community. The cooperation of all parties towards achieving such a goal is expected and anticipated.

Din Torah

The Din Torah begins with the plaintiff sending a letter to the Va’ad in triplicate, outlining the charges to be heard.  This letter should be specific with regards to the claim, and must contain the names and addresses of all involved parties. A copy of this letter will be sent to all parties who are designated as defendants. From this point forward communication regarding your case should be only with the Va’ad office so as not to prejudice the process.

Along with a copy of this letter, the Din Torah process begins with a Hazmanah  (summons) being sent to the defendant(s), containing a copy of the charges, exhibits if any, and the date of the hearing. Should the defendant not appear at the Din Torah, the Beit Din may determine what further action may be taken against the defendant. On occasion, the Beit Din may grant the plaintiff permission to sue in civil court or may impose certain other sanctions against the defendant.
When both parties appear at the Din Torah, they are asked to agree to and/or sign a form that indicates their willingness to be bound by the decision rendered by the Beit Din. Courts have held that this agreement may be enforced as a binding arbitration agreement.  Parties at a Din Torah may call witnesses (with advance notice to the court) and although discouraged, may also be accompanied by counsel (also with advance notice). The proceeding may be tape-recorded. The tribunal at a Din Torah will grant a reasonable time period for each side to present their claim or counterclaim and defenses. Four copies of any exhibits to be introduced should be given to the court at least one week prior to the hearing.
A Din Torah is a formal proceeding and therefore certain standards of conduct and dress are expected. For example, the parties must speak in turn and must address all comments to the Rabbis. Improper conduct at a hearing is an affront to the dignity of the court.  Informal dress is allowed.  Immodest clothing is unacceptable.
The Beit Din will always try to ensure that all matters be treated with timeliness and dignity.  To assist the Beit Din in this goal, it is requested that phone conversations and/or correspondence involving the Din Torah be kept as brief and infrequent as is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances.

A decision is often rendered within 30 days. There is no appeal from a decision of the Beit Din. After these proceedings are initiated (as well as the time prior to it), the parties may have no communication concerning the matter with any of the Rabbis involved in the Din Torah. All communication and questions must exclusively be addressed to Rabbi Kletenik, Av Beit Din of the Va’ad HaRabanim.

Mediation Procedures

The Va’ad also offers its offices to consider Mediation of disputes. We have a group of many fine legal and business mediators that have agreed to assist us with your dispute. It is highly desirous that parties attempt to reach a resolution by mediation before a Din Torah is convened.

Mediation generally involves a one to three hour conference in the mediator’s office.  The mediator’s role is to get the parties to agree to a mutually satisfactory resolution of your dispute. This is important because once this matter goes to the Rabbis for their decision via a Din Torah, control of the outcome is taken away from the parties. Therefore, we urge all to strongly consider mediation.   If mediation is not successful, the dispute may be heard by a Beit Din.

There is a filing fee of  $180.00 for engaging the Beit Din in dispute resolution, payable by the Plaintiff. This fee is non-refundable and covers administrative costs. The actual cost of the Din Torah, to be shared equally by both parties, is $100.00 an hour plus costs (including secretarial) unless other arrangements are made.  Typically, charges are for conference times only, both for conducting the hearings and when the Dayanim (Judges) draft any orders or decisions and when they meet to discuss the matter.
We require that you pay the initial $180.00 filing fee prior to our issuing the Hazmanah to the defendant. In addition, we require that each side pay $360.00 in advance of the first hearing. Any unused portion of this retainer will be refunded to the parties, pro-rata, at the conclusion of the case.
In the case of Mediation, unless other arrangements are made, the Beit Din will refund any unused fees collected from either (or both) of the parties, less the initial $180.00 filing fee.

Conclusion

At the outset of the Din Torah proceedings (if the matter is not settled by Mediation), the parties will be asked if a P’shorah (compromise) is acceptable or are they insisting on a decision applying the standard of P’shorah K’rov L’Din (a stricter interpretation of the law). As the goal is peace, we strongly encourage the parties to accept P’shorah, as our experience has shown that in the vast majority of cases this results in a more mutually satisfactory resolution for all concerned.

Should the Beit Din refuse or be unable to hear the Din Torah, it will make suggestions for a proper forum for resolution of the dispute.

Any questions about the Beit Din and the procedures outlined should be addressed to:
Rabbi Kletenik – Av Beit Din

Va’ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle

5305 52nd Ave. S.; Seattle, WA 98118

Tel: (206) 760-0805

Fax: (206) 725-0347

E-mail: vaadinfo@seattlevaad.org

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Donors: Meshulachim (charity collectors) certificates/teudahs for the current year (2013) are Orange.

Click here for a list of meshulachim with current certificates (teudah) and Frequently Asked Questions.



 
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