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.
Seattle Vaad & the Orthodox Union (OU)
Although the Seattle Vaad is an independent non-profit, regional Kosher certification agency, the Va’ad maintains national standards in its kashrut supervision. The Va’ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle has a special relationship with the Orthodox Union. The Va’ad serves as an agent for the OU in the Pacific Northwest and through the offices of the OU assures that all our industrial accounts abide by nationally accepted standards as applied by the OU. The OU also assists the Va’ad HaRabanim as the Va’ad provides kashrut supervision for local businesses and institutions. More information is available on the OU website at: https://oukosher.org/companies/vaad-harabanim-greater-seattle/.
Eastside Torah Center
Lubavitch of Pacific Northwest
and Congregeation Shaarei Tefillah
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Va’ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle
5305 52nd Ave. S.; Seattle, WA 98118
Tel: (206) 760-0805
Fax: (206) 725-0347
VA’AD HARABANIM OF GREATER SEATTLE