The Chief Rabbinate has released a once secret blacklist of shuls that host weekly kiddush clubs. The list has the names of many prominent shuls who are said to hold kiddush clubs between leining and mussaf, usually while the Rabbi speaks. The Chief Rabbinate has called on the Rabbi's of these shuls to put an immediate end to these clubs or face the consequences on being on another blacklist.
The head of Kiddush Clubs International, an association for kiddush clubs around the world hit back at the list and said that it is far more respectful to go outside and drink alcohol than to doze off during the Rabbi's speech.
The spokesperson for Kiddush Clubs International, Moshe Yaselowitz, echoed the sentiment when he said, "we have no intention of stopping kiddush clubs, they bring people outside of shul when they otherwise would be talking in shul and they give people to warm-up for the actual Kiddush".
Commenting on this very statement, the Chief Rabbinate said:
"It is precisely this attitude of having to "warm-up" for the Kiddush that bothers us, why can they not stay in shul and listen to the Rabbi speak or at the very least doze off with their eyes open."
In a separate statement, Smirnoff said that they would be dropping the Chief Rabbinate hechsher if attacks on Kiddush Clubs persists.
The Chief Rabbinate did say that Rabbi's can cut speeches shorter so that Kiddush Club participants miss the chatzi kaddish before mussaf, this will hopefully deter them from going to the kiddush club altogether.