European Jewish Congress
Jewish leaders call on Polish government to lift Shechita ban
EJC In Action
Jewish leaders call on Polish government to lift Shechita ban

Leaders of European Jewish communities gathered in Brussels on Thursday to strongly condemn the attack on basic religious rights of the Jewish community in Poland, following the failure of the government initiative to formally legalise Jewish religious slaughter for meat, or Shechita, in line with EU directives. 

“The Jews of Europe will not stand idle while one of our communities is prevented from practicing the free expression of their religion,” said Serge Cwajgenbaum, Secretary General of the European Jewish Congress which hosted the meeting in cooperation with the Conference of European Rabbis. “It is all well and good to commemorate Jewish history in Poland with the opening of museums and memorials but we wish to celebrate Jewish life as it is today in Poland.”

The CER delegation was headed by its president Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt and also included Brussels Chief Rabbi Albert Guigui. 

As part of a strong, coordinated and European-wide campaign to combat the ban in Poland, Shimon Cohen of Shechita UK also attended alongside a team of the organisation‘s legal advisors.  

Cwajgenbaum also pointed out that the lesson of recent days in Poland made it clear EU legislation on Shechita did not prevent a member state of the Union from proscribing a fundamental Jewish practice while warning of a potential repercussions across Europe. 

“What is happening today in Poland could be a prototype of similar attacks on Jewish rights all over Europe.” said Piotr Kadlčik, President of the Union of Jewish Communities of Poland.

Kadlčik came to Brussels to discuss with the EJC and CER legal team regarding potential legal challenges as well as to coordinate a unified European Jewish response to the ban in Poland.

Friday, July 19, 2013
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