BRUSSELS PARLIAMENT WON’T BAN KOSHER SLAUGHTER – EUROPEAN JEWISH ASSOCIATION CHAIRMAN APPLAUDS DECISION

June 18, 2022

“Where Brussels has led, others must follow”, says EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, adds “thank goodness for 3 Parliaments in Belgium.”

 

(Brussels 17 June). In a closely contested vote (42 against, 38 for) the Brussels Parliament has just voted not to ban Kosher slaughter in the Capital Region.

 

The move represents a victory for Jews in the Belgian Capital and stands in contrast to both Flanders and Wallonia (Belgium’s other regions) where bans on Kosher slaughter are in place.

 

Welcoming the vote, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the Chairman of the European Jewish Association that represents hundreds of communities across the Continent, and whose offices are headquartered in Brussels said in a statement:

 

“After a steady stream of bans across Europe that has left many communities bereft of local Kosher meat and having to shoulder the increased expenses of importing meat, we applaud this vote by Belgium’s Capital Parliament.

 

“The expense of course is of secondary concern to the overwhelming feeling from communities across the continent that their faith and traditions are constantly under threat by ill-though out , or malign legislation. 

 

“It is not said too often, but thank goodness for 3 parliaments in Belgium. There are few bastions left where Freedom of Religion is still considered a fundamental right. As a citizen of Brussels, I am proud that the capital is such a bastion. Where Brussels has led, others must now follow”.

Additional Articles

Which European countries are best for Jews? Answers may surprise you

First-of-its-kind index is based on a study that combines polling data and policy information to create a single quality-of-life metric for Jews in the 12 European Union countries with sizable Jewish communities

Antisemitic sentiment is especially prevalent in Italy and Hungary, according to multiple surveys. But a first-of-its-kind index combining different measures of Jewish experience found that they are also the best countries in Europe for Jews to live in.
The index, unveiled Monday, is based on a study that combines polling data and policy information to create a single quality-of-life metric for Jews in the 12 European Union countries with sizable Jewish communities, according to Daniel Staetsky, a statistician with the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research who wrote the report for the European Jewish Association in Brussels.
“The goal with this report is to take the excellent data we already have about how Jews feel, about how prevalent antisemitism is, and combine it with government policy measurables,” Staetsky said during a conference held by the European Jewish Association in Budapest.
He said the results may challenge preconceptions about which EU countries are most hospitable to Jews. For example, Germany scored high when it came to government policies relating to Jews. But Jews there report a weak sense of security, leading to an overall middling score.
The index is primarily a tool “to demand concrete action from European leaders,” Rabbi Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association. “We welcome statements against antisemitism by European leaders. But more than statements are needed.”
The European Jewish Association will make individual recommendations to each country surveyed, Margolin added at the press event. It was part of a two-day event sponsored by multiple Jewish organizations, including the Consistoire in France, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli government, about how European Jewish communities can aid the one in Ukraine.
Titled “Europe and Jews, a country index of respect and tolerance towards Jews,” the study gives Belgium, Poland and France the lowest scores with 60, 66, and 68 points out of 100, respectively. The three top countries have 79, 76 and 75 points, followed by Britain and Austria (75), the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Spain (74, 73, 72, 70.)
To come up with the ranking, Staetsky gave each surveyed country grades on multiple subjects, including the Jewish sense of security, public attitudes to Jews and the number of Jews who said they’d experienced antisemitism. The grades were based on major opinion polls in recent years, including those conducted by the Action and Protection League, a group that monitors hate crimes against Jews in several European countries, and the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency.
The study combined those scores with scores the author gave to countries’ government policies, including their funding for Jewish communities, whether they had adopted a definition of antisemitism, and the status of Holocaust education and freedom of worship.
Under that scoring system, Germany received an overall score of 72 despite having the best score (89) on government performance on issues related to Jews and a solid 92 when it came to the prevalence of antisemitism. But a relatively low score on Jewish sense of security (46) hurt its overall score, among other factors.
In the case of Hungary, “the score it received reflects the reality on the ground,” according to Shlomo Koves, the head of the Chabad-affiliated EMIH umbrella group of Jewish communities in Hungary. “Jews can walk around here, go to synagogue, without the slightest fear of harassment,” he said.
But the prevalence of antisemitic sentiments in Hungarian society — an Anti-Defamation League survey from 2015 found that about 30% of the population hold them — “shows there is work to be done here, too, in education and outreach,” Koves said.

Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a delegation of 50 parliamentarians will commemorate Babyn Yar massacre

The delegation is organized by the European Jewish Association (EJA) in partnership with the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine.

Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a delegation of around 100 people, including fifty members of Parliaments from several countries across Europe, will gather on Monday in Kiev, Ukraine, where one of the first and largest massacres occurred during World War II: the Babyn Yar massacre.
Also known as the ‘’Holocaust by Bullets’’, Babyn Yar, a location near Kiev where the Nazis shot around 100,000 people in plain sight, including almost the entire Jewish population of Kiev in the space of just two days on September 29-30, 1941.
The delegation is organized by the European Jewish Association (EJA) in partnership with the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine.
The Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center is currently being built in order to immortalize the stories of the 2.5 million Jews of Eastern Europe, including 1.5 million in Ukraine alone, murdered and buried in mass graves near their homes during the Holocaust. Over the past year, a number of memorials have been erected at the site of the Holocaust-era massacre as part of the establishment of an innovative and expansive museum complex across the whole of the Babi Yar area. The establishment of the new center is being guided by public figures and leaders from around the world, chiefly Natan Sharansky, the chairman of the board of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center.
‘’The delegation we bring to Babyn Yar will commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day by also introduced to aspects of the Holocaust that often go overlooked or whose memory has been suppressed,’’ said Alex Benjamin, Director of the European Jewish Association.
‘’Nazi forces and their collaborators attempted to cover every trace of the massacre. Soviet, and until recently post-Soviet authorities attempted to suppress any memorialization thereof,’’ noted Benjamin.
On Monday, a symposium will be used as an incubator for presenting, discovering, developing and establishing new and effective tools for sustained Holocaust education.
Delegation participants, especially parliamentarians, will be asked to adopt political action and take home best practices shared during the Kiev trip, and to advance public measures that will lead to effective Holocaust remembrance education and criminal prosecution mechanisms against Holocaust denial,
On Tuesday, the participants will visit the site of Babyn Yar where they will be introduced to the Babyn Yar Memorial Center, listen the testimony of a survivor and participate in a memorial ceremony.
The parliamentarian delegation comes at a time of growing tension between Ukraine and Russia.
https://ejpress.org/ahead-of-international-holocaust-remembrance-day-a-delegation-of-around-100-people-will-visit-babyn-yar/

Chief Rabbi Jacobs- Our New Head of Committe for combatting Antisemitism

We at the EJA are proud to announce that Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs has accepted our invitation to head up our Committee for Combatting Antisemitism.
As Chairman of the Committee, Rabbi Jacobs will be our roving ambassador, working with other local EJA committee co-ordinators across the continent, identifying the local issues and the challenges relating to antisemitism faced by communities and advocating at the highest levels of government, both at a bilateral and EU institutional level, to find solutions and enact changes to safeguard Jewish life and practice in Europe.
The EJA places this fight at the top of our agenda. Such an important issue requires a person who is respected, who has gravitas, and who understands the mechanisms and personalities involved in the political process, as well having a forensic and thorough knowledge of the Jewish issues at hand.
So, when we envisaged the creation of this Committee, the natural and obvious choice was Rabbi Jacobs to Chair it.  We have long admired his skill in advocacy in his native Holland at Eerste and Tweede Kamer’s in the Hague and at local Dutch administrative level.
We are delighted to share this important appointment with you and we look forward to sharing news with you about the Committees actions and outcomes in the near future.

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