The European Jewish Association is proud and delighted to welcome another organisation to our growing roster of partners and communities.
We have just concluded and signed a memorandum of understanding with NIG de Achterhoek. (Jewish community of Achterhoek, Netherlands)
When two dynamic and active Jewish organisations get together and agree to work closely together, beautiful and important things flow from this. We look forward to working for the betterment of Dutch and European Jewry together.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel went to visit Yad Vashem, the official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, in Jerusalem on Thursday morning.
“Jews in Germany suffered from hatred and violence they had never known before,” Merkel somberly noted at Yad Vashem. “Since then, Germany is always responsible for remembering this crime and for fighting violence, xenophobia and hatred in general.”
Merkel was additionally given the honor of lighting the Eternal Flame and laying a wreath, part of a ceremony to commemorate those passed in the Holocaust, in the name of the German government.
Merkel landed in Israel on Wednesday evening, beginning a two-day visit to Israel. The government-to-government visit was delayed by a year and a half due to disagreements regarding Israel’s settlement policies and approach to the Palestinians.
With a busy schedule ahead of her, Merkel is expected to visit the Israel Museum, visit President Reuven Rivlin and receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa.
The article was published on JPost
EJA INITIATED OPEN LETTER FROM DOZENS OF PARLIAMENTARIANS ACROSS EUROPE AND JEWISH LEADERS CALLING ON POLISH GOVERNMENT TO SCRAP KOSHER MEAT BAN PLANS
Dozens of parliamentarians from across Europe and Israel, including Senators, MPs, MKs, MEPs and the UK House of Lords, and Jewish community leaders from all over Europe have joined forces in a letter calling on the Polish Government to scrap part of an animal welfare Bill to be voted on in the Polish Senate on Tuesday 13 October.
The Bill, if passed as currently written, would see a ban on the export of Kosher meat from Poland, a move that would severely impact Jewish communities across the continent who, either by size or limited resources, rely heavily on Poland as a supplier of kosher meat.
The Bill – to the clear concern of the many parliamentarians and Jewish leader signatories – also sets a dangerous precedent: it puts, animal welfare rights clearly ahead of the fundamental European right of freedom of religion.
The signatories also raised the fact that there is no conclusive scientific evidence to support claims that kosher slaughter is any more cruel than the majority of slaughter taking place day-in, day out in Europe.
In their letter to the Polish President H.E. Mr. Andrzej Sebastian Duda , H.E. Madam Elżbieta Barbara Witek, Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland and H.E. Mr. Tomasz Paweł Grodzki, Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, the signatories wrote:
“By prohibiting an export of products that represents a central tenet of Jewish faith and practice for many, you are sending a strong message that laws that effectively hinder Jewish life in Europe are acceptable.
“it is for these reasons – and on behalf of the many thousands of Jews that we as Community Leaders and Parliamentarians represent – that we urge the Polish government, its Parliament and its Senators to stop this aspect of the Bill.”
Our Chairman, Rabbi Menachem Margolin speaking ahead of the vote said,
“What appears to be a national polish political issue is nothing of the sort. The ramifications of this Bill are potentially devastating and profound to Jews eveywhere in Europe, and also to the many who value the liberty to practice freedom of religion.
“The Bill, if passed, will be seen as a declaration that it is open season to anyone who objects to aspects of Jewish law, faith and practice. It must be stopped.
“We are extremely humbled and touched that so many dsitinguished politicians, from the French Senate to the Greek Parliament and everwyhere in between, and so many Jewish community leaders agree and are backing the call for this aspect of the law to be scrapped.”
You can find a copy of the open letters and view its updated list of signatories below
European Jewish Association (EJA) Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said that his organisation would begin legal proceedings in Poland’s Constitutional Court following Polish President Duda’s decision to sign the contested Holocaust Bill.
Rabbi Margolin had previously challenged and overturned Polish legislation affecting Kosher slaughter at the Court.
In a statement Rabbi Margolin said,
“It is with deep regret that the President of Poland, clearly ignoring the concerns of European Jewry and the International Community, has decided to sign this deeply flawed bill. We had urged President Duda to defer any final decision on ratifying the legislation until at least having met with a delegation of Jewish leaders. He has decided, bizarrely, that this is not necessary.
“As a consequence, the EJA will – as we successfully did in the past on efforts to ban Kosher slaughter – challenge this matter in Poland’s Constitutional court.”
“I have also written to the heads of all the EU Institutions asking them to reprimand the Polish government. It seems inconceivable that an EU Member State can be permitted to whitewash history by imposing draconian legislation that can imprison people for holding an alternative view on what happened during Europe’s darkest days.
“The bill, as presently worded, represents the worst kind of historical revisionism, is an assault and an insult to the memory of those murdered during the holocaust and is a direct attack on free speech and freedom of opinion. This cannot stand.” concluded Margolin.
To view a video interview with Rabbi Margolin on the subject please click HERE