Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks ת.נ.צ.ב.ה

November 9, 2020
EJA chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said this evening:
“It is with profound sadness that we learn of the passing of Rabbi Sacks.
An incredible human being, full of light, warmth and wisdom. There has seldom been such a well known, well respected and active Chief Rabbi in Europe.
His tireless work and commitment to the Jewish people meant that when he spoke, people listened.
When he pulled an alarm cord, people responded.
And when he explained the wisdom and beauty of our Holy texts, people understood.
Few of us will ever be fortunate to leave behind us such a legacy. May his memory be a blessing.”

Additional Articles

Dozens of European Jewish leaders urge US-based auction house to cancel auction of Nazi items

The items to be auctioned by Alexander Auctions in Maryland include a gold watch belonging to Hitler, a dog collar belonging to Eva Braun’s terrier, Wehrmacht toilet paper and cutlery and champagne glasses of senior Nazi figures.

This is not the first time that the auction house has sold such items.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of  Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA) called the sale of the items ‘’abhorrent.’’ “This auction, whether unwittingly or not, is doing two things: one, giving succour to those who idealise what the Nazi party stood for. Two: Offering buyers the chance to titillate a guest or loved one with an item belonging to a genocidal murderer and his supporters,” he stressed,

In a letter co-signed by 34 Jewish leaders, Rabbi Margolin urged the auction house to cancel the auction. He wrote: ‘’The sale of these items is an abhorrence. There is little to no intrinsic historical value to the vast bulk of the lots on display. Indeed, one can only question the motivation of those buying them. Europe suffered egregiously because of the perverted and murderous ideology of the Nazi party. Millions died to preserve the values of freedom that we take for granted today, including almost half a million Americans. Our continent is littered with memorial mass graves and the sites of death camps.’’

“Jews of course bore the brunt of Nazi hatred. Every Jewish family living today had relatives murdered or who were interned simply for being Jewish. Over six million of us alone. Whilst it is obvious that the lessons of history need to be learned – and legitimate Nazi artifacts do belong in museums or places of higher learning – the items that you are selling clearly do not. That they are sold to the highest bidder, on the open market is an indictment to our society, one in which the memory, suffering and pain of others is overridden for financial gain.’’0

 

 

New Cooperation with the Jewish Community of the Balkan

The European Jewish Association is very happy and proud to welcome another organisation to our growing roster of partners. We have just concluded and signed a Cooperation and Partnership Agreement with the Balkan Jewish Communities.
We eagerly look forward to many positive exchanges and fruitful cooperation with our new partners from the Balkan Jewish community. Together, we hope to achieve a lot of beautiful and important things, all the while jointly working towards the betterment and wellbeing of both Balkan and European Jewry.

ANNUAL KADDISH FOR JEWS BURIED IN ARAB COUNTRIES

In 2014, the State of Israel passed a law to officially make November 30th a Day to Commemorate the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from Arab Countries and Iran, a date now marked by Jewish communities around the world. In 2017, a Canadian man of Iraqi Jewish origin, having discovered his own grandfather’s grave in Sadr City, Baghdad, began a process which led to a global moment of unity and remembrance, by jointly reciting annually Kaddish (the mourners’ prayer) and an Azkara (a memorial prayer) together with synagogues across the world, as a testament to Jews buried in no longer accessible cemeteries in Arab countries.
This year, we are calling on synagogues and other Jewish institutions of all backgrounds to join us and say these prayers on the closest Shabbat to the Day of Commemoration, in remembrance of and solidarity with the Jews from the Middle East and North Africa who can not say them in the presence of their departed family members because many of the cemeteries are inaccessible.
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EJA Press release on European Court of Justice ruling on Kosher slaughter

EUROPEAN JEWISH ASSOCIATION LAMENTS EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE RULING ON KOSHER SLAUGHTER IN BELGIUM “WHAT A TERRIBLE MESSAGE TO SEND TO EUROPEAN JEWRY – YOU AND YOUR PRACTICE ARE NOT WELCOME HERE” SAYS ITS CHIEF.
“Bogus animal welfare claims are being used to penalise a practice that puts care and respect for animals at its very core”,
“This ruling gives the green light for other countries to follow suit, and if they do, there will be no Kosher meat available in Europe”, says Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association.
(Brussels 17 December 2020) The European court of Justice today delivered a potentially devastating ruling on an issue that has plagued European Jewry for years, the right to slaughter animals in the Kosher tradition, a millennia old practice that puts animal welfare and minimizing animal suffering at its very core.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the EJA today said his organisaton will explore every avenue and recourse available to protect the rights of Jews everywhere in Europe,
“This is a sad day for European Jewry. For decades now, as animal rights have come into vogue, Kosher slaughter has come under relentless attack, and subject to repeated attempts to ban it. The entire basis of the attacks are built on the entirely bogus premise that Kosher slaughter is more cruel than regular slaughtering, despite there being not a shred of evidence backing this up, and worse completely ignoring the fact that Kosher slaughter puts the welfare of the animal and minimising its suffering as of paramount importance. This is not a glib staement, but a commandment that all Jews must adhere to.
“What today’s ruling does is put animal welfare above the fundamental right of Freedom of Religion. Simply put, Beast takes preference over man.
Potentially devasting too, it gives other European countries like Belgium - who similarly regard this fundamental Charter freedom as ‘negotiable - the green light to follow suit. If every european country does it means only one thing: there will be no Kosher meat available in Europe anymore.
“What a terrible message to send to European Jewry, that you and your practices are not welcome here. This is a basic denial of our rights as European citizens. We cannot let it stand and will pursue every recourse and avenue to ensure that it doesnt.”
The European Court of Justice has ruled on a Belgian case, involving Flanders and Wallonia laws, that require pre-stunning of animals before slaughter. In short, the Court says that individual Member State moves to ban kosher slaughter by making stunning a pre-requisite, do not in themselves violate the Freedom of Religion rights contained within the EU charter of Fundamental Rights.
The ruling runs contrary to an opinion given in early September 2020 by the European Court Advocate General who suggested the oppositea.

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