August 26, 2013

Despite Ban, Polish Jews have Plenty of Kosher Meat for Rosh Hashanah.

WARSAW — While the debate rages and Poland ostensibly has a ban on kosher slaughter, the practice continues unabated, sources told Kosher Today. According to Chief Rabbi Michael Shudrich, there will be plenty of kosher meat and poultry for the upcoming Jewish holidays. Indications that the ban adopted in Parliament may yet be overturned continue to surface. “Poland considers preserving the religious rights of the country’s Jewish community to be a national interest of supreme importance,” Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said last week.” Meeting with several leading European rabbis and leaders of the local Jewish community, Komorowski said that he “will take significant steps to advance the issue of approval of kosher slaughter,” which has been banned in his country since January. 

The ban has deeply affected the local cattle industry, which was previously one of the leading European exporters of kosher and halal meat. Kosher caterers and restaurants in Poland say that they have not a problem obtaining kosher slaughtered meat as the lucrative Jewish tourist season comes to an end. Among those who have come out in support of overturning the slaughter ban have been Józef Kowalczyk, archbishop of Gniezno and primate of Poland, and Apostolic Nuncio Celelestino Migliore.