November 10, 2014

Kosher Slaughter (Schechita) in Poland Tops Agenda of Visiting Israeli President

Warsaw… The Polish government is “actively looking for a solution to the ban on kosher slaughter, “Polish President Bronisław Maria Komorowski told visiting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin last week. Mr. Komorowski was responding to a plea from Mr. Rivlin that the Polish governments exercise its commitment to freedom of religion by protecting the ancient Jewish rituals of Brit Milah (male circumcision) and schechita (kosher slaughter). Sources told Kosher Today that kosher slaughter continues in Poland despite the ban under a quirk in the law which allows the slaughter for the needs of the community. The case is ultimately to be decided in the courts. The ban in 2013 was particularly damaging to the meat industry here which had been garnering as much as $450 million from kosher slaughter, mostly in exports to Israel. The sources say that Israel and the Chief Rabbinate recently authorized an increase in imported kosher meat. In another development, Rome’s Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni also implored the European Union to fight anti-Semitism and protect Jewish circumcision and kosher food slaughtering rituals. These attacks were often "aimed at Muslim communities but often knock on to Jews", he said after a meeting at Rome's Synagogue with the leader of the European People's Party (EPP) caucus, Manfred Weber, and his deputy, Antonio Tajani. "We sought to sensitize the representatives of the European People's Party on these issues," Di Segni said.