December 15, 2014

Poland Stands to Giant Big From Reversal of Schechita Ban

WARSAW — While Poland's Constitutional Court heeded a petition by the European Jewish Association to cancel the ban on schechita (kosher slaughter), the country stands to gain handsomely by the reversal. Sources told Kosher Today that Poland could garner as much as $500 million in sales, including a significant amount from Israel, where kosher beef shortages continue.  Israel has of late increased its import of meat from South America but the Chief Rabbinate is said to be looking at Poland as are sources in the UK and the US. The reversal could not have come at a better time for European Jews, already reeling from a new spade of anti-Semitism that includes attempts to ban schechita and circumcision.

President of the Conference of European Rabbis, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said in a statement the ruling meant that kosher slaughter "can continue in Poland as it has done for generations."

"The constitution guarantees the freedom of religion which includes the carrying out of all activities, practices, rites and rituals which have a religious character," Judge Maria Gintowt-Jankowicz stated in her final verdict. "The same constitutional protection also extends to religious activities which differ from conventional behavior which prevails in the country - including activities that are perhaps unpopular among the majority of society," she added.