Polish FM ‘determined’ to find solution to shechita ban

Government banned Jewish ritual slaughter in January, setting off torrent of criticism.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
“The Polish government is determined to find a solution that would allow Jewish ritual slaughter to continue in the country,” Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told a delegation of European rabbis A ban on such slaughter went into effect in January.
“The Polish government will operate on all levels to reach this solution as quickly as possible,” he continued, addressing a delegation from the Rabbinical Centre of Europe on Tuesday.
Among those in attendance were Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, chief rabbi of the Interprovincial Chief Rabbinate in the Netherlands, Rabbi Yisroel Yaakov Lichtenstein, head of the UK’s Federation of Synagogues Beit Din, and Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the European Jewish Association.
The EJA has come into conflict with Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich, calling on him to resign his position over his failure to lobby successfully to prevent the ban from coming into effect.
Both Schudrich and the local Jewish community, and Margolin, have retained lawyers and plan to turning to Poland’s Constitutional Court to have the ban overturned.
Roman Giertych, a former far-right politician whose faction, the League of Polish Families, has been called anti-Semitic by critics, is representing the EJA, whose suit is seen by some as challenging the right of the local community to lead the fight for shechita.
The Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland recently said that while Polish Jews believe the EJA has “every right to protest,” it is “unacceptable that any legal or political initiatives from abroad are launched without coordination, or at least consultation, with us.”
According to the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, Sikorski “intends to submit a request to the court to judge the petition lodged by the European Jewish Association and receive a ruling on the issue as soon as possible.”