Wednesday, June 29, 2022

In the last issue of JLBC, we interviewed Rabbi Michael Schudrich in Warsaw about the schechita ban in Poland. This is a complicated issue involving Muslims, Jews, Polish agribusiness and hundreds of millions of dollars a year. At this time, schechita has been stopped while the issue is on appeal to the constitutional tribunal in Poland, on the grounds of freedom of religion. See article on page   in this issue for the latest update. In the meantime, Rabbi Schudrich spoke to Rabbis Adler and Krohn, who have written the following letter to the Jewish community.


Dear Community Members,

Many of you are aware that the Polish Sejm (Parliament) recently turned back an attempt by the Prime Minister to legalize kosher shechita. As a result, shechita by kosher butchers is currently prohibited in Poland.

We are very disturbed by this turn of events. Following the advice of Rabbi Michael Schudrich of Warsaw, we urge you to communicate your concerns to the Polish Ambassador to the United States: Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf, 2640 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009, 202-499-1700, or via email to waszyngton.amb.sekretariat_msz.gov.pl

Rabbis Adler and Krohn have sent a letter reproduced below that you can use as a model. We encourage each of you to communicate your concerns so that Polish Jews will again have ready access to kosher shechita. Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Bazeh.


Dear Ambassador Schnepf,

It is with great pain that we write to voice our disappointment regarding to the recent decision of the Sejm to  reject a bill that would have allowed our Jewish brethren to continue the practice of ritual slaughter, or Shechita.

As you are aware, without shechita Jewish law does not allow for a Jew to consume any meat or fowl.  Therefore, in effect, the decision of the Polish parliament to outlaw this practice has put a significant strain on the daily lives of Polish Jews.  However, the reason the writing of this letter is particularly painful is that, of all of the countries in the world,  we would have hoped that the government of Poland would understand the danger of laws that target minority  citizens for persecution. Poland banned ritual slaughter in 1937, prior to World War II. It is chilling to think that 76 years later, the Polish government has not yet been able to overcome those elements who wish to lead the country backward in history.

We kindly request that you do everything in your power to aid those groups within Poland and the European Union who are working diligently to overturn the ban on ritual slaughter. In so doing, you will have chosen to stand among those who not only refuse to forget the past, but who are also determined not to allow history to repeat itself.

Respectfully yours,

Rabbi Yosef Adler                                       Rabbi Beni Krohn

Rabbi                                                        Assistant Rabbi

Congregation Rinat Yisrael, Teaneck




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