NJA Stands in Solidarity with Rabbi Goldschmidt in Defense of Shechita

The National Jewish Assembly (NJA) unequivocally supports Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt’s call for concerted political efforts to safeguard Shechita, the Jewish religious method of animal slaughter, in Europe. Rabbi Goldschmidt’s warning underscores the urgent need to defend religious freedom against mounting challenges posed by recent legal decisions and anti-Shechita sentiments across the continent.

The NJA echoes Rabbi Goldschmidt’s concerns following the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling, which upheld a ban on religious slaughter without pre-stunning in Belgium’s Flanders and Wallonia regions. This decision not only threatens the religious practices of Europe’s Jewish communities but also sets a dangerous precedent that could embolden anti-Shechita forces to advocate for similar bans in other countries.

As Rabbi Goldschmidt rightly asserts, the court’s decision provides impetus for renewed efforts to curtail Shechita practices throughout Europe. The NJA condemns any attempts to restrict religious freedoms and stands firm in its commitment to preserving the rights of Jewish and Muslim communities to practice their faith in accordance with their traditions.

The NJA is deeply troubled by the petition launched in the UK calling for a ban on “non-stun slaughter,” a move that disregards the deeply held religious beliefs of Jewish and Muslim communities. Compulsory stunning before slaughter would not only undermine religious practices but also disregard the humane and ethical principles inherent in Shechita, which ensures swift unconsciousness of the animal.

Rabbi Goldschmidt’s assertion that the road ahead is political resonates strongly with the NJA. The NJA emphasises the importance of working collaboratively with governments and legislators at all levels to counter the threat posed by anti-Shechita legislation. It is imperative that Europe’s Jewish communities unite in advocating for their rights and engaging in dialogue with policy-makers to address this critical issue.

The NJA reaffirms its unwavering support for all those committed to defending Shechita against unjust restrictions and discriminatory measures. Together, we will continue to fight for the preservation of religious freedom and the protection of cherished traditions.

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