Today, a historic agreement was signed between the Federation of Jewish Communities of the Netherlands (NIK) and the Dutch government guaranteeing that shechita can continue in the Netherlands without any hindrances.
“This is not only a victory for the Jews but also for Holland. Religious freedom in Holland has won out. If there was any doubt whether Jewish community life could continue here, this has now been finally removed,” said head shliach and Chief Rabbi Binyamin Jacobs, who is a senior member of the Rabbinical Council of Europe.
The NIK is the largest Jewish organization in the Netherlands, and it was deeply involved in the shechita issue. The agreement has put an end to a conflict that raged over several months between the community and animal rights groups.
The agreement strikes a balance between the religious freedom that allows Jews to follow the laws of shechita and animal rights and the prevention of unnecessary suffering. Reuven Fis, secretary-general of NIK, said, “We are sure that traditional Jewish slaughter will continue thanks to this agreement, with the understanding of the government, based on the religious freedom that the Jews have enjoyed here for the past 400 years.”
The agreement has also been welcomed outside Holland. Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg, vice director of the Rabbinical Council of Europe, said, “The situation in Holland was of great concern to Jews throughout Europe. If a law against shechita had been passed, this would have led to similar legislation in other countries. The agreement that was signed today is historic in every way, and it has reassured all of the Jews in Europe.”
(SOURCE & PHOTO: COL.ORG.IL)