Monday, November 15, 2010

The New Zealand Jewish Community Needs Your Help

This is it – in 2 weeks the Shechita issue is going to trial in New Zeaalnd.

This is the first time since the Holocaust that a Western Democracy has attempted to ban Shechita. There is a lot riding on this case, not just for the thousand Jewish families in New Zealand, but for Jews all over the world. This trial will set a precedent that may be referred to if other countries attempt to ban Shechita, and believe me there are many organizations in Europe and other places that are looking for legal backing in their attempts to ban Shechita.

Below is a letter from the New Zealand Jewish Community asking for the help from concerned Jews all over the World.

Tizku L’Mitzvot

Are you aware that the Government of New Zealand has passed a code that outlaws Kosher slaughter in New Zealand? The last time similar legislation was enacted by a Government was 70 years ago in Nazi occupied Europe. New Zealand is the first country to ban shechita without a public mood of anti-semitism behind it.

If this code remains, Jews in NZ will only be able to import kosher meat at great expense and chicken will not be available at all. Can you imagine a Jewish home with no chicken soup?

The ramifications of this move may one day affect Jews throughout the whole disapora. It could have a domino effect.

Even though the vast majority of Jews in New Zealand are secular and don't keep Kosher, they understand the implications for worldwide Jewry and they are currently defending world Jewry’s basic human right to practice our religion.

The tiny New Zealand Jewish Community is fighting back and is taking the New Zealand Government to court to fight for their basic human right to practice their religion. The cost of this court case is in excess of NZ$300,000 - a very large sum for a country that has less than 1,000 Jewish families. Already the local Jewish community has raised half of the funds, but is struggling to find the rest of the money to fund the legal challenge.

You can help by :

1) Pass on this information to other people - the more people who know and are prepared to support the New Zealand Jewish community the greater the chance the New Zealand Jewish community has of success.

2) Send a short e-mail to the New Zealand Government. In New Zealand there is a huge support from animal welfare groups who are extremely vocal in their support for the Governments' actions.

Minister of Agriculture (David Carter) david.carter@parliament.govt.nz

Prime Minister (John Key) john.key@parliament.govt.nz

3) Make a donation:

The two largest orthodox congregations in New Zealand, the Wellington Hebrew Congregations and the Auckland Hebrew Congregation have together issued proceedings against the New Zealand Government. All donations large and small would be used in this fight:

Donate using PayPal:

Please visit http://bit.ly/9uiMdG to place a Credit Card

or

Telegraph Transfer:
Account Name: New Zealand Shechita Appeal
Account Number: 01-0297-0024731-27
Bank: ANZ Bank (New Zealand)
Swift code (for international transfers): ANZBNZ22
Reference: *Your last name and first Initial*

If you need more information please contact in New Zealand

Garth Cohen - President - Auckland Hebrew Congregation - office@ahc.org.nz

Post Script: There are a number of other countries that have bans or limitations on Shechita, including Switzerland and Norway, but most of these bans go back to before the Holocaust, and none of them have practical implications as they are either in locations where there is no Jewish Community (such as Iceland) or in places close to larger Jewish communities where meat can be imported from at a reasonable cost.

2 comments:

Garnel Ironheart said...

> This is the first time since the Holocaust that a Western Democracy has attempted to ban Shechita.

Wasn't there a Scandanavian country that already banned shechitah a few years ago?

Michael Sedley said...

True, Shechita has been banned in Switzerland for over a hundred years.

Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Croatia also have bans on Shechita, not sure when those bans went into effect, but these countries either have no Jewis community, or are close enough to other Jewish communities so that import costs are not unreasonable.

New Zealand will be the first case of a country where, should the ban be upheld, kosher chicken will not be available at all and red meat would be too expensive to make it viable (think of the costs of air freight, on a small scale, from 3 time zones away)