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Save the future of Judaism in New Zealand

Statement issued by the Auckland Hebrew Congregation President Garth Cohen and Claire Massey, the Chair of the Wellington Jewish Community Centre:

"The prospect of a permanent ban on shechita, resulting in no more kosher meat in New Zealand is very real.

"New Zealand recently became the first country in the world to outlaw kosher slaughter since the Nazis enacted similar legislation in Europe over 70 years ago. New Zealand Jews may soon be the only Jews in the world who can no longer eat chicken. Your children or grandchildren may never experience a Passover with chicken soup and matzah balls, or ask the meaning of the lamb shank on your family’s Seder plate.

"Some kosher meat (but not chicken) may be able to be imported, for a limited period.  It is likely however that if we lose the right to practise shechita, then the ability to import kosher meat will soon follow.

"The absence of kosher meat will mean we can’t engage Rabbis or Youth Leaders. It will mean our religious families will be forced to leave New Zealand. Few Jews will want to migrate here.  We will be seen as a country where Jews are not welcome, and where our traditions and beliefs are not respected or valued. Our rich New Zealand Jewish history and culture, dating back over 170 years to the earliest days of New Zealand settlement, may soon become a distant memory.

"The leaders of the Jewish communities in New Zealand feel so strongly about this that they are going to Court to challenge the Government. From a legal perspective they have a good deal of confidence, but only in the Court can the issue be determined.

We need the support of every Jew in New Zealand. Whether you keep kosher, observe Shabbat, or not, we must stand together. Your religious, cultural and social future is under threat.

"What you can do to help?

"Make a donation:  Everyone can help and for the continuity of your family, your friends and your community you must help. We want every household to donate $150. We want you to ask your friends and families if they have given yet. We need your help and we need to help each other.

"Please make your donation now to the following account: New Zealand Shechita Appeal, Account Number: 01-0297-0024731-27 (use your family name and initials as a reference), or post your cheque to the Wellington or Auckland shul offices (marked “Shechita Appeal”).

"Write a letter:  You can write to the Minister of Agriculture (David Carter), the Prime Minister and your local MP.  Please also encourage your friends to write.  A short email in your own words is most effective.  The Minister’s email address is The Prime Minister’s email address is  You can also copy in your local MP – a list of MPs is available on the Parliament website at"

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Ronit and Paule... welcome to the world of blogging !! Shalom

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-31 05:33:52 GMT

Nothing against passion...but plenty against rudeness...all"s I"m saying is if a point can"t be made without rudeness to each other...maybe we should wait till we"ve cooled down...the head needs to rule the heart, isn"t that so?

Posted by Ronit on 2010-10-31 04:27:52 GMT

I agree, Paule, it does seem that this issue has raised people"s temperature...and understandably but good sense dictates we all take a chill pill (as my daughter used to say) and keep it civilised.

Posted by Ronit on 2010-10-31 03:50:01 GMT

Its great to have this exchange of ideas but not when it get"s too personal. It seems a pity to downgrade the very worthwhile information coming out of this debate with snide comments.

Posted by Paule on 2010-10-31 03:48:24 GMT

Thanks Ymr I posted a comment about the humane way of shichita, as told to me by an Australian slaughterman of 45 years down the page

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-30 13:12:49 GMT

Just cos I have a different opinion to you doesn"t mean I"m spamming! Good on you Mr Key I support you. About time someone in power stood up for animals rights. Shirlee, you should have more respect for other peoples opinions and stop bring so arrogant!

Posted by Malcolm on 2010-10-30 03:12:06 GMT

Malcolm, give up the spamming. I NEVER said a word about a kosher slaughterhouse in Indonesia.....give it up mate, you are a bore Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-27 07:48:35 GMT QUOTE ***I"ve seen that video previously and it is not typical of any slaughter house in the western world. I believe it was some "back yard" operation in Indonesia ****** Did I hear sorry??? I doubt it. Gitte shabbos

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-29 10:44:50 GMT

P.S The law says that the animal must be stunned before killing, meaning it applies to Kosher and Halal slaughter.

Posted by Malcolm on 2010-10-29 08:04:35 GMT

Shirlee,It"s very ignorant to compare cutting your finger to slitting the throat of a 500kg cow. Nicks in the knife dont make any difference to a cow. What matters is that it suffers if it"s conscious when it"s throat is cut. It takes minutes to bleed out and it suffers. I dont want to be insulting, like you...but I dont really think you have a leg to stand on given you thought a Kosher slaughter house was in Indonesia. The world"s largest Muslim population! It"s about time we as Jews cared about the welfare of the animals that we eat. G-d wants us to care and respect ALL His creatures. The laws of Shechita were written a long time ago. They may have been the best method in their day but technology has improved greatly and those laws are now just cruel. Judaism needs to modernise in this respect. It"s a question of morality.

Posted by Malcolm on 2010-10-29 07:37:43 GMT

Do the authorities understand the most important part of the slaughter is that the animal doesn’t suffer? Do you have statistics on Jewish population in NZ and the part they played in NZ history? I know that in Dunedin they were enormously important in the early days. There was a detailed and highly flattering exhibition at their early settler’s museum when I visited there a few years ago, to my surprise. There may be a way around the problem.

Posted by Albert on 2010-10-28 21:36:21 GMT

No it"s not Danny, I checked it out a bit earlier, there is fair bit of difference. I agree on the arithmetic. The population of NZ is 4,384,443 . Muslim population of NZ as of one years ago was 37,000 Ther must have been a big increase as the NZ Muslim council reckons 10% of the population

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-28 12:10:24 GMT

Research shows that halal slaughter is copy of Jewish shechita. Not only does NZ allow for mass halal slaughter, but it relies on massive revenue from sales of live meat for halal slaughter to the Mid-East. Do the maths and it may be that NZ is destined for Sharia law sooner than France or the UK or Holland.

Posted by Danny on 2010-10-28 11:53:10 GMT

Just read this and maybe things are coming to light It says in NZ the animals for halal slaughter are stunned This is fishy, as it is not halal if it is stunned?? I have just been reading about halal slaughter and I read it is not a quick death as in kosher slaughter

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-28 10:10:13 GMT

The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish. In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: * (a) Killing members of the group; * (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; * (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; * (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; * (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Posted by Ymr on 2010-10-28 10:06:49 GMT

Mark, down the page somewhere I posted about NZ and halal lamb. I was on a British blog and everyone was very uptight by the Daily Mail article , which exposed the fact that NZ lamb in the UK was halal. An Australian slaughterman of some 45 years made several comments He said all NZ lamb for export was halal and that ALL beef and lamb killed for export here is halal Something is very odd I have made reference to it in my correspondence to NZ. The actual method of slaughter of both halal and kosher is the same. It"s what follows is different. So why the fuss over kosher kill and not halal ?? It does not make any sense to me This is the Animal Rights group PETA, I think.. causing this trouble. I had a run-in on Youtube with a person from the group. I reported the video and it was removed

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-28 10:00:12 GMT

The thing is not just that NZ exports a lot of halal meat, but that it has made halal virtually compulsory for everyone in the country. It is very difficult NOT to eat halal meat in NZ.

Posted by Mark Durie on 2010-10-28 09:05:13 GMT

ark I made comment, in the letters I wrote, about the halal slaughter in NZ. I"d be interested to see what precipitated this, given the halal situation

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-28 08:48:16 GMT

This is amazing given that most of the abattoirs in New Zealand are hallal, with Muslim inspectors to decide whether carcasses are accepted or condemned. This has been the case for years - it is very difficult to buy lamb in New Zealand which is NOT halal. This is something for the community in NZ to keep in mind when they make their case to their government. Jews are forbidden from eating kosher meat, while the general population is compelled to eat halal meat.

Posted by Mark Durie on 2010-10-28 08:38:49 GMT

"Isn"t banning shechita and importation of kosher food a blatant attempt to deny Jews the freedom of religion, aimed at assimilation and cultural genocide? "" YES

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-28 06:07:20 GMT

Hanna ... is that very admitable letter the one you sent to John Key, or are you just posting it here? If you have posted it here, they won"t see it, it need to be sent to and The interesting part of this, which you may not be aware of, is that John Key"s mother, was, or maybe still is, a Holocaust survivor

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-28 06:04:58 GMT

Paule, if kosher slaughter is prohibited, then so should halal slaughter. They are very close to one another. Now, apart from the Muslim backlash, which would be tremendous, NZ would lose one of it’s main exports………….LAMB and what a disastrous effect that would have on their economy

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-27 10:24:07 GMT

I am not a religious person. However, I was shocked to hear of the pending ruling to disallow the special koshering of meat for religious Jews, a practice that has continued for millennia. Your consideration of animals is obviously the reason as I cannot believe New Zealand to be a country practicing racial discrimination. However, for years and years sheep had their rear ends tampered with in a most shocking way and had to live with the pain. If that practice hasn"t yet been stopped, shouldn"t it be? But this is not about comparing two wrongs. I believe strongly that all slaughtering is bad so either your government should decide to stop slaughtering altogether which seems like a fair thing to do or allow slaughtering to carry on. Of course New Zealand might lose a lot of income from the meat which is exported, but still, fair"s fair, or isn"t it?

Posted by Paule on 2010-10-27 09:52:12 GMT

Actually Malcolm, you don’t know the first thing about kosher slaughter. I don’t know much about halal slaughter. Stunning an animal causes a huge amount of pain and a fair amount of the time, the charge of electricity given is insufficient and the animal suffers unbearably. I have seen many and example of this on TV. Have you ever cut yourself with an extremely sharp blade? I doubt it you have……. Because if you had, you would know that there is no pain. I have many a time, my kitchen knives are sharpened to perfection, having once been in the knife business. When the vein in question is cut, death is as good as instant and is far quicker than traditional slaughter. I would suggest that you are just a troll and only here to cause trouble and prefer to take heed of a man who has been in the slaughter business for 45 years of his life.

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-27 09:45:28 GMT

Shirlee, its actually a massive Kosher slaughter house in Iowa, USA. Just look on Youtube. There are heaps of examples of Kosher slaughter. It"s unnecessary and inhumane not to stun the animal first.

Posted by Malcolm on 2010-10-27 07:57:11 GMT

I"ve seen that video previously and it is not typical of any slaughter house in the western world. I believe it was some "back yard" operation in Indonesia

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-27 07:48:35 GMT

Shirlee The video evidence doesnt agree with your slaughter man"s account. And Goeff, stunning an animal before slaughter isnt being "openly hostile", that"s just hysterical hyperbole.

Posted by Malcolm on 2010-10-27 07:40:30 GMT

Malcolm. look at my post doen the page, where I posted the comments of an Australian slaughterman of 45 years He also made comment of the fact the most animals are not sufficently stunned to render them unconscious and are in horrific pain

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-27 07:20:15 GMT

Take the hint - review your Jewish history - if you live in a country which is openly hostile to your way of life, then get out while you still can, and leave New Zealand to decline as do all countries which expel Jews.

Posted by Geoff on 2010-10-27 07:18:48 GMT

Brian_007 “Minister in New Zealand need to be determined, and a debate must begin. If there is the slightest indication of an anti-Semitic motive, it must be challenged and exposed.” That’s an interesting point you raise, as the PM of NZ, John Key, is/was born Jewish, his mother is a Holocaust survivor. I wonder what his take is on the issue.? I will tell you in case you are unaware, that NZ is a very racist and antisemitic country. I’ve had a few run-ins with their printed media and there was a very well publicised case recently, of on air radio antisemitic comments by comedian David Fane. Matt McCarten of the NZ Herald, is frequently blatantly antisemitic. I have spoke to the community about it and was told to leave well enough alone. I have been in contact a couple of times with the editor and management of the publication too. Sha’ar Peer had a rough time when she was there and there have been instances of Israeli tourists being refused service in retail outlets. In the 2006 census 36,072 people identified themselves as Muslim, whilst there were only 7,000 Jews. It will be an interesting exercise seeing what will happen to halal slaughter.

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-27 07:16:35 GMT

Who said anything about "antisemitic"? The article is about shechitah being outlawed.

Posted on 2010-10-27 07:09:12 GMT

Interesting that neither Cohen or Massey considered the suffering of the animal. They are only concerned with their "right" to eat Kosher meat. The only way to slaughter and animal humanly is to render it unconscious prior to slaughter. There are also several other countries other than NZ that forbid Shecita, not because they are anti-semetic but because the process is inhumane. There is no reason we should use outdated methods to kill animals when modern methods are more humane. If you are not convinced please view and make up your own mind. Is this really what being Jewish is about? If so I"d rather covert to another religion.

Posted by Malcolm on 2010-10-27 07:06:09 GMT

I wonder whether "Supporter of Israel" agrees with Julie Szego who is disturbed by the imposition of a code of Modest Dress on ordinary Australians, at that event in Dandenong which is taking place in a public bathing pool?

Posted on 2010-10-27 05:17:29 GMT

"Supporter of Israel" - I have a question for you. Where should the muslims go for halal meat which will become unattainable in New Zealand? I am surprised that the NZ government has the courage to take on the muslim population. Either they have too few in number to worry about their reaction to such a ban or else they have not been paying attention to what happens when muslims don"t have their demands met.

Posted by franita on 2010-10-27 05:16:26 GMT

A few weeks ago, there was a topic about both halal and kosher slaughter, on an English blog I frequent There was an interesting comment from an Australian slaughterman, who had been in the trade for 45 years. He said that both forms of slaughter were a far more humane way of slaughtering on animal and that if any one thought otherwise they should witness thme and compare them to the "normal" method

Posted by Shirlee in Sydney on 2010-10-27 04:45:57 GMT

I wonder whether "Supporter of Israel" agrees with journalist Julie Szego about minorities expecting majorities to sometimes give in to them? Szego has expressed publicly her concern at the Equal Opportunity exemption granted to the organisers of an event in Dandenong taking place at a public swimming pool, where a minority group has asked the wider community to respect their beliefs about modest dress.

Posted by Ralph Zwier on 2010-10-27 04:08:19 GMT

I have written to Ministers Carter and Key and encourage others to do so. Animal cruelty issues have arisen the world over, and not solely related to shechita. Bull fighting, fox hunts, horrible transport and caging practices have led to understandable outcries. Abuses in halal slaughtering and kosher slaughter have also led to a justified concerns. And, to note, shechita is banned in Norway. But, clearly, the motivations of the Minister in New Zealand need to be determined, and a debate must begin. If there is the slightest indication of an anti-Semitic motive, it must be challenged and exposed.

Posted by Brian_007 on 2010-10-27 03:58:15 GMT

Fascinating idea

Posted on 2010-10-27 03:55:47 GMT

New Zealand is under no obligation to provide kosher slaughter if it goes against the mainstream of thinking there. Israel is the place to go for guarantees of meat slaughtered in the kosher way.

Posted by supporter of Israel on 2010-10-27 03:48:06 GMT