Conference of Rabbis has advocated religious freedom in Europe (PHOTO)
BERLIN – The conference of European Rabbis dedicated to a wide range of urgent issues of the Jewish communities of Europe, including the issues of religious freedom was held on 10-12 July 2012 in Berlin.
Ukrainian Jewish community was represented at the conference by the delegation of the Union of Jewish Religious Organizations of Ukraine, reports the Institute of Religious Freedom.
During the conference there was a discussion on the issue of identification of the Jews in Europe today. The subjects of special attention were legal precedents of restriction of religious freedom in Europe.
The conference participants gave a joint negative assessment of the last resonance decisions of the German courts to ban circumcision for young children.
During the meeting European rabbis developed a comprehensive action plan aimed at protecting the rights of believers in the free and unhindered implementation of their religious practices in all European countries. They have made such proposals to the European Parliament, the European Commission and national governments of European countries – EU Member States.
At the same time, representatives of German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week assured the Jews and the Muslims that they can continue to legally perform circumcision, despite the recent decision of the German court, which found this practice as a criminal offense, reports Radio Liberty. Representative of the Chancellor Steffen Seibert said that the government will find a way to ensure the impunity of circumcisions performed in "a responsible manner".
While commenting on the results of the conference of Jewish rabbis for the IRF, the president of the Association of Jewish Religious Organizations of Ukraine, Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine Yaakov Dov Bleich noted the importance of such conferences not only for European Jewry, but also for Ukraine.
According to Rabbi Bleich, during the last 20 years Jewish community of Ukraine has been actively involved in all European Jewish initiatives and plays an important role in the development of joint solutions.
Translation by Svitlana Sydorenko
© 2012 The Institute for Religious Freedom – Kyiv, Ukraine