150 rabbis from all over Europe and Israel are gathered in Oporto

150 rabbis from all over Europe and Israel are gathered in Oporto

This is an historic event counting on the presence of 150 rabbis from all over Europe and Israel. They are all gathered in a splendid hotel. Kashrut is being handled and discussed at the highest level. Impressive interventions. Points of view exchanged Simpler and tighter rules for the operation of kashrut on the European continent.

The event is organised by the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, the European Jewish Association and the Jewish community of Oporto. The many rabbis who arrived at Oporto airport in the last two days were welcomed with open arms and great emotion by the local Jewish community. The hotel itself belongs to a religious member of the community. For two days, we have heard nothing but Hebrew being spoken in a space measuring 5 thousand square metres, inside and out. Prayer rooms, meeting rooms, conference rooms, food preparation rooms. Staff ready to handle Jews and their specificities. Great unity. Great joy. Great belief.

The city of Oporto has a Jewish history of more than 2000 years. The community was destroyed 500 years ago. Today it is alive. One thousand people. Two synagogues. Mikveh. Creche. Libraries. Restaurants. Grocery. Low cost kashrut. Cemetery. The best Yom Kippur in Europe. This explains the choice of the venue by the European Kashrus Conference.

Kashrut systems leaders were present, like Rabbi Yehuda Deri (Rabbi and Rosh Av Beit Din, Be’er Sheva, Member of the Chief Rabbinate Council, Israel), Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac Landau, Chief Rabbi of Bnei Brak Israel), Rabbi Eliezer Liber Schneebalg (Rabbi and Av Beit Din of “Machzikei Hadas” Edgware, England, Member of RCE Council Member of Va’ad Hashchita), Rabbi Pinchas Leibush Padwa (Chief Rabbi and Rosh Av Beit Din of the “Shomrei Hadas” Antwerp, Belgium, Member of RCE Council), Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman (Rabbi and Av Beit Din of the Federation Synagogue, London, England), Rabbi Michoel Shmerla Av Beis Din of Strasbourg, France), Rabbi Yehuda Osher Steiner (Av Beit Din at BDZ Manchester), Rabbi Shulem Landau (Head of the KBadatz Igud Rabbonim - BIR -, Manchester), Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Cohen Kahn (Member of Beit Din of Lubavitch Rabbis in Paris, Member of RCE Council Member of Va’ad Shchita by the RCE), Rabbi Akiva Osher Padwa (Head of the KLBD Kosher Supervision System), Rabbi Aharon Wulkan (Director of the Va’adat Mehadrin in “Tnuva” and Specialist in Fish Kashrut), Rabbi Yosef Dorffman Kashrut Expert in the Food Industry and Entomology), and Rabbi Yisrael Moshe Guttentag (Head of the Kashrut System of Federation, London, England).

There was a great performance by all the rabbis who have worked with the Oporto community for many years. These include Rabbi Doron Ahiel, Rabbi Asaf Portal, Rabbi Zeev Shenim and Rabbi Menachem Margolin, all distinguished Members of RCE Council. Important messages were left by the Oporto rabbis Daniel Litvak, Yoel Zekri and Haim Chetrit, the latter the emissary of the Rebbe of Lubavitch, of blessed memory. Also present was Rabbi Eli Rosenfeld of the Chabad Centre based in Cascais.

Portugal was once a country of rabbis. It was the country of rabbis Yaish Ben Yahia, Abarbanel, Isaac Aboab, Abraham Zacuto, Abraham Saba and many others. Portugal was then a great empire in all aspects. Antisemitic myths caused it all to collapse. The Jewish community disappeared. Almost six centuries passed before such an eminent rabbinical congregation stepped on this land again, with its tallits, its tefillin, its books, its warm and passionate dialogues, its wise speeches.