For the first time in the history of Netherlands, Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs on Friday received one of the highest civilian awards given by the Queen of Holland.
The chief rabbi of the Inter-Provincial Chief Rabbinate in Holland, a member of the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE), was made an Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau. The order, comparable with the Order of the British Empire in the UK, is usually bestowed upon princes of other royal families in Europe, diplomats, artists and social activists.
Born in Holland, the 62-year-old rabbi has served the Dutch Jewish community for more than 30 years. He received the honor for building bridges in Dutch society, particularly in interfaith and inter-community relations. He was also lauded for his position as rabbi of the Sinai Medical Center in Amtelveen, and his activities in various rabbinical councils in Holland and abroad.
Rabbi Jacobs was actively involved in the effort to cancel the proposed law to ban shechitah, Jewish kosher slaughter. He is a well known personality in Holland, often quoted in Dutch media.
"This is an important day for Jews in this part of the world,” commented Dr. Benoit Wesly, chairman of the Dutch Jewish community in Limburg and Honorary Consul of Israel to the Netherlands. “The award given to Rabbi Jacobs is an honor for all the Jews in Holland. It gives our community great pride and we thank G-d and congratulate Rabbi Jacobs and his wife on this great honor.”