The small Belfast Jewish community is worried that new Brexit trading rules could impact their ability to obtain a steady supply of kosher food from mainland Britain, reported BBC News.
Without access to kosher food, the community in the capital of Northern Ireland is in danger of collapsing, Jewish leaders say.
A group of leaders, including UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl and Michael Black, the head of the Belfast Jewish community, met in London with UK Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis to ask for the government’s help.
The Belfast community reportedly numbers around 100 members.
The result of the dialogue was that the British government has pledged to safeguard supplies of kosher meat shipped to the Belfast community, reported the European Jewish Congress.
The Board of Deputies explained that kosher food and religious items such as lulav and etrogs for Sukkot have been sent to Northern Ireland’s Jewish community from mainland UK through a temporary arrangement since Brexit went through.
The agreement ends in September, leaving the tiny community worried that it could collapse without future access to supplies.
Lewis and the government’s EU negotiator Lord Frost both offered their full support.
“The Belfast Jewish community is a great community with a rich history, but also an older and vulnerable one,” said van der Zyl. “We thank the Minister for his time, and urge the UK and the EU to generate a creative solution which means that Jews can continue to practise their faith in Northern Ireland.”