Belfast City Hall
Belfast City HalliStock

The ongoing inability of the UK and EU governments to find a solution to trade issues that have caused kosher food shortages in Northern Ireland has led the UK Jewish community to demand an “urgent solution” and warn that “cupboards nearly bare of kosher foods” are putting local Jews in jeopardy.

With trade restrictions under the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol making it nearly impossible to import enough kosher food for the Belfast Jewish community, the Equality Commission and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission have each called for a solution, the UK Jewish News reported.

In July, the Board of Deputies of British Jews warned that life for the tiny Belfast community numbering about 100 Jews was under threat due to the Northern Ireland Protocol. At the time, the Board of Deputies said that they were continuing to receive kosher food through Great Britain as part of interim arrangements, which expired in September.

Two months later, the UK government’s Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis called the possibility that Jews in Northern Ireland could have difficulties importing kosher food “despicable.”

He placed the blame solely on the EU, accusing it of not fairly engaging with Britain on the issue of trade to resolve “underlying problems” causing disruptions to daily life in the UK.

Michael Black, the chair of the Belfast Jewish Community, told the Jewish News that the issue has created “enormous difficulties in the practice of our faith.”

“Our local community is facing enormous difficulties in the practice of our faith,” he said. “If these shortages are not addressed soon, we will face real difficulty daily as well as in celebrating major events in our religious calendar. Ultimately these shortages may impact on the viability of our historic community in Belfast.”

He added: “We have had many promises, but we need action and would urge all parties to get involved to work constructively and quickly to find a solution.”

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)