New Zealand

Three Israelis among rising New Zealand quake death toll

By Jennifer Lipman, March 1, 2011

Two more Israelis have been confirmed dead a week after the New Zealand city of Christchurch was struck by a devastating earthquake.

The death toll from the quake, which measured 6.3 on the Richter scale, has climbed to more than 150 with the discovery of the bodies of two tourists from the Israeli town of Rehovot.

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Jewish centre wrecked in New Zealand quake

By Dan Goldberg, February 24, 2011

An Israeli backpacker is among the rising number of dead following an earthquake that devastated the city of Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island, killing at least 75 people and razing many buil

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Israeli tourist among dead in Christchurch earthquake

By Jennifer Lipman, February 22, 2011

An Israeli backpacker is understood to be among the estimated 65 people killed by the earthquake that struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch last night.

The man, who was travelling with three friends, was in a car when the 6.3 magnitude quake struck and caused a building to collapse on top of it.

An official from Israel’s Foreign Ministry said there could be as many as 150 Israelis in the area, which is a popular spot for tourists.

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Christchurch earthquake hits Jewish centre

By Jennifer Lipman, February 22, 2011

A Jewish centre was among the buildings damaged by a devastating earthquake in New Zealand.

There are also concerns that an Israeli tourist was among the estimated 65 people killed when the 6.3 magnitude tremor hit New Zealand’s second city.

The earthquake also hit Christchurch’s Chabad headquarters, leaving those inside just minutes to escape outside as the building collapsed.

Christchurch, which is home to a small Jewish community and one synagogue, is a popular spot for Israeli backpackers, who take advantage of the Chabad facilities in the city.

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The 'tefillin terrorist' and a scare on a New Zealand ferry

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2010

Armed police forced a religious Israeli man to his knees and took him away for questioning after passengers on a New Zealand ferry mistook his tefillin boxes for an explosive device.

The man and a friend were later freed without charge, after police realised that they were not a terrorist threat and were merely observing Jewish practice.

An elite police unit was called in when another passenger saw the man strapping the leather boxes to his arm and alerted crewmembers.

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Expensive fight for just 2,000 chickens

By Dan Goldberg, December 2, 2010

Chicken soup – the sine qua non for Jews worldwide – is still on the menu for New Zealand's small Jewish community after Agriculture Minister David Carter backed down from his controversial ban on shechitah last Friday.

At face value, it's a victory for all diaspora Jewish communities against those who are trying to ban shechitah on the grounds of animal rights. But because the court case never happened, the case for kosher slaughter is no more robust – and no more humane, for that matter – this week than it was last week.

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New Zealand shechitah gets partial reprieve

By Dan Goldberg, December 2, 2010

New Zealand's Agriculture Minister reversed his ban on the kosher slaughter of poultry last week amid allegations that his original controversial decision was taken to appease Muslim countries which have lucrative trade agreements with New Zealand.

Lawyers acting for David Carter negotiated a settlement last Friday, just three days before a legal challenge, which was being closely monitored by Shechita UK as well as the Office of the Chief Rabbi, was due to open in the High Court in Wellington.

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New Zealand kosher poultry ban overturned

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2010

The Jewish community in New Zealand is celebrating after the country’s ban on kosher poultry was overturned.

An agreement has been reached with the minister of agriculture which will enable the shechitah of poultry to continue, but the community is still negotiating over the slaughter of lamb .

In May, Agriculture Minister David Carter rejected a recommendation that shechitah be exempt from the new animal welfare code, which mandates that all commercially slaughtered animals must first be stunned, making shechitah illegal.

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Animal lobby v the Jews: shechitah 'test case'

By Dan Goldberg, November 18, 2010

The "test case" against New Zealand's ban on the kosher slaughter of animals will be heard in the High Court in Wellington later this month.

New Zealand Jewish Council president Stephen Goodman told the JC on Wednesday that the case, which was not expected to be heard until next year, will be closely watched around the Jewish world when it opens on November 29.

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Synagogue saved in New Zealand quake

September 7, 2010

The small Jewish community in Christchurch, New Zealand, is reeling from a massive earthquake last Shabbat.

The tremor did not affect the city's only shul but may have devastated Chabad house, in the worst-affected area. Rabbi Mendel Goldstein, director of Chabad NZ, has not been able to get close to the Chabad house because authorities have sealed the area, fearing after-shocks.

Rabbi Goldstein, whose dining room roof was blown off, went to the city's only shul, Canterbury Hebrew Congregation, just hours after the tremor.

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