LAW 25/1992, OF NOVEMBER, APPROVING THE AGREEMENT OF COOPERATION BETWEEN THE STATE AND THE FEDERATION OF ISRAELITE COMMUNITIES OF SPAIN
(BOE Nº 272, of 12 November 1992)
On 28 April 1992, the Minister of Justice, authorized for this purpose by the Cabinet of Ministers, signed the Agreement of Cooperation between the State and the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain (FCI), which shall govern the relations of cooperation between the State and the Israelite communities established in Spain included in said Federation and registered at the Registry of Religious Entities.
The relations expressed shall be regulated by Law passed by the Cortes Generales, under the provisions of Article 7.1 of Organic Law 7/1980 of 5 June, concerning Religious Freedom.
Article. The relations of cooperation between the State and the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain shall be governed under the provisions of the Agreement of Cooperation incorporated into this Law as an annex.
First Final Provision. The Government shall be authorized, at the proposal of the Minister of Justice and, where appropriate, in conjunction with those Ministers qualified on this subject, to dictate the necessary provisions for the development and execution of this Law.
Second Final Provision. This Law shall enter into effect the day after its publication in the "Boletín Oficial del Estado".
Agreement of Cooperation Between the Spanish State and the Federation Israelite Communities of Spain
The Spanish Constitution of 1978, in shaping a democratic and pluralistic State, has brought about a profound change in the State's traditional attitude towards religion, consecrating as fundamental the right to equality and religious freedom, the exercise of which guarantees the widest scope permitted under the requirements derived from the maintenance of public order protected by Law and out of due respect to the fundamental rights of others.
These rights, originally conceived as individual rights of the people, also include, by inference, those Religions or Communities to which those citizens belong for the satisfaction of their religious needs, requiring no previous authorization or registration in any public registry.
Out of the deepest respect for these principles, and because of constitutional imperative, the State is obliged, in the measure required by the religious beliefs of Spanish society, to maintain relations of cooperation with the different religions. This shall be done differently with each of the Religions inscribes in the Registry of Religious Entities.
The Organic Act of Religious Freedom establishes the possibility that the State specify its cooperation with these Religions, through the adoption of Agreements or Pacts of Cooperation once these religions, duly inscribed in the Registry of Religious Entities, have obtained an evident and manifest position in Spanish society due to the number of faithful and the extent of their creeds. This is the case of Jewish religion, a faith with an age-old tradition in our country, made up of several communities inscribed in the Registry of Religious Entities, which have constituted the Federation of Israelite Communities in Spain, as a representative organism of these religious entities before the State, for the negotiation, adoption and subsequent monitoring of the Agreements reached.
In answer to the wishes expressed by the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain and after the opportune negotiations, this Agreement of Cooperation was concluded, concerning matters of great importance for the citizens of Jewish faith: statutes concerning the Jewish rabbis, defining the specific rights derived from the exercise of their ministry, their personal situation in such important areas as Social Security and fulfilment of their military duties; legal protection in places of worship; attribution for civil purposes of marriage ceremonies celebrated according to Jewish rites, religious attendance in public centres or establishments; Jewish religious teaching in schools; tax benefits applicable to certain goods and activities of the communities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain; commemoration of Jewish religious holidays and finally, State cooperation with the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain with regard the conservation and furthering of the Spanish historic and artistic heritage of Jewish origin.
An attempt has been made to always maintain the most scrupulous respect towards the religious interlocutors' willingness to negotiate, as the best expression of the specific Jewish doctrines and the particular requirements of conscience derived from these doctrines, in order to make real and effective exercise of the right to religious freedom of the members of the Jewish faith.
1. 1. The rights and obligations derived from the Act by which this present Agreement is approved shall apply to the Israelite Communities that, being inscribed in the Registry of Religious Entities, are part of or later join the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain, as long as their membership is recorded in the afore mentioned Registry. 2. The incorporation of the Communities to the Federation, for the purpose of their proof in the said Registry, shall be accredited by means of a certificate issued by the Secretary General of the Federation of Israelite Communities, signed by the Executive Secretary with the approval of the Secretary. The annotation of their withdrawal or exclusion shall be made at the request of the Community in question or the General Secretariat of said Federation.
3. The certification of religious purposes, required by Royal Decree 142/1981 of 9 January, for the registration of religious associative entities constituted as such in accordance with the regulations governing the Israelite Communities, may be issued by the General Secretariat to the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain.
2. 1. For all effects, the buildings or premises designated permanently and exclusively to worship or religious assistance shall be considered places of worship of the churches belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain when this has been certified by the respective Community and endorsed by the by the General Secretariat of the Federation of Israelite Communities (FIC).
2. The places of worship of the Communities belonging to the FIC enjoy immunity under the terms established by law.
3. In the event of obligatory expropriation, the General Secretariat of the FCI shall be first heard, except in cases of emergency, security and national defence or for serious reasons of public order or security.
4. The places of worship of the FIC Communities shall not be demolished unless they are first divested of their religious nature, except in those cases foreseen by the law, in cases of emergency or danger.
5. Places of worship may be included in the Registry of Religious Entities.
6. Jewish cemeteries shall be entitled to the legal benefits laid down in this article for places of worship. Israelite Communities that are members or the FIC are entitled to assign the plots reserved for Jewish burial in municipal cemeteries, as well as to own private Jewish cemeteries, subject to the provisions of local government laws and health regulations. All due measures shall be adopted to observe traditional Jewish rules regarding interments, graves and funeral rites, which shall be conducted by the local Jewish Community. The right to transfer the remains of the Jewish deceased to cemeteries belonging to the Israelite Communities, both form tombs in municipal cemeteries and from towns in which there is no Jewish cemetery, is hereby acknowleged.
3. 1. For all legal purposes, ministers of the Communities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain shall be those persons holding a rabbi=s diploma and devoted on a permanent basis, to the duties of worship or religious assistance and who can vouch for the fulfilment of these requirements with a certificate issued by their respective Community, with the conformity of the General Secretariat of the FCI. This FIC certificate may be included en the Registry of Religious Entities.
2. Those ministers of Communities belonging to the FIC are not obliged to divulge information revealed to them in the exercise of their duties of worship or religious assistance.
4. 1. Community dignities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities in Spain are subject to the general resolutions concerning Military Service. If requested, they shall be assigned to missions compatible with their office.
2. The courses studied in the rabbi schools designated by the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain shall entitle students to an extension of the period before which they must join the military in fulfilment of their military service, under the terms established in the legislation in force on Military Service.
To request this extension, the above-mentioned courses must be vouched for with a certificate issued by the corresponding teaching centre.
5. Under the provisions of Article 1 of Royal Decree 2398/1977 of 27 August, the ministers of the Communities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain who fulfill the requirements expressed in Article 3 of this Agreement, shall be included in the General Social Security system, under employee status and under the same terms and conditions as the laws in force applies to Roman Catholic clergymen. Such protection will be extensive to their families. The respective Communities shall assume the rights and obligations established for employers under the General Social Security system.
6. For all legal purposes, functions set out under Jewish law and tradition shall be considered to be the functions characteristic of the Jewish religion, including the religious functions deriving from the rabbinic office, worship, administration of ritual services, rabbi training, teaching the Jewish religion and tendering spiritual support.
7. 1. Civil effects of marriages held in accordance with formal Jewish rules and officiated by dignities pertaining to the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain member Communities shall be acknowledged. Full recognition of such validity shall call for registration of such marriages in the Civil Registry.
2. Those who wish to be married according to the rite contemplated in the preceding paragraph shall be responsible for requesting their records before the marriage is to take place, from the person in charge of the corresponding Civil Registry Office.
3. Once this step has been carried out, the person in charge of the Civil Registry Office shall issue, in duplicate, a certificate establishing that the marriage partners have legal capacity to marry. This certificate should be delivered by them to the minister who will celebrate the marriage.
4. In order for the marriage to be valid under civil law, consent must be given in the presence of the minister officiating the ceremony and at least two adult witnesses, within six months of the issue of the certificate of matrimonial capacity.
5. Once the marriage has been celebrated, the officiating minister shall issue, in the certificate of matrimonial capacity, a record of the proceedings of the marriage which shall include the necessary requisite for inscription and the names of the witnesses. One of the copies of this certificate shall be immediately sent to the person in charge of the competent Civil Registry Office for registration, and the other copy shall be kept as a record of the marriage in the files of the officiating minister.
6. Without prejudice to the responsibilities, if applicable, and the rights acquired in good faith by third parties, the registration may take place at any time, upon presentation of the certificate described in the previous section.
7. The rules of this article relating to the procedures for effective exercise of the rights stipulated herein shall be adopted to accommodate any future amendments which may be made to the legislation regarding the Civil Registry, after hearing the recommendations made by the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain.
8. 1. The right shall be recognized of all military personnel of the Jewish faith, whether or not they be professionals, and of all persons of said religious belief serving in the Armed Forces, to participate in religious activities and rites inherent to Jewish religion, subject to authorisation by their superiors, who shall endeavour that these be compatible with the needs of service, facilitating the places and suitable means for this purpose.
2. Jewish military unable to comply with their religious obligations because there is no synagogue in the place they are stationed, may be authorised to comply therewith in the closest synagogue in the vicinity, service permitting.
3. Religious assistance shall be dispensed by ministers designated by the Communities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain, and authorized by the Military Commanders, who shall extend the necessary cooperation so that these ministers may carry out their duties under the same conditions as those ministers of other churches, faiths or communities that have signed Agreements of Cooperation with the State.
4. The corresponding authorities shall notify the families of the decease of Jewish servicemen occurring while the are in the service of the military, so they may receive Jewish funeral rites an d be buried in accordance with Jewish practice.
9. 1. The exercise of the right to religious assistance is guaranteed for persons in prisons, hospitals, welfare or other similar public centres or establishments, provided by ministers designated by the Communities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities, as endorsed thereby. Such designation shall be subject to authorisation bay the corresponding administrative bodies. Public centre and establishment management shall be bound to forward the request for spiritual support received from interns or their families to the corresponding Israelite Community if the parties concerned are unable to do so personally.
2. For this purpose, the ministers shall have free and unrestricted access to the above-mentioned centres, with no limitations on visiting hours. Religious assistance will be given with due respect to the principle of religious freedom and in observance of the organisational rules and internal system of the centres. With respect to penitentiaries, religious services shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the penitentiary laws.
Religious assistance referred in this article shall include assistance given to moribund, as well as funeral services according to Jewish rite.
3. The expenses incurred to provide afore spiritual assistance shall be the responsibility of the respective Communities, without prejudice to the use of the premises that, for that purpose, exist in the corresponding centres.
10. 1. In order to make the provisions of Article 27.3 of the Constitution, and General Act 8/1985 of 3 July, regulating the right to education, and General Act 1/1990, of 3 October, concerning the General Provisions of the Educational System, students, their parents and those school organisms so requesting, shall be guaranteed the right to receive Jewish religious classes in public and private subsidised schools, at the primary, elementary and secondary levels, as long as the exercise of this right is not in conflict with the nature of the centre.
2. Jewish religious education shall be imparted by teachersdesignated by the Communities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities, in compliance with this Federation.
The contents of Jewish religious education, and the text books relative to the same, shall be determined by the respective Communities in compliance with the Federation of Israelite Communities.
4. The public and private subsidised schools referred to in
this article shall provide premises suitable for the exercise of this right, in accordance with the carrying out of teaching activities.
5. Communities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities may, by agreement with the academic authorities, organize courses of religious teaching in public universities, using the premises and resources of these universities.
6. Communities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain may establish and run schools on the educational levels named in paragraph 1 of this article, as well as religious universities and seminaries of religious nature, subject to general legislation in force concerning this matter.
11. 1. The Communities that belong to the Federation of Israelite Communities may freely request services of their followers, organise public collections and receive offerings and donations.
2.The following operations shall not be subject to any tax:
a) In addition to the concepts named in paragraph 1 of this article, the provision of publications of religious nature , delivered directly to members by the Communities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities, as long as this is free.
b) The teaching of religion in Federation of Israelite Communities member community training centres , intended for the training of ministers and which exclusively impart classes on rabbinic studies.
3. The Communities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities shall be exempt from:
A) Real estate tax and the special contributions that, where appropriate, correspond to the property owned by them:
a) Places of worship and branch offices or building and annexed premises, designated as places of worship or religious assistance.
b)Premises designated as offices for the Communities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities.
c) Centres devoted to training dignities, when used only for courses relating to rabbinic studies.
B) Corporation tax, under the terms stipulated in paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 5 of Law 61/1978, of 27 December, regulating this tax.
Increases in wealth obtained gratuitously by the Communitiesbelonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities shall also be exempt from corporation tax, as long as the goods and rights acquired are intended for religious or assistance activities.
C) Transfer tax and stamp duty, as long as the respective goods or rights acquired are intended for religious or assistance activities, under the terms established in the Consolidated Text of such Tax approved by Royal Legislative Decree 3050/1980, of 30 December, and its By-Laws, approved by Royal Decree 3494/1981 of 29 December, in keeping with the requirements and procedures established for this exemption.
4. Without prejudice to the stipulations in the preceding paragraphs, the Communities belonging to the FIC shall have the right to other tax benefits provided by the legal tax code of the Spanish state at any given time for non-profit organisations and, in any case, those granted to private charitable organisations.
5. The associations and entities created and administered by the Communities belonging to the FIC are dedicated to religious, charity, teaching, medical and hospital or social service activities, shall have the right to tax benefits provided by the legal tax code of the Spanish State at ant given time for non-profit organisations and, in any case, for those granted to private charitable organizations.
6. Income tax regulations shall govern the treatment given to donations made to the Communities belonging to the Federation of Israelite Communities, including any applicable deductions.
12. 1. The weekly day of rest for the followers of the Communities belonging to the FIC may, with the agreement of all parties, include Friday evening and all of Saturday, in lieu of the day provided by Article 37.1 of the Workers' Statute as the general rule.
2. The holy days listed below which, according to the Jewish law and tradition, are religious holidays, may replace those established in article 37.2 of the Workers= Statute as the general rule, under the same terms of paid holidays, with no time pay-back, at the request of the persons indicated in the preceding paragraph and under the conditions provided therein.
- New Year (Rosh Hashaná) 1st and 2nd day.
- Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
- Cabin Holiday (Succoth), 1st, 2nd, 7th and 8th day.
- Passover (Pesaj). 1st. 2nd,, 8th and 9th day.
- Pentecost (Shavuot), 1st and 2nd day.
3. Jewish students enrolled in public and agreed private subsidised schools, shall be exempted from attending class or taking examinations on Saturday and on the holy days referred to in the preceding paragraph, if so requested by the students themselves or by those with parental authority or guardianship.
4. Examinations, competitive state examinations or selective tests convened for employment in Public Administration jobs that are to be held during the period expressed in the preceding paragraph, shall be set for an alternative date for Jews requesting it, unless otherwise warranted by just cause.
13. The State and the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain shall cooperate to conserve and further Jewish historic, artistic, and cultural heritage which shall remain at the service of society, for contemplation and study.
Such cooperation shall include drawing up a catalogue and inventory of such heritage as well as the creation of Trusts, Foundations or other institutions of a cultural nature.
14. 1. In accordance with the spiritual dimension and specific peculiarities of Jewish tradition, the denomination Casher and variations thereof, Kasher, Kosher, Hashrut and all of these associated with the terms U, K or Parve serve to distinguish food and cosmetic products prepared in accordance with the Jewish law.
2. In order to protect the proper use of such denominations, the FIC must apply for and obtain registration of the corresponding trademarks from the Patent and Trade Mark Office, pursuant to the legal standards in force.
Once the above requirements are met, products bearing the FIC mark on the package shall be guaranteed, for the intents and purposes of marketing, import and export, to have been prepared in accordance with Jewish law and tradition.
3. The slaughtering of animal in accordance with Jewish lawsustabide by health standards in force.
First Additional Provision. The Government shall notify any legislative initiatives that may affect the contents of this Agreement to the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain, in order that the Federation may give its opinion on the matter.
Second Additional Provision. The present Agreement may be denounced by either parties who have endorsed it, who must notify the other six months in advance. The Agreement may also be subject to full or partial revision, by request of either party, without prejudice to its subsequent parliamentary transaction.
Third Additional Provision. A Joint Commission shall be constituted representing the Administration and the Federation of Israelite Communities of Spain for the implementation and monitoring of this Agreement.
Final Provision. The Government shall be authorized, by proposal of the Minister of Justice and, if appropriate, in jointly with those Ministers competent in this matter, to dictate the necessary provisions for the development and implementation of the stipulations of this Agreement.