David Cameron backs ‘won­der­ful ini­tia­tive’

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JC REPORTER

DAVID CAMERON has de­clared his sup­port for Shab­bat UK, the na­tion­wide cel­e­bra­tion of the Jewish day of rest tak­ing place this week­end.

The prime min­is­ter said the event, launched by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, was “a won­der­ful Jewish ini­tia­tive that brings to­gether tens of thou­sands across our coun­try to cel­e­brate the unity and sense of com­mu­nity that has been a hall­mark of Jewish life for gen­er­a­tions”.

He added that it had a wider mes­sage that spoke to ev­ery­one in Bri­tain.

“We can all ben­e­fit from tak­ing a mo­ment to ap­pre­ci­ate the value of fam­ily, friends and com­mu­nity life,” he said.

Mr Cameron wished ev­ery­one tak­ing part Shab­bat Shalom.

Rabbi Mirvis has wel­comed Shab­bat UK pro­grammes be­ing or­gan­ised around the UK, say­ing the event had “gal­vanised” com­mu­ni­ties.

“It is go­ing to Shab­bat UK mas­cots: Kid­dush cup, can­dles and chal­lah be a won­der­ful week­end for many rea­sons,” he said.

“I’ve been par­tic­u­larly ex­cited to hear about the pro­grammes be­ing or­gan­ised in Manch­ester and Leeds that are break­ing new ground in cel­e­brat­ing the beauty of Shab­bat,” he said.

He and his wife, Va­lerie, would be spend­ing Shab­bat in Manch­ester — “Where we are al­ways made to feel so wel­come.”

Rabbi Mirvis an­swered ques­tions from JC read­ers when he vis­ited the news­pa­per’s north-west Lon­don of­fice last week.

Tak­ing over the JC Twit­ter ac­count, he re­sponded to queries rang­ing from Shab­bat food to the im­por­tance of prayer. He re­vealed: “I al­ways cook for Shab­bat. My favourite dish is roast chicken and roast pota­toes.”

The venue for the Shab­bat UK hav­dala party on Satur­day evening has been moved from Brent Cross to Finch­ley United Syn­a­gogue, af­ter dif­fi­cul­ties in ob­tain­ing th e co r - rect mu­sic li­cence.

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