The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

Last week’s col­umn by Me­lanie Phillips, to­gether with Richard Bol­chover’s let­ter ( JC, Jan 15) came on the back of a large amount of cov­er­age and so­cial me­dia posts scru­ti­n­is­ing my de­ci­sion to ask Tu­via Te­nen­bom to step down from a Lim­mud ses­sion to which I had pre­vi­ously in­vited him.

My de­ci­sion had noth­ing to do with his political views.

Rather, the de­ci­sion was made be­cause the for­mat of the ses­sion al­lowed for no more than three speak­ers and I had booked one too many in er­ror, and what had started out as a light-hearted af­fair turned out, when speak­ers be­gan talk­ing to me about what they wanted to present, to be a rather more se­ri­ous en­ter­prise.

Given the more satir­i­cal tone of his writ­ten work, it felt that this ses­sion was no longer the right space for Mr. Te­nen­bom’s more com­bat­ive style.

Lim­mud should al­ways seek to work hard to be a wel­com­ing space for Jews with a di­verse range of views. This is why I or­gan­ised and fa­cil­i­tated a suc­cess­ful panel en­ti­tled ‘‘Is Lim­mud Bi­ased?’’. As some­one who be­lieves pas­sion­ately in di­a­logue, plu­ral­ism and Jewish peo­ple­hood, I take se­ri­ously the crit­i­cisms made, even though many have been in­ac­cu­rate and hurt­ful. Bal­anc­ing com­pet­ing in­ter­ests and opin­ions is never easy, but I will keep try­ing. Keith Kahn-Har­ris Lon­don

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