Church venue causes up­set

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JOSH JACK­MAN

SOME CARDIFF Jews boy­cotted the city’s Holo­caust com­mem­o­ra­tion be­cause it was held in a cathe­dral.

Tra­di­tion­ally, the Welsh Govern­ment and Cardiff City Coun­cil have held their HMD cer­e­mony at City Hall. But this year, City Hall had al­ready ac­cepted a book­ing for Jan­uary 27 from the Bri­tish Obe­sity Meta­bolic Surgery So­ci­ety, so the or­gan­is­ers in­stead ar­ranged for it to be held at Llandaff Cathe­dral.

Cardiff United Syn­a­gogue’s Rabbi Mi­choel Rose said “prior com­mit­ments” had pre­cluded his at­ten­dance. But he added: “Some peo­ple will feel that it should be at a more neu­tral lo­ca­tion, re­flect­ing the non-de­nom­i­na­tional na­ture of the event.

“If it were at City Hall in fu­ture years, I might at­tend.”

Cardiff Jewish Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil chair­man Stan­ley Soffa be­lieved the venue was in­ap­pro­pri­ate given that “one of the groups we’re com­mem­o­rat­ing is the Jews. A num­ber of peo­ple in the Jewish com­mu­nity would not go into a church for a ser­vice be­cause there’s a religious as­pect to it.”

Al­though Board of Deputies vice-

The choir at the cathe­dral ser­vice pres­i­dent and its Cardiff United Syn­a­gogue rep­re­sen­ta­tive Sheila Ge­wolb was at the cer­e­mony, she ap­pre­ci­ated “the sen­si­tiv­i­ties of hold­ing an event such as this in a Chris­tian place of wor­ship. I hope that the or­gan­is­ers will choose a civic venue next year where ev­ery­one can feel com­fort­able.”

In a state­ment, the or­gan­is­ers pointed out that the cathe­dral was the only venue “of suf­fi­cient size to ac­com­mo­date the num­bers nor­mally at­tend­ing. The in­ten­tion is to re­vert to City Hall as a venue for the 2017 com­mem­o­ra­tion.”

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