Norwich Chanucah party is rearranged

By Rosa Doherty, November 28, 2013

A venue in Norwich has rearranged a Chanucah party organised by a messianic “rabbi” after complaints from the Jewish community.

The event, hosted by Binyamin Sheldrake, a member of the Adat Yeshua group, was due to take place in a public area of The Forum, a city-centre building which gets thousands of visitors.

But the party was moved to a private room after the Forum’s management realised it was not “a broadly based Chanucah celebration that represented the whole community” as it had thought when it accepted the booking.

Tim Bishop, chief executive of The Forum trust, said: “We do not favour any political or religious viewpoint. With that policy in mind, we felt it was not appropriate for the public areas to be hired and used as places of worship by any individual religious group.”

Maureen Leveton, president of the Orthodox Norwich Hebrew Congregation, said it had been made clear that the event was not organised by the Norwich Jewish community.

Mr Sheldrake said he was disappointed with the decision. Moving the event to a private space “hid the message of Chanucah away,” he argued.

Earlier this month, concern was raised over Mr Sheldrake’s role as a teacher of Jewish studies in local schools.

Last updated: 10:45pm, November 28 2013