Chabad aims for Fringe benefits at Edinburgh Festival

By Jessica Elgot, August 13, 2010
Rabbi Pinny Weinman with Yaakov Hecht and Herschy Hecht

Rabbi Pinny Weinman with Yaakov Hecht and Herschy Hecht

Among the street performers and acrobats on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, the local Chabad group has been handing out kosher snacks and encouraging Jewish visitors to this month's Fringe Festival to lay tefillin.

Rabbi Pinny Weinman and two New York yeshivah students, Yaakov Hecht, 19, and Herschy Hecht, 17, have set up a stall close to Edinburgh Castle, where performers gather to hand out flyers for the 2,000-plus shows.

Rabbi Weinman said that proximity to the castle was like "being a part of history, like being near the Western Wall.

"We get hundreds of people stopping at the stall every day and around 30 people put on tefillin. We have also handed out around 150 Shabbat candles every week.

"We did this on a smaller scale last year but we saw the influence of more than one million tourists in Edinburgh and now we have a much bigger presence."

Last updated: 9:24am, August 13 2010