The head of a new Jewish community in the African republic of Cameroon who was due to speak at the Limmud conference this month is unable to come because his visa application was turned down.
Serge Etele, the spiritual head of Beth Yeshourun, had been scheduled to present several sessions.
But the UK Border Agency was not satisfied with the evidence that Mr Etele had supplied in support of his application about his financial circumstances or about the sponsorship of his visit.
Limmud provided further documentation but an appeal could not be processed until after the conference.
A Limmud spokesman said the situation was “unfortunate. We hope Serge will be able to join us in the future.”
The Home Office commented: “All visa applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules. The onus is on the individual to ensure they provide the correct evidence.”
Beth Yeshourun — one of several Jewish communities to have emerged in Africa in recent years — was created when 1,000 evangelical Christians decided to convert to Judaism.