Leading Jewish educator: ‘It’s dangerous to wear a kippah in certain parts of the UK’

Rabbi David Meyer said ‘Jew’ and ‘genocide’ were shouted at him in the streets


Rabbi David Meyer has said that it is "dangerous" to walk around wearing a kippah in certain areas (Photo: Twitter/X)

One of British Jewry’s leading educationists has spoken out about the antisemitic abuse he has experienced post-October 7 and said it was “dangerous” to walk in certain areas wearing a kippah.

Rabbi David Meyer, the chief executive of the Jewish schools’ network PaJeS, told Israeli news website Ynet: “I think there isn't a single Jew here who hasn't wondered if we're witnessing the end of the Jewish community in England.”

Rabbi Meyer was recently honoured by being chosen to be one of the diaspora representatives to take part in the torchlighting ceremony in Jerusalem to mark Israel’s Independence Day.

He told the news platform that while travelling on the train a few days after the Hamas attack on Israel, people had approached him, “saying what happened was wrong and that they stood with us.

“Now, in the city centre, it's almost impossible to walk around [looking] visibly Jewish without someone shouting at me. It has happened several times.”

Shouts of “’Jew’” and “’genocide’ had been directed at him, he said. “All sorts of things… I don't listen, I don't care. But it's clear that it's happening. We've reached a point where I think it's dangerous to walk around with a kippah or a Star of David in certain places.”

He said there were “no issues” in the Jewish area of London where he lived. “But when I travelled to Manchester, I wore a hat that covered my kippah. In central London, I do wear a kippah, but it feels uncomfortable,” he said.

While the events of October 7 had brought some Jews closer to their faith, others didn’t want to associate themselves because of the antisemitism, he said.

England had changed “completely” since October 7. “My parents came from India to England in the 1950s. We felt like part of the English community. I could be Jewish, religious, Zionist – and also part of English society.

“Now, it feels different. There are ignorant people shouting every week, from October until now.”

Not even Brexit had prompted such protests as events in Gaza, he said.

He noted that both Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer had been very supportive of the Jewish community and felt “most people in England don't agree with the protesters”.

But he added: “The problem is the silence. People aren't speaking up and saying it's wrong.”

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