The JC

Letters to the Editor, 5 July 2024

Pride, Arnie Saunders and Keir Starmer


Members of the Jewish community held their own Pride party on Saturday, along with their allies, after many of them felt too unsafe to march in the main Pride in London event (Photo: Amanda Rose)

July 05, 2024 00:00

Every rational human being should be dismayed by the treatment of Rabbi Arnold Saunders at an election meeting.

He showed a degree of dignity - indeed bravery - under the circumstances which is an inspiration to all. The situation was one of potential personal danger given the volatility of the electoral process in the UK and threats to candidates and MPs. If there is an award for Jewish heroes this week, my vote goes to Rabbi Saunders.

Martin Kalson

Eilat, Israel

I agree with Rob Rinder (and Jonathan Sacks) that music is integral to the Jewish soul (Music is the voice of the Jewish soul, whether in joy or sorrow, 29 June). As well as the great classical composers Mendelssohn and Mahler, the contribution of Jewish music to the twentieth century - the Great American Songbook, Dylan, Simon, Cohen - is legendary.

But the most visceral Jewish music is often driven by tsores. Nothing illustrates this better than Kol Nidrei. A few years ago I saw the American-Jewish violinist Gil Shaham perform Bruch’s violin concerto at the Proms with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The violin is the quintessential instrument of tsores and Jews - Menuhin, Perlman, Oistrakh. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Although Bruch, who composed his own version of Kol Nidrei, wasn’t Jewish, his music was highly influenced by contemporary Jewish musicians and was eschewed by the Nazis.

Stan Labovitch


I was so upset to learn that there was no Jewish Pride at this year’s London Gay Pride.

A caring humanity can and must take second place to dogma. This has been exemplified by gay Jews being represented by KeshetUK, providing a safe space for the Jewish LGBTQ+ community to be able to share issues and concerns and feel included in all aspects of Jewish life in the UK and, most importantly, educate to help dispel myths and misunderstandings.

It is shameful that the Jewish LGBTQ+ community feels unsafe about being part of London Gay Pride, a gathering that has been typified until now, by a happy, peaceful and inclusive atmosphere.

The events of 7 October have brought a cruel and invasive antisemitism to the forefront, promoted through increasingly toxic social media and the ‘Tiktokracy’. But in an ironic twist of reality, Queers for Palestine are content to continue their idiocy - and as my mum would have said: “gey gezunt”!

We need KeshetUk to flourish more than ever.

Laurie Rosenberg

Woodford Green, Essex

When Keir Starmer implies that Friday night is the more practiced part of Shabbos, doesn’t this suggest he is after the Reform vote ?

Barrington Black

London NW3

July 05, 2024 00:00

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