Bergen-Belsen trip and London Purim party postponed over coronavirus fears

Organisers of commemoration say it would have been 'irresponsible' to put veterans and survivors at risk



An Ajex trip to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen and a London Purim party for young professionals have been postponed over coronavirus fears.

The servicemen and women’s association had planned a one-day commemoration visit next month involving veterans, current Jewish forces personnel and Ajex supporters for a programme including a service on the Bergen-Belsen site.

An Ajex spokesman said the decision had been difficult but had been made “for the right reasons”. With the “uncertainty over flights and the number of veterans and survivors involved, it would have been irresponsible to continue”.

If the situation improved, the hope was that the commemoration visit would be rescheduled.

The postponed Purim party was organised by the Tel Aviv University Trust and the Israeli House, an organisation keeping Israelis living abroad in contact. Around 200 revellers had been expected.

A spokesperson hoped the event would be restaged in summer, with or without a fancy dress theme.

Although there was an admission charge for the party, the university trust had viewed the event more as awareness raising.

But communal charity chiefs have expressed fears of the financial impact on their organisations if key fundraising activities have to be cancelled or postponed because of the virus.

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