Magen David shows how Lincoln's star is rising


The official unveiling of a tribute to Lincoln’s medieval Jewish heritage has raised the profile of the small local community.

A Magen David occupies a prominent position in a new archway welcoming visitors on their way to two of the surviving buildings, Jew’s House and Jews’ Court.

Solicitor Richard Dale, who has chaired the Lincolnshire Jewish Community for more than a decade, said the ceremony was a significant moment for what was a major Jewish centre prior to the Great Expulsion in 1290.
“I’ve lived here for 31 years and initially there was no Jewish community [it reformed in the early 1990s]. Now we are part of the furniture.

“The bishop and dean of the cathedral consult us on the appointment of deans. They feel the need to recognise not only that there was a medieval Jewish community here, but that there is one today.”

Mr Dale organises services in Jews’ Court — one of the world’s few remaining medieval synagogues — which regularly attract 30 people. He said the Bishop of Lincoln, Christopher Lowson, went out of his way to focus on the Jewish contribution to the city.

“At least half the bishop’s speech was dedicated to Jewish history. He even went slightly over the top [when] apologising for the persecution. We’re friends, and that’s very nice.”
He added that as well as illustrating that the authorities took Jewish history seriously, the ceremony was also a show of recognition and acceptance to the current community. “To have a Magen David on a Lincoln street is extraordinary.

“They are very excited about Jewish tourism and we are having more visitors. There may even be a possibility of having a visitors’ centre at Jews’ Court.

“The local theatre is also increasingly putting on Israeli and Jewish content. They recognise that if they put those shows on, people will go. Plus we’re applying to join the Board of Deputies. It’s going brilliantly here.”

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