Police break up large gatherings of Charedim in Bournemouth

Officers visit kosher hotel twice over Shabbat to disperse crowd and 'reiterate government advice' on social distancing


Dorset Police twice visited a Bournemouth kosher hotel at the weekend to disperse a “large religious gathering” which contravened government restrictions.

A police spokesperson told the JC that in response to a tip-off, officers attended the Normandie Hotel on Friday evening. They “spoke to the leader of the group, engaging and explaining with them about the current government advice about gatherings of more than two people from the same household and social distancing”.

After a further call on Shabbat morning, officers “re-attended the address and engaged with the group, reiterating the government advice” and “encouraged the worshippers to return home”.

As the JC has previously revealed, the local community has expressed concern over Charedim travelling to holiday flats and allegedly taking part in minyans.

A resident claimed to have seen around a dozen-and-a-half Charedim arrive at the back entrance of the hotel on both Friday evening and Saturday morning. The resident added that the lights of the synagogue attached to the hotel were on.

Rabbi Adrian Jesner of Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation said it was “a disgrace that the police have had to be called out. It’s even worse – it’s what we call raw chutzpah – that people would dare to have a minyan against the law of the land. Absolutely raw chutzpah against every rabbi in town, against every rabbi in London, the Chief Rabbi, the London Beth Din, the Federation Beth Din, the Union Beth Din.”

There are fears that the visitors will again attempt to congregate over the Bank Holiday weekend.

A Normandie Hotel representative declined to comment.



Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive