Delegates to Limmud denied entry to Britain


Britain’s attempt to control immigration has yet again hit the Limmud conference after a number of prospective participants from abroad had their visa applications rejected.

For the second year running, Serge Etele, the head of a nascent Jewish community in Cameroon, has been denied entry.

Five young women from Eastern Europe — four from Ukraine and a Polish-based student from Belarus — have also been barred from the UK.

Limmud chairman Kevin Sefton said: “We’re disappointed whenever people are unable to obtain visas in order to join us as participants and invited presenters.”

He added: “We are pleased that such instances are rare and we work with the authorities with the aim of enabling a person to participate in our events.”

Mr Etele heads Beit Yeshourun, a group of former Christians who converted to Judaism around 15 years ago. He spent three months in Israel this summer.

Three young women from Moishe House Kiev had been due to talk about the situation in Ukraine at the conference later this month, while two applicants to Matara, a programme for young European Jews run at Limmud by the Rothschild Foundation Europe, were also unable to secure visas.

Alejandro Okret, London-based senior director of international development for Moishe House, a network of community houses where young Jews run events for their peers, said that he was “very disappointed. We’d love to see our Moishe House Kiev residents participate and share views about their community.”

The Home Office would not comment on specific cases, but said that “the onus is on the individual to ensure they provide sufficient evidence to support their application.”

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