Jewish communal leaders have offered messages of support to His Majesty King Charles III since his cancer diagnosis was announced on Monday.
Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis said on X/Twitter that he was “saddened” to hear about the diagnosis, adding: “I know that the Jewish communities of Great Britain and the Commonwealth will join me in wishing him a Refuah Sheleima — a complete and swift recovery.”
A spokesperson for the United Synagogue said that they would be issuing a special prayer for the King.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and King Charles, then Prince of Wales, attend a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at Central Hall Westminster, 2015 (Credit: CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In the meantime, a statement from Progressive Judaism said: “We send our thoughts and prayers to His Majesty King Charles III and wish him a speedy return to full health and the service of our country. We have had the pleasure of working with the King at many points throughout the years and he is a dedicated friend to the Jewish community and faith world.”
Prayers for the King’s recovery will be part of Progressive services around the country this Shabbat.
Masorti Judaism said: “We at Masorti Judaism are sending our thoughts and prayers to His Majesty King Charles III. We wish him a Refuah Sheleima, a fast return to full health.”
The Board of Deputies said: “Our thoughts are with His Majesty and the Royal Family at this time. We wish the King a Refuah Sheleimah — a full and speedy recovery.”
The JLC tweeted: “We wish His Majesty a speedy recovery.”
Joel Friedman and Rabbi Avrohom Sugarman MBE of the Pinter Trust, which represents the Charedi community, said in a statement: “We wish to express our unwavering support for Your Majesty as you navigate through this difficult period. We extend our heartfelt wishes for Your Majesty to reign for a length period in good health, continuing to lead with wisdom and grace.
“Your steadfast dedication to your duties and service to this nation are deeply appreciated by all, and we fervently hope for many more years of your wise and benevolent leadership ... We send our warmest wishes for a Refuah Sheleima.”
On Monday, Buckingham Palace released a statement saying King Charles had been diagnosed with cancer, but did not disclose which type.
The King is dedicated to Holocaust education, having met Holocaust survivors and their relatives on multiple occasions. On hearing the news of his diagnosis, a number of Holocaust education organisations sent their good wishes.
Karen Pollock CBE, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “Together with our beloved Holocaust survivors, we wish His Majesty The King a quick and full Refuah Sheleima. The King has been a long-time and steadfast supporter of Holocaust education and remembrance in this country and has built a very special relationship with survivors and their families in recent years. He is adored and respected by so many in our community and I know survivors look forward to dancing the Hora again with him very soon. All of us wish him a speedy recovery.”
Olivia Marks-Woldman OBE, chief executive officer of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: “His Majesty The King has displayed a compassionate affinity with survivors of the Holocaust and recent genocides, including welcoming survivors to tea at Buckingham Palace to mark Holocaust Memorial Day last year. His longstanding commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day is appreciated by all of us at HMDT, survivors and community organisers across the country. We are all thinking of him and wish him well through his cancer treatment.”
Laura Marks CBE, chair of the board of trustees of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, co-founder of the Jewish-Muslim women’s network, Nisa-Nashim and founder of Mitzvah Day UK, which the King also supports, said: “His Majesty’s involvement with community relations goes back decades, summed up in his pledge to be Defender of all Faiths.
“As the most powerful and compelling convenor of people in the nation, I’ve seen his unparalleled willingness to bring people together around causes from Holocaust and genocide commemoration to local community projects...We all wish him better – Refuah Sheleima – to continue his essential work.”
King Charles with the late Harry Bibring, who came to the UK on the Kindertransport (Photo: Jewish Care)
Jewish Care’s life president Lord Levy, president Steven Lewis, the board of trustees and CEO Daniel Carmel-Brown issued a joint statement, saying: "On behalf of the Jewish Care community, we send a message of love, strength and support to His Majesty King Charles III, Queen Camilla, and to all the Royal Family.
“Over the years, older people we support have greatly enjoyed meeting King Charles on his Royal visits to our care homes and community centres. To mark the Coronation, as a testament to the warmth and care we all feel for the King, we planted King Charles III rosebushes in our resources.
“We look forward to seeing them flourish and we wish The King a full and speedy recovery and a return to good health.”
Maurice Peltz, a member of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre, who met the King when he visited JW3, said: “I enjoyed dancing with the King last year as my dance partner, I wish him well and all the best, and would like to say to The King that you should get well again, as quickly as possible.”
King Charles also received well wishes from the Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade, where he is a patron. Neil Martin OBE, its CEO, said: “On behalf of our president, trustees, professional staff, adult volunteers, and, most importantly, our young members at JLGB, we send our heartfelt wishes for a full and speedy recovery to His Majesty King Charles.
“In recent years and in several wonderful interactions, including his recent Coronation, JLGB has been privileged to benefit from his wisdom, caring and support. We wish him Refuah Sheleima and may only strength and good health be with him in the days ahead.”
In a message from World Jewish Relief, where King Charles was the royal patron, CEO Paul Anticoni said: “Everyone at World Jewish Relief wishes His Majesty The King a full and speedy recovery. He has been a long-standing friend to us, and the wider Jewish community, and his conviction in the value of our global work and our work with refugees in the UK has been highly motivating and inspiring to our team, trustees, clients and partners.”
In 2008, His Majesty opened the Jewish Community Centre in Krakow in partnership with World Jewish Relief to help rebuild Jewish life and a Jewish community.
Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, said: “I send my very best wishes to His Majesty The King for a full and fast recovery, following the troubling news of his diagnosis.
“The King continues to be a true friend to the Jewish community worldwide and has spent a lifetime promoting inter-faith relations, religious tolerance and Holocaust education – not least during his last visit to the State of Israel.
“I join all Israelis in praying for The King’s swift return to full health, while his whole family also remain in our thoughts. We look forward to King Charles III returning to his public-facing duties soon.”
The King’s openness about his diagnosis has been welcomed by Chai Cancer Care, the community’s cancer support charity.
Chai chairperson Louise Hager, said: “His Majesty continues to lead by example. When he shared his plans for treatment for an enlarged prostate, the NHS prostate enlargement page visits went up by more than 1000 per cent.
“The discovery of a form of cancer during his recent surgery highlights the importance of being body vigilant, as the earlier any signs of cancer are found, the more likely it is to be treated successfully. We wish him a full and speedy recovery.”