Reform rabbi to attend Thatcher funeral


A leading British Reform rabbi is to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, chairman of the assembly of Reform rabbis UK, will represent the movement for Reform Judaism at the ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral on Wednesday.

The chief rabbi is yet to confirm whether he will be attending the funeral. Although he typically does not attend religious ceremonies in church, he has made exceptions on occasion in the past.

Israeli Prime Minister is also reported to be flying to the UK for the funeral, since President Shimon Peres – who served as prime minister at the same time as Baroness Thatcher – is unable to rearrange prior commitments. A source said that the Thatcher family had specifically requested his presence.

If Mr Netanyahu does attend, it is likely that he will fly in late on Tuesday or early on Wednesday, since Israel marks Yom Ha'atzmaut – 65 years since independence – on Tuesday.

Lord Maurice Saatchi, whose advertising agency masterminded Baroness Thatcher’s 1979 victory, is also set to attend the funeral. All of Baroness Thatcher's former cabinet ministers have been invited, which means Nigel Lawson, Leon Brittan and Sir Malcolm Rifkind could be among those present.

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