London’s largest Charedi organisation has told members to stay away from JW3 in the latest attack on the centre for hosting events for LGBT Jews.
A notice signed by the rabbinic leadership of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, including its head, Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, says certain activities at JW3 “promote a way of life which is in total contradiction to Orthodox Judaism and halachah”.
It declared: “Accordingly, members of our community should distance themselves fully from JW3, its activities and services, and refrain from visiting the centre even for recreational purposes only.”
It follows a letter in similar vein which was endorsed in November by a couple of dozen rabbis from North-West London, including leaders of some of the most established Charedi communities in the area such as the Golders Green Beth Hamedrash (“Munks”) and Bridge Lane Beth Hamedrash.
Although neither document refers specifically LGBT activities, signatories of the letter explained that these are what prompted the condemnation of JW3.
Early last year the community centre, in North-West London, staged a “GayW3” festival to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. The Imahot v’Avot group for families with same-sex parents regularly meets there.