Next Chief Rabbi Worried About Anti-Semitism Spilling into UK
According to Zach Pontz of The Algemeiner, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who is set to become Britain’s next chief rabbi, told BBC Radio 4 that he was concerned about growing anti-Semitism throughout Europe and that he was worried that it might spill into Britain.
According to The Guardian, he was particularly troubled by the recent anti-Semitic behavior displayed by West Ham fans toward The Spurs and Spurs fans. He told BBC Radio 4 that “We are seeing an overall rise in anti-Semitism through Europe” and that the world was starting to see “expressions” of anti-Semitism in England too.
According to the BBC, Mirvis also said that the Jewish community in the UK was “delighted” that anti-Semitism was treated, not just as a problem for Jews but that it was considered “a problem for society” and “part of overall racism.”
According to BBC News, Mirvis said that he believed that some attacks on Israel were rooted in anti-Semitism, however, according to Pontz; he said that that was “sometimes not the case.”
Yet, although Mirvis said he was worried about the future, Pontz reports that the rabbi had praise for the way the UK was currently handling anti-Semitism. Indeed, says Pontz, Mirvis said that the UK had a “good record on combatting anti-Semitism.”
The Guardian reports that Mirvis praised the British government for creating an “all-party parliamentary group against anti-Semitism.” According to The Guardian, Mirvis said that he was not only bothered by the prospect of increased anti-Semitism in Britain, but also by the problem of “an increasingly secular society.” Mirvis told BBC Radio 4 that the world was going through some very “challenging times” and that faith could play a big role in those.
Mirvis was chosen to succeed Britain’s current Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks in December. According to Sam Jones of the Guardian, he will take over the position in September.
Mirvis, says Jones, was born in South Africa, but served as Ireland’s Chief Rabbi between 1984 and 1992. Jones also reports that he is currently serving as Senior Rabbi at London’s Finchley United Synagogue.
While Mirvis told BBC Radio 4 that Lord Sacks would be a “tough act to follow”, Jones reports that Mirvis already enjoys significant support. His appointment was, says Jones, “unanimously approved.”
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