‘London on sea’ is answer
Regarding your article about the cost of living in Golders Green (Jewish News, 4 October), Southend and Westcliff, often referred to as London on Sea, is an hour away. We have a strong Jewish community, good road and rail links and London Southend airport, named by Which? as the best in the capital for the fifth year running.
The town, blessed by having an eruv approved by council planners, will probably be the first UK holiday destination with an eruv and a local airport!
Two years ago, young Charedi families uprooted their lives and moved here, enjoyng the opportunities offered by our 113-year-old community and beautiful 600-seat synagogue (it is the shul’s 50th anniversary this year). Far from shrinking, the town is now regenerating.
This was a solution to the housing problem in north London. This area has an abundance of attractive, affordable, spacious houses to rent or buy, all in a sea-air environment.
The number of Charedi families has grown to almost 30; we hope with the rise in the number of Jewish families moving into the area generally, and expanding on-site one-stop kosher shop facilities, it will become a sought-after place to live in the UK for all types of Jew – Charedi, modern, secular – to set up home and avoid soaring house prices.
Geoffrey Pepper, Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation
Chelsea should copy Croatia
The initiative by Chelsea FC to pay for a tour of Auschwitz for so-called supporters they catch chanting antisemitic songs is no doubt being introduced with the deepest of good intentions.
The club’s Jewish owner, Roman Abramovich, is after all at the forefront of the initiative.
However, while a visit might persuade some to realise the error of their ways, I believe that a greater number will use it to revel in their already well-
Instead of trying to punish the wayward fans by sending them on what might be termed a tour of a concentration camp theme park, I suggest it would be more apt to follow the example of the Croatian Football Association.
This organisation stipulated that two recent international games would be played without supporter attendance – in effect, taking place behind closed doors – after swastika flags were mowed onto the pitch.
Chelsea fans found guilty of such behaviour, whether they are dealt with by the law or Chelsea themselves, should be dealt with by having to attend diversity sessions and serve long-term bans.
Nothing hurts more than having to spend many lonely match days away from your team and friends.
It would lead, we can hope, to an important lesson being learned.
Stephen Vishnick, Tel Aviv
King’s blow to peace
The announcement from King Abdullah that Jordan would not renew clauses in the 1994 agreement leasing land to Israel is a blow to the peace treaty.
Under its terms, two small parcels of land under Jordanian sovereignty were leased to Israel for 25 years so Israeli farmers could continue cultivating the land.
Jordan is now giving notice that it is relinquishing the arrangement.
This regrettable action hardly comes in a vacuum. Large demonstrations calling for Jordan to ‘reassert its sovereignty’ have been backed by lawmakers, unions and the public reflecting a worrying truth, that the Jordanian people have scarcely reconciled themselves to peace with Israel with many openly loathing their neighbour. Treaties without normalisation risk constant rupture.
Jeremy Havardi, By email
Football boycott ignorance
All those people who called for Scotland to boycott Israel when they played in the Nations League game this month really showed their ignorance.
The Israel team is filled with Arab-Israeli or Muslim players, including the Muslim captain Bibras Natkho. They also have the star player, Beram Kayal, and Moanes Dabour, who just scored a goal against Albania.
Boycotting the Israeli team means boycotting all Israel, including its Arab population. Wouldn’t it be better to support this great example of coexistence instead?
Time to act in support of Israel and Jews
With antisemitism growing all the time, Israel and the Jewish people need to know they have friends in other, and non-Jewish, communities.
Formed in 2006, Christian Friends of Magen David Adom has been raising money for ambulances, the last in September to mark the 70th anniversary of the Hadassah Massacre.
By supporting MDA, we make a public stand against those who denigrate Israel and the Jewish people. Israel has its faults but that should not mean an open season of hostility.
It is about time those repulsed by those spouting hate did more than just keeping quiet.
Mark K Madeley (Rev’d),Weston-super-Mare
Religion needs to keep pace with modern life
Regardless of what the Torah might say about homosexuality, it’s surely a good thing that the Chief Rabbi, as reported in Jewish News last month, has issued a guide to ending bullying of LGBT+ students.
The Torah contains a great deal of archaic matter, much of which for a variety of reasons we stopped paying attention to or doing a long time ago.
Against such a background,
I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. It should be apparent that we need to move with times that are constantly changing and ensure that our religion remains compatible with the societies we live in.
In a phrase, that means having compassion for people, whoever they are and whatever their persuasion. It seems to me Chief Rabbi Mirvis should be congratulated for being bold in his approach.
Emmanuel Hausier, Radlett
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