Politicians extended their best wishes to the Jewish community ahead of Pesach, which begins this evening.
Boris Johnson’s office wished “everyone a very happy Passover.” A message from Downing Street’s official Twitter account on Wednesday urged the community to stay at home during the festival amid the pandemic.
“In these difficult times, it may be challenging to celebrate without family and friends, but by staying at home this Passover you’re protecting the NHS, and you’re saving lives,” it read. “So thank you – and Chag Pesach Sameach!”
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said in a video message on Wednesday this year’s Pesach will be a celebration “like none of us can remember.”
But the Jewish community “has proven itself to be one of the most “resilient and adaptable”, he added, before urging members to abide by social distancing restrictions during the festival.
— Robert Jenrick (@RobertJenrick) April 8, 2020
Israel’s Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev wished British Jews “a very happy” Pesach. “As we remember our journey from slavery to freedom in antiquity, so too can we celebrate the modern rebirth of Jewish national freedom in our homeland,” he wrote on social media on Wednesday.
The former chancellor Sajid Javid tweeted that he was “thinking of Jews in the UK and across the world”, adding: “At a time when we face great challenges, the festival of Passover this year has an extra special meaning.”
As you prepare to celebrate the festival of Passover, I send my warmest wishes to the Jewish community.
May this Passover bring hope at a time of darkness and may it not be long before we have the opportunity to celebrate together once more. Chag Sameach. pic.twitter.com/xYHa99YEjw
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) April 8, 2020
Labour’s new leader Keir Starmer sent his “warmest wishes” to the community in a video message, published today. “As you prepare for the Seder meal it will of course be very different this year, with the coronavirus meaning that the usual gathering of family and friends is simply not going to be possible for many many people,” he said.
“May this Passover bring a ray of hope in the darkness, and I hope it’s not long before we can celebrate again together. Chag Shameach,” he added.
In the clip, Starmer, who was elected leader last Saturday, reiterated his apology to the community over the Labour Party’s “failure to deal with antisemitism”, which he said caused “great grief in Jewish communities”.
My very best wishes to Jewish communities in London and around the world marking the start of Passover.
The central message of Passover – the triumph of hope over adversity – couldn’t be more relevant, and should serve as a source of inspiration to us all. Chag Sameach. pic.twitter.com/935vBJSZ5K
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) April 8, 2020
Labour’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan thanked members of the Jewish community for their “compassion … generosity and … kindness.”
“Due to the [coronavirus] crisis, many people won’t be able to mark this special occasion by coming together for the Seder meal with family members, friends and loved ones,” he said in a short video shared on social media.
“However, the central message of Passover is relevant today. The triumph of hope over adversity should be a source of inspiration for us all, as should the selfless acts of Jewish Londoners who are stepping up to help out the elderly neighbours and the most vulnerable,” he added.