Synagogue’s service hijacked by group holding up swastika

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Synagogue’s service hijacked by group holding up swastika

Online Shabbat service at Manchester Reform Synagogue, which was featured in Ridley Road, was disturbed by trolls shouting racist abuse.

Manchester Reform Synagogue on Jackson's Row
Manchester Reform Synagogue on Jackson's Row

Trolls hijacked a synagogue’s online service on Friday night holding up a swastika and racist images.

The Shabbat service at Manchester Reform Synagogue – which was used as a filming location for the BBC’s Ridley Road – was disturbed by sick trolls shouting racist abuse during prayers.

They were kicked out of the online meeting, but attempted to regain access, said the synagogue’s rabbi, Robyn Ashworth-Steen.

“Halfway through the service, during some prayers, they unmuted, started to shout, and put on the screen a swastika and some other awful racist images,” she told the BBC.

“They were kicked out straight away but it was clear through the service that they were trying to get in.”

The rabbi added that the community has been left “shaken” by the incident. Greater Manchester Police has said it is investigating, but that no-one had yet been arrested.

Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, said the abuse was “truly appalling,” adding: “We will ensure the fullest possible investigation.”

The Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester said it was “shocked, appalled and saddened” that the meeting was interrupted by “fascists showing antisemitic imagery”.

It added: “The fact this unacceptable incident was immediately widely condemned is both reassuring and greatly appreciated.”

The historic synagogue building on Jackson’s Row was used for a scene in Ridley Road which portrayed fascists trying to break into a synagogue.

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