Interfaith Report from Tony Ostrin – January 2020
During Chanukah anti-Semitic graffiti appeared outside S. Hampstead Synagogue and another building in the near vicinity. Fortunately our Synagogue was not targeted although we did receive a number of messages of solidarity. Below are 3 emails both of which I acknowledged. Also a letter was published in the Ham and High expressing the communities’ appreciation of the thoughts of our non-Jewish friends.
Shortly I will be meeting the assistant curate of the church in Church Row Hampstead together with the Vicar of Emmanuel Church in West Hampstead to discuss with them a proposed joint interfaith event. This is likely to involve a number of religious leaders being invited to speak about their religions to an open audience. I expect the event to be held in our Eli Chinn Hall. When I have details I will advise our community.
In March I shall be taking a church group around the Synagogue and explaining to those who attend the history of our community with a taste of Judaism. We have also been approached by a local school whose students wish also to see the shul and learn a little about Judaism.
Rabbi Harris is always very supportive of our interfaith activities and I am most grateful to him for this.
I am still your interfaith representative on the Camden Council’s Faith Leaders’ Forum which will be meeting in February when I intend to be present.
I just wanted to drop you a line to assure you and your community of our absolute solidarity with you in the face of the despicable acts of anti-Semitic graffiti in the locality over the last few days. We stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the face of acts of such wickedness and pledge ourselves to do all that we can to rid our society of such appalling prejudice and hatred.
Thank you so much fir your warm and generous friendship with us here at Emmanuel which we appreciate so very much.
With warmest good wishes and prayers, as ever,
The Reverend Jonathan Kester
Vicar | Emmanuel Church, West Hampstead
Priest in Charge | St Cuthbert’s Church, West Hampstead
Area Dean | Camden
Diocese of London | Edmonton Episcopal Area
I’m so sorry about the terrible and hateful graffiti attack in Hampstead overnight. I think the cleanup has happened, thankfully, and I know that there will be deep pain and profound distress in the Jewish communities. If there’s anything that the church can do to be helpful or offer any support at all, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
With best wishes,
Revd Dr Ayla Lepine
Building an inclusive community of Christian love, faith, witness and action
Church Row London NW3 6UU
“The antisemitic daubings in Hampstead and Belsize Park during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah are an affront to all in Camden. We are a Borough that cherishes its diversity as one of its greatest strengths. We are grateful to council staff for their quick work in removing the hateful graffiti and to police for providing enhanced protection. We would call on the police to do everything possible to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. It is essential that we show zero tolerance to hate of any kind.”
Cllr Abdul Hai and Phil Rosenberg, Co-Chairs of the Camden Faith Leaders Forum