Sunday, March 22, 2015

UK: Dwindling Jewish community in Wales ‘Feeling Vulnerable’

 Algemeiner reports:

The Jewish community in Wales, UK is dwindling in number and its members are feeling vulnerable in light of the record number of antisemitic attacks taking place in the UK, the BBC reported recently.

Newport synagogue
There are only 2,064 Jews currently living in Wales, according to the most recent census. Cardiff, the country’s capital, holds the largest Jewish community in Wales with less than 500 members, down from 5,500 in the 1960s. In Newport, which has a synagogue that dates back to 1859, only six Jews remain.

“When I look to the future I see decline, I see Newport and Swansea virtually ended like Merthyr did a few years ago,” said Stanley Soffa, chairman of the Jewish Representative Council for South Wales. Fear of antisemitic attacks is apparent among Jews in Wales. Soffa said the community fears “the person who will do something unpredictable.”

“It could just be a comment in the street, it could be desecration of a cemetery, it could be daubing something on a synagogue, it could, of course, be much more serious than that,” he told BBC Wales News.

“We do not fear action such as we’ve seen in Paris, but we have to be vigilant and careful. It only takes one person to pull a knife and to stab another and so we don’t want people to put themselves in a difficult position if they can help it. Security has obviously increased and the police have been very good.”

Figures released in February showed antisemitic incidents in the UK reaching the highest level ever recorded, the BBC reported. The Community Security Trust, a Jewish security charity that runs an incident hotline, recorded 1,168 antisemitic incidents against Britain’s 291,000 strong Jewish population in 2014, compared to 535 attacks in 2013. [...]

Professor Nathan Abrams from Bangor University, who specializes in European Jewish diasporas, believes demographics are behind the decline of the Jewish population in Wales. The older generations who are dying are not getting replaced by younger members. More.

No comments :

Post a Comment