Prince William Decries Antisemitism During Visit to London Synagogue – Kveller
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Prince William Decries Antisemitism During Visit to London Synagogue

"Both Catherine and I are extremely concerned about the rise in antisemitism," he said at the event, where he met with Jewish clergy, youth and a Holocaust survivor.

Rabbi Daniel Epstein shows Britain's Prince William, Prince of Wales a 17th century Torah scroll during a visit to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue, in London, on February 29, 2024. (Photo by Toby Melville / POOL / AFP) (Photo by

via TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

This Thursday, Prince William visited the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London to attend an event about antisemitism. European Jews have been voicing a concern about growing antisemitism since October 7, and in London specifically, “police received reports of 657 antisemitic and 230 Islamophobic incidents between Oct.1 and Nov. 1, a significant jump in both categories,” according to JTA. 

Sitting at a long table with a group of speakers and donning a black kippah, the prince heard about the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust in the UK, listened to students and young people share their recent experiences with antisemitism and met with “young ambassadors from all backgrounds and faiths who have taken part in the flagship ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ project,” according to the Prince and Princess of Wales’ social media account.

“So you’ve heard that from me — antisemitism has no place in society,” he told the speakers at the event. “I’ve said that before and I’ll say that before and I’ll say it again.”

Prince William told the participants that “hearing how you talk about it, both Catherine and I are extremely concerned about the rise in antisemitism that you guys have all talked about so eloquently this morning,” referring to his wife, Kate Middleton, who was recently hospitalized for abdominal surgery — the event was the prince’s first public engagement since her hospitalization. The princess, who is currently recovering at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor, has previously shared a moving series of photographs she took of survivors with their grandchildren. 

“I’m just so sorry that every one of you here had to experience that,” he added. “It has no place and it shouldn’t happen… That’s why I’m here today, to reassure you all that people do care, people do listen and we can’t let that keep going.”

Prince William toured the Orthodox synagogue with Rabbi Daniel Epstein and his wife, Rebbetzen Ilana Epstein. The synagogue came to be as a merger between one of the country’s oldest Ashkenazi congregations — the Western Synagogue, founded in 1761 — and the Marble Arch Synagogue, founded in 1957. The two merged in 1991 and it remains one of the largest Orthodox congregations in the country. The late former chief rabbi of Britain, Lord Jonathan Sacks, was the synagogue’s rabbi between 1983 and 1990.

Prince William got the chance to step up to the bimah with Rabbi Epstein. In a video of the event, you can see him speaking to a young man donning a yellow ribbon in honor of the Israelis held captive in Gaza.

He held her hand and the two had what seemed to be a heartfelt conversation. The video shared by the Prince and Princess of Wales’ social media account shows the beautiful details from inside the synagogue, including its gorgeous stained glass windows, as well as his warm conversation with Holocaust survivor Renee Salt, who he sat with, listened to and held hands with.

He shared on social media he was “honoured to meet” Salt, who, in his opinion, “is a living example of the tragic consequences of antisemitism being allowed to go unchecked.”

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