York Massacre Jews - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Jerry
    • 18.03.12 | 20:09 (IST)

    As a Jew living in York since 2005 (and who was standing only a few feet away from Helen when that photo was taken) I'd like to add a few points to this interesting article. Firstly the terrible events in York are actually quite frequently mentioned here and in the media. Every year, on the UK's Holocaust Memorial Day, the City of York Council with help from various Jewish and other organisations, run a public event which includes a candlelight vigil at Clifford's Tower, participation of children from local schools in plays and art, and also from York University. Only last week a commemorative rose variety named "Souvenir d'Anne Frank" (with a beautiful and moving story behind it) was planted in the Tower gardens by members of a local school. At the HMD events and the Rose planting, the Lord Mayor of York was in attendance and spoke solemnly acknowledging and drawing lessons from the terrible events of 1190. A representative of the Anne Frank trust was also present and in each case the events are reported in the local press. It is great to have someone as eminent as Helen Weinstein helping to research these events and the Jewish walk she runs is excellent. That makes two separate and very interesting Jewish walks in the city of York which will continue to be taken up by residents and the many visitors to the city. The presence of Clifford's Tower is on the contrary well known and indeed I have heard members of our local Jewish Community complaining that the tragic events of 1190 are brought up too often when it has to be said, local people have had plenty of time to move on. It is true that the cherem legend is known to most Jews if actually believed by almost none. There are stories of Charedi Jews taking the train passing through York stopping eating their sandwiches as the train passed through, in case eating should be construed as "settling" in York! The cherem, incidentally, if it ever did exist, is supposed to have been drawn up in the 18C - so the legend is far more recent than the events themselves. Finally, a very large event and conference took place here on the 800th Anniversary, 22 years ago, attended by many scholars and "VIP"s and ran over an entire weekend during which I believe the then (UK) Chief Rabbi cancelled any cherem - just in case it might have ever existed. Jerry K

    from the article: Centuries later, York comes to terms with the worst anti-Semitic attack in Britain
    First published 09:00 16.03.12 | Last updated 09:00 16.03.12
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