I recently visited the Northampton Hebrew Congregation during their Channukah lunch and addressed members of the local synagogue.
Coincidentally, almost exactly a decade ago I met the then-new Chief Rabbi of the UK Sir Ephraim Mirvis in Northampton when he visited to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the local Northampton Jewish congregation.
As a part of wider Channukah festivities, I also had the pleasure of attending a Channukah celebration at 10 Downing Street the following week hosted by the Prime Minister.
This is currently a very difficult time for the small Jewish community in the UK, with incidents of antisemitic hate crime spiking by an estimated 1300% this year. I am thus pleased with the increase in funding that has been allocated towards the protection of religious spaces by the Home Office, as well as the Prime Minister’s strong condemnation of unacceptable hate speech and calls for violence.
I have always visited faith groups in Northampton from every religion and denomination during my time as an MP, and I was very happy to have the opportunity to show my support to the small Jewish community in Northampton and celebrate Northampton’s Jewish heritage.
(Archive Photo: Sir Michael Ellis MP with the Chief Rabbi in Northampton in 2013)