Remembering the British Holocaust

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    Rabbi of Crawley

    In the 1960s, there were over half a million Jews in the UK

    Now in 2017, 50 years later there are less than half of that. (Approximately 230,000).

    A holocaust has swept this island.

    With intermarriage increasing and older people making up a majority of Jews, this number is set to shrink to 70,000 by 2050. The only people who are going to affect this statistic is the rapidly growing religious communities, particularly those in London, Manchester, Leeds and Bournemouth. (Crawley barely has minyan)

    We need to make some sort of memorial to the holocaust that took place in my country.
    Perhaps showing all the glorious shuls that once flourished from Grimsby to the East End, Doncaster to Welwyn and beyond.

    We need exhibitions showing the richness of Jewish life here through the last 300 years since Jews returned after the expulsion. Their dedication to Torah and education, their gemilus chassadim and their love for one another.

    If we don’t, who will?

    I would appreciate suggestions of any ideas , as when I travel the country, I just see old forlorn and bolted cemetries and shuls, with no memories of the people who used to daven there, walk there learn there.

    We all go to Poland and Russia to kivrei tzadikim but we must not forget the Jews of the United Kingdom, Particularly England, who have been all but remembered.

    I particularly call on British Jews who’s grandparents lived in the shtetlach and cities across the country to share your memories and thoughts and perhaps begin something big as a memory for all the Jews who lived here over the last few hundred years.

    Best Wishes
    The Rabbi Of Crawley
    Crawley, West Sussex, UK


    Ironically British Jewry is quickly reaching the point of their being a Chareidi/Orthodox majority.

    The only cure to save Jews, the one and only one, is to be Orthodox.


    The use of the term holocaust in this context demeans te term.


    Haven’t a lot of British Jews made aliyah? That’s certainly the case with the frummer of my British relatives.

    Rabbi of Crawley

    2 years on and this holocaust is only getting worse. Brexit doesnt help


    Non-Orthodox Jews tend to assimilate. So what’s the hiddush?


    Bournemouth really isnt on the regrowth map. If you want an example of a Jewish stronghold look at Gateshead.
    Bottom line is, in the places where people worked hard to set up Jewish schools, they flourished. Where that was not a priority, they went out the window.


    With all due respect, there is much more rebirth and growth in Gateshead than Bournemouth. How many Bar mitzvas are there in Bournemouth every Shabbos?

    Rabbi of Crawley

    I inow people who live in bournemouth. Bar mitzvas are not so common as the community is one more of retirees than lottle children , howe er there are constantly more and more older people relocating there from london including chassidim

    Gateshead is growing but many people are leaving as well due to the lack of jobs in the area


    There is no shul in Crawley, nor any rabbi or minyan.


    Liberalism destroyed the country. They were once the model for countries to look up to. Not anymore.


    The OP said
    “We need to make some sort of memorial to the holocaust that took place in my country.”

    The best memorial would be a yeshiva or school, a living monument. Better yet, support talmidim to go to EY to learn.

    Everything else would just be a waste of money. Some statue in the middle of nowhere that no one cares about.


    “Holocaust” means a Korban Oleh (google it)
    A sacrifice burnt entirely to the RBSO
    The word is bestowed on Kedoshim
    I refuse to use the word for people that choose to leave the fold


    From the point of view of Jewish survival, a Jew vanishing from Klal Yisrael due to assimilation is no different than being murdered by the goyim. The reality is that non-Orthodox Jews “disappear” within a few generations. There is a “line” based on observance of Torah and Mitsvos, and once you cross it, it become statistically likely that the grandchildren will not identify as Jews.


    a lofty person actually said it’s potentially worse than the Holocaust

    What about those who burned tefillin in the Warsaw Ghetto


    If a person is killed bc he is Jewish he has died al pi kiddush hashem. This discussion came up recently after the Pittsburgh shooting. Those in the temple were supposedly celebrating a “bris” of an adopted boy to a toevah couple.
    The question I had was, how can you simultaneously be creating a chillul hashem and kiddush hashem?
    But research seems to show that regardless, if you are killed bc you are Jewish you have died al pi kiddush hashem.
    Do you not see the tremendous difference between that and choosing to marry a shiksa?
    The word holocaust implies dying for the RBSO
    It should not be used for assimilation

    Rabbi of Crawley

    mainstream Jews as well as orthodox Jews must establish a national British holocaust museum

    David Y

    I agree that the use of the term “holocaust” is misplaced in this context and suggest that the moderator has erred in allowing the original text to go through. As already pointed out by others, the term:
    1) Refers to the slaughter of offerings, hence the connotation of Kiddush al’Hashem
    2) Has colloquially come to refer to state-sponsored criminal genocide based on race and or religion.
    3) By using it in the current context of supposed intermarriage or decline in observance it lends a halo of sacrifice and Kiddush al’Hashem to irreligiosity.
    4) It creates a slur against Britain and the British People, not just England but also the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish who have nothing to do whatsoever with the problem.


    Rabbi of Crawley: If you feel so strongly why don’t you start campaigning and fundraising through the appropriate channels? Of course, that would probably mean your having to identify yourself …

    Rabbi of Crawley

    david y – to me the term holocaust represents the genocide of a peple, culture, identity or heritage.

    What is upsetting is that some people can use the term holocsust exclusively to serve their needs.

    I do believe that almost all countries including britain had some role to play in the death if almost 6 million holy jews between 1940-1945
    britain fof example is less than 50 miles from wheee deportations in northern france were taking place and also brhtain returnef thousands of doomed jews to europe upon trying to enter palestine


    There is no rabbi in Crawley.


    Thank you, lesschum.


    Do “Decline of culture X” museums exist?

    Rabbi of Crawley

    Soon the 2021 census is going to begin and with it , will show how the situation is demographically for Anglo Jewry

    welcome Rabbi,  glad you’re well -29

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