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Many Jews in Ireland ‘feel deeply isolated’

Many Jews feel isolated by the portrayal of the current war in Gaza in the Irish media, and the rhetoric adopted in schools and on campuses, according to the Chief Rabbi of Ireland.

Rabbi Yoni Wieder was speaking at his inauguration ceremony in Dublin which was attended by political representatives and people of different faiths.

Around 400 guests, including TDs, Senators, Ambassadors and Jewish and other faith leaders attended the ceremony at the Dublin Hebrew Synagogue.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl addressed those gathered and spoke of the significant contribution of the Jewish community to Irish society.

Prior to the ceremony, Rabbi Wieder criticised Irish politicians for ignoring the threat posed by Hamas to Israel and to the Middle East.

He said that as long as Hamas was in a position of power, there is no chance of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Hamas are a genocidal terrorist organisation, who are explicit in their intent to eradicate the State of Israel and to murder Jews. Both the government and opposition parties deliberately ignore this reality,” he said.

This evening saw the first inauguration of a Chief Rabbi of Ireland since September 2001

A pre-recorded video address from President of Israel Isaac Herzog, grandson, and namesake of Rabbi Isaac Herzog who served as the first Chief Rabbi of Ireland between 1921-1936, was screened at the event.

Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis KBE, formerly a Chief Rabbi of Ireland, and now Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, officiated.

Rabbi Wieder spoke of a “renaissance” of Jewish life in Dublin in recent years in part due to families relocating to the capital to work in the high-tech industry.

He outlined his vision “to strengthen educational, religious, social and cultural activities” in the Jewish community over the coming years.

However, he said: “Many Jews, especially young children and university students, feel deeply isolated by the portrayal of the current war in Gaza in Irish media and the rhetoric adopted in schools and on campus.”

“While there are so many good things going on, the last months have also been very difficult for the Jewish community,” he said.

This evening saw the first inauguration of a Chief Rabbi of Ireland since September 2001.

Rabbi Wieder, who was born in London, moved to Dublin in July of last year with his wife to take up the position of Chief Rabbi.

The role of the Chief Rabbi is to lead the Jewish community of Ireland in religious, educational, social and cultural activities, and to represent the Jewish community to the Government, other faith communities and the media.

Until Rabbi Wieder’s appointment, the role of Chief Rabbi has been vacant since 2008, and this evening’s ceremony is the first inauguration of a Chief Rabbi of Ireland since September 2001.


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