British Jews and Christian Clergy Mark Anniversary of York Massacre

The massacre of Clifford’s Tower, probably the worst pogrom in the British Isles, will be marked by a four-day ecumenical gathering in York, the city in northern England where it occurred 800 years ago.

Scores of British Jews will join Christian clergy and lay leaders there on March 15 for a program of concerts, lectures, Bible readings and exhibitions.

The opening event will be a memorial service at the tower, a medieval keep where the 150 Jews of York met their death in the night and early morning hours of March 15, 1190.

They were burned to death, killed themselves or were murdered by a mob whipped to anti-Semitic frenzy by local noblemen, who wanted to avoid paying their debts to Jews.

Massacres subsequently occured in four other cities.

The service will be led by Rabbi Norman Solomon, director of the Centre for the Study of Judaism at Selley Oak Colleges.

It is expected to be attended by, among others, the archbishop of York, Dr. John Habgood.

There will also be a civic reception at the Guildhall, at which the lord mayor, Councillor Jack Archer, will welcome the Jewish visitors.

They will be led by Lionel Kopelowitz, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

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