LONDON (Mar. 2)
A member of Britain’s royal family will have a go at Orthodox Judaism — for a few hours, at least.
Prince Charles is expected to become the first member of the British royal family to attend an Orthodox Jewish service when he attends a service next month at London’s St. John’s Wood Synagogue in honor of Israel’s jubilee.
In 1970, then-British chief rabbi Lord Immanuel Jakobovits raised the possibility of inviting Queen Elizabeth to attend a special service to mark the centenary of the United Synagogue, the mainstream Orthodox movement in Britain. But after it became known that the queen would not accept the invitation, it was not delivered.
A leading Reform rabbi, Jackie Tabick, of the West London Reform Synagogue welcomed the news: “We greatly welcome this move,” she said. “It should not affect his role in the Church of England.”
But not everyone was pleased with the announcement.
The director of the Anglican Church Society, the Rev. David Streater, said the prince’s visit “does not seem at all wise in light of the tensions in the Middle East and the Church of England.”
The official Palestinian representative in Britain said he hoped that Prince Charles would express equal concern for the plight of the Palestinians.
“I am sure the government and the prince will make a parallel gesture toward the Palestinian people on this anniversary,” said Afif Safieh, a Palestinian Christian who is also accredited by the Palestine Liberation Organization to the Vatican.
The St John’s Wood Synagogue is the traditional “home” of Britain’s chief rabbi.