London (Feb. 7)
The honour conferred on Dr. Isaac Alkalay, the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Belgrade, who is also the official Chief Rabbi of the Jews of Juge-Slavia, by the King of Jugo-Slavia in appointing him a member of the Senate as representing the whole of the Jewish Community of that country, was dwelt on to-day by Mr. John Sebag Montefiore, the President of the Wardens of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, when he spoke here at the annual meeting of the Elders of the Community.
Some of us here, Mr. Sebag Montefiore said, have the pleasure of knowing Dr. Alkalay, who stayed for some time in England in the interests of his country during the war, and he left a favourable impression of his personality.
Dr. Alkalay’s elevation to the position of Senator is welcome evidence, particularly in those days, Mr. Sebag Montefiore went on, that at least in one part of Europe the authorities are well-disposed towards the Jewish Community, and for us in particular it is of interest to recall that although the Sephardi element in Jugo-Slavia forms only about a third of the Jewish population, the standing of the Sephardi community is such as to have placed their spiritual head in this position of honour and responsibility.
A resolution congratulating Dr. Alkalay was adopted unanimously, and the Elders welcomed the appointment “as evidence of the goodwill entertained by the King of Jugo-Slavia towards his Jewish subjects”.
Sir Francis Montefiore, the President of the Community, extended a welcome to Mr. Philip Guedalla, who took his seat as an Elder for the first time.