Dutch royals want to discuss, not change, event scheduled for Yom Kippur


(JTA) — A Dutch official said talks will be held with the Jewish community about a royal ceremony scheduled to take place on Yom Kippur.

A farewell party for the recently abdicated Queen Beatrix is currently scheduled for Sept. 14, the Jewish Day of Atonement. A spokesperson for the royal house said discussions were underway to “find the best way to make the day happen,” the news site Spirit24 reported, but the date would not be changed because of scheduling constraints.

Last week, the daily NRC Handelsblad reported that Dutch Jews were “vexed” by the decision to hold the event on Yom Kippur. Holland’s chief interprovincial rabbi, Binyomin Jacobs, was quoted as saying: “Jews are again faced with a reality in which they don’t belong, and that is painful.”

Jacobs told JTA he was “not angry, but pained.” He added: “I can see why the Jewish minority was overlooked in scheduling the event. We are a very small minority. And that is painful.”

He added he did not expect the royal house to reschedule.

A special prayer was held on April 28 in Amsterdam’s Portuguese Synagogue ahead of Beatrix’s succession as monarch on April 30 by her son, Willem-Alexander. Jacobs and two other rabbis attended the succession ceremony in Amsterdam.

“It felt like we were very much a part of the process,” he said.

The prayer was in honor of the royal house, the Dutch government, the State of Israel and members of the Israel Defense Forces, according to the Dutch Israelite Religious Community, or NIK.

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