British chief rabbi disinvited from London event marking completion of Talmud study cycle


(JTA) — British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was disinvited from a major event marking the completion of the Daf Yomi cycle, the 7.5-year project of studying a page of the Talmud every day.

The event, held Tuesday at Wembley Arena in London, was sponsored by the haredi Orthodox group Agudath Yisroel of the United Kingdom.

Mirvis was originally invited to sit on the dais with other prominent rabbis, but the invitation was withdrawn on Monday, the UK Jewish News reported.

Mirvis angered some segments of the Orthodox Jewish community in 2018 when he released a guide for Jewish day schools on how to support their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. The guide, produced in partnership with the Jewish LGBT group KeshetUK, urged tolerance for students struggling with sexual orientation and gender identity.

The London-based Jewish Chronicle reported that there had been rumors some haredi Orthodox rabbis would boycott the event if Mirvis attended.

A spokesman for the chief rabbi confirmed to both newspapers that the invitation had been rescinded. “How sad that the petty politics of a small minority should distract from what should be a wonderful celebration of Torah,” the spokesman said.

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