Exclusive: Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations head, leader of 35,000 Jewish citizens, backs Corbyn

Rabbi Ephraim Padwa condemns ‘irresponsible’ attacks on Labour leader

Correction of article published on THE SKWAWKBOX, 9 December 2019: In
an article first published on 9 December 2019 under the headline “Exclusive: Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations head, leader of 35,000 Jewish citizens, endorses Corbyn” the use of the word “endorses” in the headline was not justified by the text of Rabbi Ephraim Padwa’s statement which merely sought to defend Jeremy Corbyn against what the UOHC saw as an unjustified attack. Click here to read the full adjudication by IMPRESS.

Charedi Rabbi Ephraim Padwa

The head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations has published a letter supporting Jeremy Corbyn and condemning attacks on the Labour leader. The UOHC is an umbrella organisation representing over a hundred congregations and educational establishments in Greater London, with around 35,000 members.

The letter, written in Hebrew characters, translates:

We were shocked to learn about those who are disseminating rumours and blaming the leader of the Labour party Mr Jeremy Corbyn that he is an anti-Semite and so forth.

We therefore proclaim our view that we have no connection whatsoever with these irresponsible actions.

Jews are faithful to G-d and his Torah and seek the peace of the country they reside in and respect their leaders, and heaven forbid it wouldn’t cross their mind to confront political leaders, as our sages taught us and as we have been instructed by novi [prophet] Jeremiah (as stated in the book of Jeremiah, 29, 7) “seek the peace of the town I have exiled you there, and pray for her sake to G-d for with her peace you will have peace”.

In the merit we will endure the burden of exile and continue the ways of modesty here like the thousands of years of our exile in all generations, we shall be accredited to be saved from all calamities.

11 Kislev 5780 / 9 December 2019, London.

Ephraim Padwa
Principal Rabbinical Authority
Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregation

The Orthodox community represents around a quarter of the UK’s Jewish population and is projected to be around half of the population within fifteen years.

In 2018, thirty-four senior Orthodox rabbis of the UOHC signed a letter supporting Jeremy Corbyn. The letter was attacked as a fake by Corbyn’s opponents, but proven to be genuine – although only some of the attacks on its authenticity were withdrawn.

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