Senior Sephardi rabbi rethinks criticism of racial inclusivity commission
The senior rabbi of the S&P Sephardi Community has backed the Board of Deputies’ Commission on Racial Inclusivity in the Jewish Community after initially questioning its broad remit.
Rabbi Joseph Dweck had previously been a critic of the commission’s terms of reference, telling the Jewish Chronicle: “I don’t think it’s appropriate to put them together. I don’t think it’s the same experience, I don’t think it’s the same issue in any way.”
However, after the commission’s chair Stephen Bush staunchly defended the process, Dweck appeared to adjust his view, saying: “I questioned the inclusion of Mizrachi Jews in the Commission as perhaps too broad a focus. I posed this question to Stephen Bush to better understand the aims of the commission and met with him and other participants.
“Having learned the details of their purpose and after hearing testimony describing experiences of prejudice from Mizrachi Jews, I fully welcome and support the aims and work of the commission and stand in solidarity with Jews— Mizrachi, Sephardi, Yemenite, or black who have faced discrimination. We have an opportunity to listen to their experiences and a responsibility to address these problems.”
Jews of Sephardi, Mizrachi and Yemenite descent have warmly backed the decision to include their experiences of prejudice within the Jewish community in the investigation, which is due to deliver its findings early next year.