The Jewish Chronicle reports:
Simcha on the Square, the annual celebration of Jewish culture in Trafalgar Square, has been cancelled this year because organisers have been unable to secure enough funding from the Greater London Authority.
Instead, the GLA will be sponsoring a beefed-up Klezmer in the Park to take place in Regent’s Park on September 6.
The GLA had underwritten almost half the £100,000 cost of last year’s Simcha, the third since its inauguration.
Simcha director Geraldine Auerbach said: “The GLA has expressed very clear wishes to continue partnership with the Jewish cultural community but was unable to say what funds would be available.”
But, she added, it was able to pledge enough to Klezmer in the Park “to present a really wonderful day which will still be able to achieve our aims of providing a day of Jewish culture”.
The event will be compered by comedian David Schneider.
I was at school with the very funny David Scheider, with whom I appeared in a play once, I think. Geraldine Auerbach is a childhood friend of my father’s.
To be honest, though, I really don’t see the point of either a publicly funded ‘Simcha’ or ‘Klezmer’. We can manage attending a klezmer gig, or dancing the hora all by ourselves. We shouldn’t be looking for a hand out on this, surely?
Ken Livingstone disagrees:
“Simcha on the Square officially celebrated the Jewish contribution to London and gave all Londoners an opportunity to share in the richness of Jewish music, dance and culture. London’s economic success depends on its international and cultural openness. The cultural festivals we supported were a great symbol of this, not only improving community relations in London, but giving London a open image throughout the world. Our relatively small investments reaped dividends for London. Boris Johnson’s Tory administration has adopted a narrow-minded approach which will harmful to London’s international standing and its many communities.”
What damaged London’s ‘community relations’ and ‘many communities’ was Ken Livingstone’s sponsorship and defence of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Yusuf Al Qaradawi: a man who has declared his hope that he will be able to continue the ‘punishment’ of the Jews that was started by Hitler.