Saturday, 8 May 2021 - 26 of Iyyar, 5781

British Jewish community pays tribute to Prince Philip

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The Duke of Edinburgh died on Friday morning at Windsor Castle aged 99, Buckingham Palace announced in a statement.

Britain’s Jewish community leaders praised Prince Philip’s recalled his “affection for the Jewish community,” The Jewish Chronicle reported. The Duke of Edinburgh died on Friday morning at Windsor Castle aged 99, Buckingham Palace announced in a statement.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” reads the statement.

Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis paid tribute to the “selfless and loyal public figure”, who offered his “steadfast support to The Queen” and “exceptional service to our nation”.

The chief rabbi noted Prince Philip’s “interaction with, and affection for, the Jewish community in the UK and his connection with Israel, where his mother is buried and which he visited in 1994.”

“I enjoyed immensely my personal conversations with the Duke of Edinburgh, during which I was deeply moved by his extraordinary sense of duty. A remarkable Royal, working well into his 90s, he became a role model for staying active in one’s later years and demonstrated an unwavering sense of responsibility to our country,” Mirvis said.

Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD) President Marie van der Zyl said his life had been one spent “in public service.”  She praised “his active duty in the Navy during the Second World War” and the “tens of thousands of engagements which he carried out over six and a half decades of royal duties.”

“Our thoughts are with the Royal Family today; it is our sincere hope that their memories of Prince Philip will be a comfort to them in the period ahead,” she said.

Jewish Leadership Council chair Jonathan Goldstein highlighted the Duke’s devotion to public service and noted “many happy memories of his engagements with the Jewish community.”

The Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) said the Duke’s loss “will be felt by us all” and praised his “immeasurable contribution to the life of our country”.

United Synagogue president Michael Goldstein said the Duke had been ” a constant for generations of United Synagogue members and their families, the wider Jewish community and the nation at large.”

“His attendance with the Queen at an event to mark our 100th Anniversary in 1970 is remembered fondly as are his leadership on issues such as the welfare of young people, environment and wildlife, and sports.”

The Community Security Trust (CST) said the Duke’s public service, saying: “We will always be grateful for Prince Philip’s dedication and support for the UK Jewish community.”

Israeli leaders also mourned the passing of Prince Philip,  saying that his death was a loss for the world and Israel.

“Prince Philip was the consummate public servant and will be much missed in Israel and across the world,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

President Reuven Rivlin sent his “deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy” to the Queen and the British people on behalf of Israel.

Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, died in 1969 and was posthumously honored by Britain and Israel for sheltering a Jewish family in Nazi-occupied Athens during the war.

She is buried in Jerusalem and is counted as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, an honor bestowed by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial on non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

In 1994, Philip made a  visit to Israel for a ceremony at Yad Vashem to mark his mother’s valor.


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