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Press Release

Mayor Livingstone funds Jewish festival in Trafalgar Square
28-7-2006   405

Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London is lending his support to a special event taking place in Trafalgar Square to mark 350 years of Jewish life in Britain.

The event, Simcha on the Square, will take place on Sunday 17 September from 1pm-7pm and is being organised by Jewish Music Institute and the JMI Jewish Culture Alliance, in conjunction with the Mayor of London.

The Mayor has provided £60,000 in funding for events to mark the 350th anniversary of Oliver Cromwell's invitation to Jews to return to Britain. The Trafalgar Square event will be free to the public and will include Jewish food, live performance, including klezmer bands, cantors, choirs, Sephardi and world music. Deputy Mayor, Nicky Gavron will represent the Mayor at the event.

The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: 'Jewish people make up one of London's oldest communities with a long tradition of contributing to all fields of intellectual, cultural and economic life. These events will give all Londoners an opportunity to learn about and enjoy Jewish culture. I hope we can establish an annual round of events celebrating the enormous contribution to Jewish people to our city. I am determined that not only will London remain a city which does not tolerate anti-Semitism or any other form of racism, but also that we are a city which positively celebrating the gigantic Jewish contribution to human culture and civilization over many centuries.'

Simcha on the Square is part of a year long programme of events marking the 350th anniversary of Jewish life in Britain. This includes the Identities 2006 exhibition at the Jewish Museum, which the Mayor has also given support to, and which runs until 12 November.
The Mayor of London works with Jewish Music Institute and the JMI Jewish Culture Alliance and other groups on a number of initiatives to celebrate Jewish culture and the community's contribution to the life of London. These include funding and publishing a Jewish Guide to London, lighting the menorah at City Hall, exhibitions and other events.

Notes to Editors

  1. Simcha is a Hebrew and Yiddish word meaning 'joy'. It also is the word for a party or a celebration. Weddings and parties are referred to as 'Simchas'.
  2. The Jewish Music Institute and the JMI Jewish Culture Alliance bring together organisations that work to provide Jewish cultural events and activities for the British public as part of Britain's cultural diversity, including the Jewish Museum, the London Jewish Cultural Centre and the Jewish Music Institute. A range of activities open to the public includes exhibitions, talks, concerts, literature events, lectures, seminars, theatrical events and courses. For information go to the website:
  3. Identities 2006 is on at the Jewish Museum, 129-131 Albert Street, Camden Town, London NW1 7NB from 4 July – 12 November 2006. Call 020 7284 1997 for more information. Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 10am-4pm, Sunday 10am-5pm Admission: Adults £3.50, Senior Citizens £2.50, Children/Students/Disabled £1.50, Family ticket £8.For further information on the exhibition please contact Sara Priem on: 020 7284 1997, or by email at

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