Jews and Cypriots in the UK last came together to celebrate their communities in the Commonwealth.
the Board of Deputies of British Jew, in cooperation with the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK and the Commonwealth Jewish Council, hosted the event entitled “A Celebration of Cypriot and Jewish Communities in the Commonwealth” to coincide the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Among the speakers at the event were Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies Gillian Merron, President of National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Christos Karaolis, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council Lord Jonathan Mendelsohn and Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides.
Gillian Merron said that “the occasion of tonight’s event was to celebrate Cypriot and Jewish communities’ tremendous contribution to the Commonwealth. The history of the two peoples, Jews and Cypriots, goes back centuries. Politically speaking, the two ancient peoples have long established strong ties in the Eastern Mediterranean. The State of Israel has established a very close alliance with Cyprus: politically, culturally but also economically and strategically. Cyprus has shown that it is committed to its alliance with Israel which rests upon a bond of common and shared values. The country remains a strong supporter of the Jewish State in international forums as well.”
Chief Rabbi Mirvis told the audience that Cypriot-Jewish connections went back to Biblical times, when Cyprus wine, called “yayin kafrisin” was considered the finest for Jewish sacramental purposes. He added that Cyprus was mentioned in the Talmud.
Nikos Christodoulides highlighted that the event was a “celebration of the unique historical bond of friendship between our communities”. He said that the Cypriot government was “proud to have taken this historical, cultural bond to the level of strategic cooperation between Cyprus and Israel”.
Photo: (left to right) President of National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Christos Karaolis, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, High Commissioner for the Republic of Cyprus Euripides L Evriviades , Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies Gillian Merron, President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council Lord Jonathan Mendelsohn