Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has announced that he is to lend his support to an event to mark 350 years of Jewish life in Britain.
The event, Simcha on the Square, will take place in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 17 September from 1pm-7pm and is organised by Jewish CultureUK (JCUK), the Association of Jewish Culture Providers, in conjunction with the Mayor of London.
According to a statement issued by the Mayor’s office, Mr Livingstone 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 event will be free and will include Jewish food, live performance, including klezmer bands, cantors, choirs, Sephardi and world music. London’s Deputy Mayor, Nicky Gavron will represent the Mayor at the event.
Announcing his support the Mayor 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.”
Mr Livingstone said he hoped the event would “give all Londoners an opportunity to learn about and enjoy Jewish culture” adding that he wanted to see if it was possible to “establish an annual round of events celebrating the enormous contribution to Jewish people to our city.”
The Mayor said he is “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 including the Identities 2006 exhibition at the Jewish Museum which the Mayor previously announced his support for.