Last updated: 2004-11-26
The Home Secretary, the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP, was guest of honour at an Indian-Jewish Association reception on 25 November 2004 at the offices of lawyers Mishcon de Reya in Holborn.
Introducing the Home Secretary, who was greeted with the traditional welcome of a garland and shawl, Jewish co-Chairman John Levy noted the unparalleled history of Jewish settlement in India and the growing closeness between the Indian and Israeli governments.
He announced the formation of the Ghandi Einstein Foundation, recently launched at a dinner at the Indian High Commissioners home, its plan to endow a Chair in Jewish Studies at a major Indian university and to fund an essay competition for Jewish and Indian students in Britain. He warned however that Jews, Sikhs and Hindus in Britain feel an increasing unease and vulnerability as a consequence of religious conflict abroad
The Home Secretary welcomed the Jews and Indians celebration of their British citizenship and spoke of their common commitment to family, education and the lightness of life reflected at this time of the year in Diwali and Chanukah celebrations. He noted that the Hindu and Jewish communities demonstrate the importance of high aspirations and use them to climb the ladder of social, economic and cultural success. In assimilating into British culture and society neither had lost their own religious or cultural identities, but had whole-heartedly engaged with
British society. He welcomed also the evolving closeness between the Jewish Community Security Trust and the recently formed Hindu Forum, and their joint efforts to enhance their communities security.
Michael Whine of the Indian-Jewish Association said, We were privileged to honour the Home Secretary who recognises the close and long standing relationships between the Hindu, Sikh and Jewish communities in Britain and in India. These ever-closer ties are being strengthened by joint campaigning and mutual assistance.
The two communities truly demonstrate a strength in diversity, which had been the ethos and title of the Home Office consultation on community relations during 2004.
The Home Secretary added that he looked forward to aiding the Ghandi Einstein Foundation and recalled his recent visit to India and the warm welcome that he had received there.
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