Last night I attended the CST dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel. CST (Community Security Trust) ostensibly exists to protect the Jewish community notably by providing security for synagogues but its remit is much wider. There were in the last year seven thwarted Paris style attacks. That these were thwarted is in some ways due to the close cooperation between CST and the security services. The head of the Met Sir Bernard Hogan Howe was one of several Chief Constables who attended the dinner. CST also provides consultancy advice to other faiths to protect their places of worship. It also monitors anti-Semitic attacks and incidents.
I was drawn to it as my school friend Lloyd Dorfman is an active and energetic deputy chairman. Through him I became more aware of the important work CST undertakes. My niece’s husband also works for tbe charity.
There were a number of rabbis present incuding the Chief Rabbi so necessarily the food served was kosher. Some may not know that one of the features of kosher cuisine is that you cannot mix milk and meat. Nowadays with soya products you can be more inventive. I’m sure Daffers would approve of the smoked salmon, rack of lamb and pavlova.
Speeches were given by Theresa May, Lloyd Dorfman and Gerald Ronson emphasising the need for the Jewish and every community to feel safe in Britain from attacks and prejudice. In many ways we live in more tolerant times but antisemitism is certainly not on the wane.
I am not an observational Jew. I caanot remember the last time I set forth in a synagogue. However I am proud of the way Jewish people have contributed to and integrated into the British way of life. The Jewish prayer book is the only one that has a prayer for the Royal Family. The excellent work CST does exemplifies this.