Row erupts over bid for St John’s Wood and Maida Vale eruv

10:07 04 May 2012

The Wood&Vale first reported the unveiling of the proposal in 2010

The Wood&Vale first reported the unveiling of the proposal in 2010


The head of the St John’s Wood Society has spoken out against plans to construct a boundary of poles and wires which allow Orthodox Jews to travel more freely around the area.

Last week the Wood&Vale revealed how Jews were being asked to support resurrected plans to build an eruv around Maida Vale, St John’s Wood and Lisson Grove.

The North Westminster Eruv would allow Orthodox Jews to carry out tasks on the Sabbath that would usually be deemed to be work.

Writing in the St John’s Wood Synagogue newsletter, former St John’s Wood Society chairman Andrew Mainz said the eruv campaign had to overcome worries over religion in public spaces and xenophobic attitudes.

But Queen’s Counsel Peter Leaver, who has taken over as St John’s Wood Society chairman, says he resents being labelled as xenophobic for opposing the eruv.

“I do not see why anyone who is against the eruv should be stigmatised as a xenophobe or anti-semitic or both,” said the West London Synagogue member.

“I find that accusation offensive. I’m against the eruv because I do not see why a fiction should be put in the area at large.

“An eruv is a fiction because Orthodox Jews felt they were hampered by the laws of the Sabbath so they created this thing called an eruv.

“It’s an interpretation and it has nothing to do with the Bible.

“I have had a number of people correspond with me since the plans have resurfaced and I don’t think I have had anyone who supports it.”

Responding to such concerns Mr Mainz said: “We have always wanted to engage sensibly with people and find out what their reasons are for objecting and respond positively with them.”

Rabbis from St John’s Wood Synagogue originally intended to submit proposals for the North Westminster Eruv in March 2010, but the plans were set aside until they resurfaced last month.

Rabbi Ivan Binstock, who is leading the synagogue’s bid, said: “We are hoping to reactivate the plans and are in the process of regrouping and deciding our strategy to take it forward.

“We are happy for a debate to take place. Eruvs now exist in a number of places inside and outside London and most people do not even know that there are a few unobtrusive poles and invisible wire. They do not have any impact on their lives.”

Plans to set up a Camden eruv around Hampstead, Belsize Park and West Hampstead were also announced in March.


Latest News Stories

Conker champions from left are Albert 5, Addison 7, Trey 4. Picture: Dieter Perry

Just a few short years ago, the annual Hampstead Heath annual Conker Championships broke the Guinness World Record for the biggest ever knock-out conker tournament, when 395 people turned up.

Yesterday, 17:47
Pubs and clubs in London could face having to contribute to the costs of policing and cleaning the streets

Venues which stay open past midnight in Camden may find themselves charged a levy to cover the costs of policing and cleaning the night-time economy.

Yesterday, 16:30
Theo Seddon-Deane, who has cerebral palsy, with mother Catharine Seddon

Theo Seddon-Deane was born at just 26 weeks, weighing less than a bag of potatoes, and needed a ventilator just to keep him breathing.

Yesterday, 15:34
Christopher Matt

Detectives are hunting a convicted sex attacker who has disappeared while on licence from jail.

Yesterday, 13:57
Tom Franklin, Camden Green Party

The chairman of Camden’s Green Party branch has denied sitting down in front of a tank on its way to an arms fair.

Yesterday, 12:57
Pauline Cafferkey as she was discharged from the Royal Free in January

A Scottish nurse being treated at the Royal Free Hospital for a late complication of the Ebola virus is in a “serious condition”, the team treating her has said.

Yesterday, 12:57
New Wetherspoon pub opening in Muswell Hill

A controversial Wetherspoon pub is opening next week on Muswell Hill Broadway.

Yesterday, 12:26
Breda Athan helped treat three Ebola patients at the Royal Free

A senior nurse who led on the treatment of three Ebola patients at the Royal Free Hospital has been honoured at the Nursing Times Leaders awards 2015.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Angharad Baa Stool in Rare Breed.

Great British Life is offering a sheepskin footstool worth £199 to a lucky reader

You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder