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'Too Jewish row is trivial'.

Byline: By PHILLIP NIFIELD South Wales Echo

The row over 'too Jewish' remarks aimed at the UK national memorial day to Holocaust victims has been branded trivial by Cardiff's council leader. Councillor Rodney Berman said that the 'inappropriate use' of words should not detract from the event which is staged at the Wales Millennium Centre on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the Echo revealed that Cardiff rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh was told by the day's organisers of concerns that the event was 'too theological and too Jewish'.

Councillor Berman, who is Jewish, said: 'We should not allow what is a trivial matter to detract from the event which is about learning from the mistakes of the past.

'We should not get hung up over the inappropriate use of words. Let's not let that detract us from the event and Cardiff's participation in that event.'

He said that there had been a need to reduce the length of the service.

The issue of the 'too Jewish' remarks by Michael Bogdanov, artistic director of the ceremony, was raised at last night's Cardiff council meeting by Liberal Democrat councillor Michelle Michaelis.

Rhiwbina councillor Jayne Cowan told the meeting that she did not think members of the Jewish community would find the comments trivial.

Charles Valek, 85, from Cardiff, who lost his family in the Holocaust, is boycotting the ceremony after the comments.

Mr Bogdanov has told the Echo that while he had been asked to reduce the length of the ceremony from two-and-a-half hours to one- and-a -half hours the aims of the event remained exactly the same as before.

The honouring of the survivors was paramount, he has stressed.

The event is being organised by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 20, 2006

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