Jewish community pays tribute to Margaret Thatcher

Tributes have been pouring in from Anglo-Jewry in memory of the late British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Baroness Thatcher, who died on Monday at the age of 87, was described as "a giant who had a transformative impact on Britain" by chief rabbi Lord Sacks.

He added: "I first got to know her early on in my life when she was the local MP. She was loved and admired by many in the Jewish community who will miss her deeply. Few people in my lifetime have left such a personal imprint on British life."

"She was always extremely supportive and admiring of the ethos of the British Jewish community," said Vivian Wineman, president of the Board of Deputies. "This close relationship began when her family took in a young Austrian Jewish refugee from Nazism in the late 1930s. When she entered Parliament as MP for Finchley, a very Jewish constituency, her relationship with local Jewish institutions blossomed and continued throughout her illustrious career as Prime Minister.

"She counted a number of Jews among her closest advisers and confidants, and at one point nearly a quarter of her Cabinet were of Jewish origins. She also greatly admired the late Chief Rabbi Dr Immanuel Jakobovits whom she elevated to the House of Lords. She was unquestionably a great statesman of the later 20th Century, and one who was a friend to the Jewish people and Israel."

"Margaret Thatcher was always a strong supporter of Israel and the Jewish community. Her staunch defence of freedom and liberty perhaps explains her genuine admiration of Israel as the only democracy in an autocratic region; something that she felt should be fought for and protected," said Stuart Polak, director of Conservative Friends of Israel.

"Britain has lost a great leader but her legacy will never be forgotten."


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