London Marathon Schedules Another Conflict With Jewish Holiday
After scheduling the 2016 London Marathon for the second day of Passover, organizers recently announced a pre-race briefing for charities that conflicts with another Jewish holiday.
The meeting will take place on Sept. 15, which is the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle reported.
Jewish groups who expressed disappointment over the initial Passover scheduling, which denies them and many Jewish runners the chance to participate, said scheduling a meeting on Rosh Hashanah shows further insensitivity from marathon organizers.
“It is hard not to feel that scheduling this meeting on Rosh Hashanah is unfortunate at best and insensitive at worst,” said Deborah Nathan, director of the British Jewish charity Emunah.
Damian Schogger, who planned to run in the marathon before the date was revealed, said the decision to hold a meeting on Rosh Hashanah is “truly staggering.”
“Having made a decision to have the 2016 marathon on Pesach, they’ve fueled the fire by inviting ballot holders to meet on second day Rosh Hashanah,” said Schogger, a trustee of the Talia Trust for Children. “It shows an overall lack of judgement and a lack of consideration.”
Daniel Carmel-Brown, director of fundraising at Jewish Care, will still participate in the race despite the conflict with Passover. While he said it is unfortunate that the meeting for charities will be held on the Jewish holiday, he added that he is confident marathon organizers will share any important information with organizations that won’t be able to attend.
The marathon’s Jewish chief executive, Nick Bitel, said he is regretful that Jewish charities won’t attend the meeting but that written information from the briefing will be made available for them and any other charity afterwards.
“September is a very busy month in the Jewish calendar and I am afraid it is not always possible to avoid a clash,” he said.