UK’s Sunak boosts funding for Jewish security as two schools close

LONDON (Reuters) -British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday boosted funding to protect local Jewish institutions amid a spike in reports of antisemitism, while two Jewish schools said they would close until Monday for children’s safety.

The Community Security Trust (CST), a Jewish charity that provides security at Jewish institutions including schools and synagogues, has recorded 139 antisemitic incidents in the last four days after the outbreak of conflict in Israel, an increase of 400% over the same period last year.

The CST will receive 3 million pounds ($3.7 million) in government funding for additional security guards, above the 15 million pounds it already receives annually, Sunak’s Downing Street office said.

“At moments like this, when the Jewish people are under attack in their homeland, Jewish people everywhere can feel less safe,” Sunak said, reiterating Britain’s solidarity with Israel following last week’s attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas.

“If anything is standing in the way of keeping the Jewish community safe, we will fix it. You have our complete backing,” he added.

Meanwhile, media reports said two Jewish schools in north London were closing until Monday as a precautionary step for the safety of their children.

Torah Vodaas Primary School and Ateres Beis Yaakov Primary School had each informed parents about the closure, Sky News reported.

($1 = 0.8190 pounds)

(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; editing by William James)