Whoops: British News Site Fooled by Purim Humor

They took the parody seriously. Jolly good! Hi-ho!

Story on Roman’s rabbis was not kosher

The First Post’s People column has a confession to make: we have been ‘had’ by the Jewish equivalent of an April Fool’s Day joke. We reported on Monday on a story published in the Jewish Chronicle claiming that Roman Abramovich planned to invest as much as £100m in the United Synagogue, the body responsible for mainstream Jewish faith in Britain. The Chelsea FC owner, it was said, intended to spend part of his fortune recruiting a team of world-class rabbis and building a new headquarters for Judaism at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground.

The story was far from kosher: on Tuesday a spokesman for the Jewish Chronicle admitted that the report was a Purim spiel - a joke made to celebrate the festival of Purim which commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people after a Persian plot to annihilate them in the 6th century BC was foiled by Queen Esther. Look up the Book of Esther if you want to know more. And hats off to the JC for a good joke.

Original report: ‘Roman to bring rabbis to the Bridge?’ More

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