There is hardly a Jewish family in the UK which is not affected in one way or another by what has happened in Israel, the chief rabbi has said.
Sir Ephraim Mirvis said: it was a “time of mourning, of deep grief, and of enormous worry” for the community.
He also warned that “all steps need to be taken in order to guarantee safety”.
More than 900 people have been killed in Israel since Hamas launched its attacks on Saturday morning, including 260 at a music festival.
Israel says more than 100 Israelis have also been kidnapped – it is thought most have been taken into Gaza. It has responded by declaring war on the militant group.
Rabbi Ephraim called it “a traumatic and horrific time”, saying there were “many, many people showing their full solidarity with our Jewish community and people in Israel”.
“And you know, when we make calls now to other Jewish people in the UK, the first question everybody is asking is: ‘How are you? How is your family? Is everybody alright?’ Because there is hardly a Jewish family in the UK not affected in one way or another by what has happened.”
He continued: “It is important for people to recognise the extent of what is happening, the scale.
“Antisemitism is a feature of life right around the globe, and we have just witnessed one of the most awful terrorist outrages in living memory, ever since the conclusion of World War Two.
“And we are of course worried, and all steps need to be taken in order to guarantee safety.”
*extracts from BBC Interview.