LONDON – The management of northwest London’s Tricycle Theatre beat a hasty retreat in its row with the UK’s Jewish Film Festival once it discovered that most of its predominately Jewish sponsors decided to walk away from the organization.
The row was triggered by members of the theater’s management board objecting to the film festival sponsorship of £1,400 from the Israel Embassy’s cultural fund.
Objectors made clear their anger at Israel’s action in Gaza.
As word spread about the proposed boycott and despite the Tricycle management offering to replace the embassy funding, numerous Jewish supporters of the theater vowed to end their membership and many said they would boycott the theater altogether.
Among the prominent members of the Jewish community who have been significant funders of the Tricycle is Sir Trevor Chinn.
The last week he told The Jewish News he was withdrawing funding.
“We are as a community under pressure from the boycott movement,” he said. “We can’t accept boycotts and whenever one comes along we have to fight it.”
With the theater realizing it was facing serious problems, talks were hastily arranged between the two sides and an agreement worked out by which the Tricycle would accept Israel Embassy funding and there would be no further discrimination for the Jewish Film Festival.
However, arrangements for alternative venues had already been made for this November’s film festival.
It was agreed that the Tricycle would return to being the main host for the festival in 2015 following this year’s gap, resuming a relationship that has lasted nearly 10 years.