UK

Aberystwyth University Ban On Jewish Tourists Lighting Candles 'Will Cost Area £100,000'

08/08/2013 18:07 BST

A university ban on lit candles has lost a Welsh seaside town over £100,000 in lost tourist revenue from thousands of Jewish visitors who traditionally visit the area for their summer holidays.

Aberystwyth has been the destination of choice for Orthodox Hasidic Jews for the last 20 years where they stay in the University's student accommodation.

This year the University has imposed a ban on the lighting of candles - an integral part Jewish Shabbat riual - after "more than one incident", reports the Telegraph.

aberystwyth summer

Aberystwyth is a popular tourist destination

A member of the Hasidic community, Myer Rothfeld, told the Cambrian News: "The people of this area are very respectful and we hold them in great esteem and love coming here.

"We’ve tried everything possible to get round it, offering to supply our own fire insurance, to use lanterns or even to put the candles on sand, but they keep saying ‘no’."

The visitors insist there has only been one "minor incident" involving candles and the decision will cost the area £100,000 in lost revenue.

A spokesman for the university said: "The university maintains its position that we would be delighted to welcome the Orthodox Jewish community to Aberystwyth for their holiday visit," reports the Times.

"Alternative options continue to be considered by both parties in a productive and positive manner."