Harrow marks Holocaust Memorial Day

The Zemel Choir at Harrow'a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony

The Zemel Choir at Harrow'a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony

First published in News
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Harrow Times: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Genocides around the world were remembered in a solemn Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at Harrow Civic Centre.

With music from the the renowned Zemel Choir, speeches and prayers, this year’s event focused on the theme of the journeys taken by those who died in the Holocaust and also those who survived.

Mayor of Harrow Councillor Nana Asante told those gathered in the council chamber: "The theme of Holocaust Memorial Day 2014 was journeys, as something as ordinary as a journey can be a tool of genocide.

“It is important that we remember what happened, so that, God willing, we will recognise the signs when a Holocaust is about to begin have the courage to speak up against it and support those fleeing persecution."

Leader of the council Cllr Susan Hall said: “It is important that we join with communities and groups from across the borough to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day so that they are never forgotten.

“It is a reminder to everyone that discrimination and racism have no place in our society.”

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8:43pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

Attended this poignant Annual Memorial programme,arranged by Director of Community & Culture Marianne Locke, at the Civic Centre last night and was deeply moved.So many from the Jewish community and other communities from Harrow turned up to pay their respects to the memory of those who had lost their lives in the most heinous of all crimes and to the bravery of survivors of the Holocaust.

We began with the lighting of the Yahrzeit Candle in the Council Chamber,by the Rabbi from Pinner Synagogue and observed a minute's silence to reflect and remember the victims of the Holocaust.

We heard about the horrendous atrocities at Belsen Concentration Camp in 1945 and the history of Holocaust Memorial Day by Sarah and Anwulika of Harrow Youth Parliament.

Since the theme of this day nationally was "journeys" Rabbi Danny Bergson gave a touching recount of what this means to the Jewish and
wider community as well.He spoke eloquently about whether the route of hatred has reduced--and alluded to the spread of Xenophobia and Anti-Semitism as well.These are serious issues for the entire world to grapple with even today.

We were privileged to hear a wonderful performance by the Zemel Choir.They were simply astounding.Such talented and stirring voices.I believe only part of their Choir performed last night and hope very much some of them will take part in our 60th celebrations for Harrow.

We missed our local Jewish Moriah school children this year. Perhaps they might be able to contribute to our 60th celebrations.I have seen them perform in past years and can only say how brilliant they are.

Rabbi Danny Bergson is young and really rather good at what he does.I was surprised how well he sang and his story-telling of the Holocaust train journey was so graphic.
At one point he sang "Shalom Shalom "and one could see many joining in One could almost see in the mind's eye what might have transpired and the spirit of those who had travelled that impossible path.He sang and played the guitar with so much feeling so that he made us all feel part of the experience.Brought tears to many eyes.

He even read out the Memorial Prayer in Hebrew and translated it for us to understand what the sentiments expressed were.We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful Rabbi in Pinner who has the ability to make us connect with these devastating historical experiences of the Holocaust so powerfully.

The sum and substance of the evening was that we must never be allowed to forget these unbelievably,inhuman atrocities in Auschwitz and so many other Concentration Camps so that we learn to respect each other as human beings who live in love and peace not in hatred and disharmony.

He said the first part of this journey was about speaking out about evil ---for if we keep silent we become complicit .the second part of the journey
is about being pro-active and helping" heal this fractured world "locating sparks of goodness and holiness which would make the world a better place.
He spoke about digging deep and helping society with kindness so we could "shine light in a dark world"---areal message of hope and peace which I am sure we all have taken home in our hearts.

His speech was filled with wonderful ideas of re-building and making our world a place for all to live in as one large family.

This sombre but inspiring event was rounded off by light refreshments in the Members Lounge and many stayed to greet each other.

It is heartening to hear that David Cameron has just set up the Holocaust Commission so that our schools,institutions and public can all learn about the Holocaust and its impact on generations past and present.
Attended this poignant Annual Memorial programme,arranged by Director of Community & Culture Marianne Locke, at the Civic Centre last night and was deeply moved.So many from the Jewish community and other communities from Harrow turned up to pay their respects to the memory of those who had lost their lives in the most heinous of all crimes and to the bravery of survivors of the Holocaust. We began with the lighting of the Yahrzeit Candle in the Council Chamber,by the Rabbi from Pinner Synagogue and observed a minute's silence to reflect and remember the victims of the Holocaust. We heard about the horrendous atrocities at Belsen Concentration Camp in 1945 and the history of Holocaust Memorial Day by Sarah and Anwulika of Harrow Youth Parliament. Since the theme of this day nationally was "journeys" Rabbi Danny Bergson gave a touching recount of what this means to the Jewish and wider community as well.He spoke eloquently about whether the route of hatred has reduced--and alluded to the spread of Xenophobia and Anti-Semitism as well.These are serious issues for the entire world to grapple with even today. We were privileged to hear a wonderful performance by the Zemel Choir.They were simply astounding.Such talented and stirring voices.I believe only part of their Choir performed last night and hope very much some of them will take part in our 60th celebrations for Harrow. We missed our local Jewish Moriah school children this year. Perhaps they might be able to contribute to our 60th celebrations.I have seen them perform in past years and can only say how brilliant they are. Rabbi Danny Bergson is young and really rather good at what he does.I was surprised how well he sang and his story-telling of the Holocaust train journey was so graphic. At one point he sang "Shalom Shalom "and one could see many joining in One could almost see in the mind's eye what might have transpired and the spirit of those who had travelled that impossible path.He sang and played the guitar with so much feeling so that he made us all feel part of the experience.Brought tears to many eyes. He even read out the Memorial Prayer in Hebrew and translated it for us to understand what the sentiments expressed were.We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful Rabbi in Pinner who has the ability to make us connect with these devastating historical experiences of the Holocaust so powerfully. The sum and substance of the evening was that we must never be allowed to forget these unbelievably,inhuman atrocities in Auschwitz and so many other Concentration Camps so that we learn to respect each other as human beings who live in love and peace not in hatred and disharmony. He said the first part of this journey was about speaking out about evil ---for if we keep silent we become complicit .the second part of the journey is about being pro-active and helping" heal this fractured world "locating sparks of goodness and holiness which would make the world a better place. He spoke about digging deep and helping society with kindness so we could "shine light in a dark world"---areal message of hope and peace which I am sure we all have taken home in our hearts. His speech was filled with wonderful ideas of re-building and making our world a place for all to live in as one large family. This sombre but inspiring event was rounded off by light refreshments in the Members Lounge and many stayed to greet each other. It is heartening to hear that David Cameron has just set up the Holocaust Commission so that our schools,institutions and public can all learn about the Holocaust and its impact on generations past and present. Sonoo Malkani
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