Remember the millions of innocents murdered in holocausts
This Wednesday marks World Holocaust Day. Originally designed to remember the 6,000,000 Jews who were slaughtered in the Nazi Death Camps it has been expanded to remember all holocausts including those that are taking place in the Middle East today and the terrible events in Rwanda 20+ years ago.
I am pleased that the Jewish Telegraph with their national coverage believes that Liverpool does this better than anywhere else in the Country. We live in a time when there is less and less respect for people from other colours, faiths and cultures. World Holocaust Day is designed to make us think again about the past so that we do not repeat such terrible mistakes in the future.
Last Saturday I joined Erica at the Shabbat service at Childwall Synagogue. Two weeks before I spent time at a Russian Orthodox Service in Kazan. I have been to services over the years of all the major faiths. What strikes me most about my visits is just how much these faiths have in common. They worship differently and sometimes different Gods but their core belief in community, compassion and care far outweighs any differences between them. It is only at the extremes of faith and politics that small minorities find ways of shouting about their differences rather than talking about their agreements.
I cannot be present at the Town Hall but I will find 2 minutes on Wednesday to have a silent 2 minute refection on holocausts and the need to work together to prevent them.
I hope that you will do so as well.
From The Jewish Telegraph Online
Ex-Lord Mayor will host HMD ceremony
LIVERPOOL’s former Lord Mayor, Councillor Erica Kemp, will host an intimate ceremony on Wednesday in the Lady Mayoress’s Parlour in the Town Hall as part of Holocaust Memorial Day.
Cllr Kemp has also pledged to be the Guardian of the Memory of Holocaust victim Gitle Grosbom. She will honour her memory by lighting a candle each year. Moreover, at Cllr Kemp’s suggestion, Liverpool’s current Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Tony and Ann Concepcion, will light candles for a Mordchai Kopel, of Poland, and Austrian Flora Schlesinger.
Cllr Kemp said: “Perhaps this encourage more people to do the same.”
So far as the Yad Vashem-UK Foundation are aware, Liverpool leads the way, as they are not aware of any other town or city participating in this way on HMD.
The theme of this year’s HMD is ‘Don’t Stand By’, stressing the importance of not being bystanders in the fight against racism, prejudice and antisemitism.
The Lord Mayor and Cllr Kemp Erica will be special guests at Childwall Synagogue’s Shabbat service tomorrow.
On Tuesday, Cllr Concepcion will launch a special exhibition at the Town Hall to raise awareness of the Holocaust. It is being staged by Father’s House, a Christian congregation based in Deeside, who have been exhibiting in shopping centres and taking out questionnaires to shoppers to ask about their recollection and understanding of Holocaust.
He said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is not only a time to remember those millions who died in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, but is also a call to action for the present. “The theme of ‘Don’t Stand By’ urges us to consider our own responsibility over issues such as hate crime and prejudice to ensure they have no place in our society. The service will be moving and poignant and it will also encourage us all to help to build a safer future.”
Childwall’s Councillor Jeremy Wolfson added: “This exhibition gives an opportunity for us to reflect on the Holocaust and raise awareness not only of what happened, but to try and ensure that the attitudes which led to it are not repeated.”
The following day, the Lord Mayor will join faith leaders in special laying wreaths in memory of all victims of persecution at the memorial stone in St John’s Gardens before a special service at Liverpool Town Hall. Allerton Synagogue’s Rabbi Dan Lieberman will join the Lord Mayor in lighting a memorial candle. Rabbi Lieberman will lead prayers, while a blessing will be given by the Rector of Liverpool, Rev Dr Crispin Pailing. Pastor Michael Fryer, of Father’s House, will address the service at which King David High School choir will sing.
Anne Frank Trust UK ambassadors from Alsop High School and St John Bosco Arts College will give a presentation of poetry specially composed for HMD.