QE represented at Holocaust Memorial Day
February 8, 2017
February 8, 2017
The leader of QE’s Jewish Society represented the School at the Holocaust Memorial Day 2017 ceremony in Barnet.
Year 12 pupil Eddy Burchett joined around 150 guests, who included the Mayor and Mayoress of the London Borough of Barnet, Councillor David Longstaff and Gillian Griffiths (The Mayoress is pictured below with Eddy), and the Leader of the Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius.
It was the first Holocaust Memorial Day event Eddy had attended – although he always pays his respects and wears the HMD lapel pin for the week – and he found it very moving: “I am proud of representing QE and proud of my faith, so to be able to combine the two was special.”
The day commemorates the millions killed or who suffered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides around the world. The theme of this year’s event was How can life go on? with speeches, readings and music reflecting on moving on after a time of tragedy. HMD also seeks to ensure that the lessons of the past are learnt, recognising the importance of preventing discrimination, racism and hatred.
After the ceremony, guests were each given a snowdrop bulb, which they were requested to plant to represent a child who died in the Holocaust.
Some 54,000 Jewish people live in Barnet – around 15% of the borough’s total population – which reputedly makes this the largest Jewish population between Tel Aviv and New York.
The Barnet commemoration was held at the Rickett Quadrangle of Middlesex University, Hendon, where Eddy enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with friends from his synagogue – Alyth in Golders Green. The Alyth Youth Singers performed Shtiller Shtiller by Alex Wolkoviski and The Butterfly by Lisa Glatzer Shenson.
The programme in Barnet finished with the final benediction set out below – the Biblical blessing of Israel by Aaron – which was pronounced by Eddy’s Rabbi, Mark Goldsmith, and by Reverend Bernd Koschland. Rabbi Goldsmith is due to come to QE as a guest of the Jewish Society in the next few weeks. Mr Koschland was sent to England at the age of eight on the Kindertransport – the informal name for an organised rescue effort that brought thousands of refugee Jewish children to Great Britain from Nazi Germany.
“The Lord bless you and protect you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you. The Lord turn his face to you and give you peace.”