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Synagogues to welcome students for Holocaust Memorial events

07th February 2019

Between 28 January and 7 February 2019, more than 3,000 pupils at around 50 schools and colleges across Hertfordshire and the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon will participate in a unique programme, hosted by local synagogues, to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The students, in years 9 to 13, will participate in an educational workshop and have the rare opportunity to listen to a Holocaust survivor recount their personal experiences of the Holocaust first-hand. The programme has also been adapted for college students and sixth formers.

This year’s workshop, on the theme ‘‘Torn from home", will relate historical facts about the Holocaust to contemporary issues such as racism, discrimination, persecution and citizenship. All the sessions will conclude with closing reflections from each synagogue’s rabbi and the lighting of a memorial candle.

The aims of the Northwood Holocaust Memorial Day Events are to educate students about the Holocaust, make a connection between the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and invite students to consider their personal responsibility to promote tolerance in today’s world.

A Closing Ceremony on Thursday 31 January will be attended by Holocaust survivor Peter Lantos who at the age of 5 was deported with his parents to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany where his father died of starvation. Despite his traumatic experiences and the interruption to his education, Peter has built a distinguished career in academic medicine in England during which he has contributed to the understanding of diseases of the nervous system. He has become internationally known and was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Laura Marks OBE, Chair of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and founder of Mitzvah Day, will also give an address.

For further information, please email writer@melaniesilver.co.uk or call 01923 212048.

Notes to editors:

  • Synagogues participating in the Northwood Holocaust Memorial Day Events 2018 programme include Belmont United Synagogue, Borehamwood & Elstree United Synagogue, Bushey United Synagogue, Mosaic Jewish Community Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue, Northwood United Synagogue, Watford & District United Synagogue and Ealing United Synagogue.
  • More than 33,000 students to date have had the benefit of attending these HMD events since the programme’s inception 17 years ago.
  • The workshops, run by trained facilitators, enable students to form a valuable link between the historical facts about the Holocaust and its impact on contemporary issues such as racism, discrimination, bullying, persecution and citizenship. They learn how, as individuals and as part of a wider group, they can make a difference and become ‘agents for change’.
  • Each three-hour session is free of charge, non-denominational and has no religious content. 

Any secondary school or college wishing to register their interest in taking part in a Holocaust Memorial Day event in 2020 should email enquiries@northwoodhmd.org.uk