Theme: Torn From Home
2019’s theme for the memorial was “Torn From Home”
Tony Arbour, Chair of the London Assembly, introduced and chaired the ceremony and introduced Susan Pollack MBE to give her testimonial.
Carol Isaacs (Accordion) and Meg Hamilton (Violin) then performed “Die Sapozhkelekh” (Little Boots)
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, then read anonymous poem written in Terezin on 9th March 1943
“I’ve lived in the ghetto here more than a year, In Terezín, in the black town now,
And when I remember my old home so dear,
I can love it more than I did, somehow.
Ah, home, home,
Why did they tear me away?
Here the weak die easy as a feather And when they die, they die forever.
I’d like to go back home again, It makes me think of sweet spring flowers. Before, when I used to live at home, It never seemed so dear and fair.
I remember now those golden days… But maybe I’ll be going there again soon.
People walk along the street,
You see at once on each you meet
That there’s a ghetto here,
A place of evil and of fear.
There’s little to eat and much to want, Where bit by bit, it’s horror to live. But no one must give up!
The world turns and times change.
Yet we all hope the time will come When we’ll go home again.
Now I know how dear it is
And often I remember it.”
Audrey Fidegnon and Michelle Mentu, (pictured in the Gallery) students from The Ursuline Academy Ilford shared their reflections on their participation in the Lessons from Auschwitz project., the Holocaust and the theme for 2019.
Following Audrey and Michelle was a Statement of Commitment read by Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassadors:
Imran Uddisn and Jaden Razak (Bow School)
Anya Desai an d Harriey Nokes (Wallington High School for Girls)
James Coltman and Liam O’Dwyer (London Oratory School)
Nur Massoud (Enfield County School Upper)
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg (pictured in Gallery with Carol and Meg) Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism and Rabbi of New North London Synagogue led a moving and poignant address on combining the Jewish Festival of Tu bishvat. (Festival of Trees on 21 January 2019 / 15th of Sh’vat, 5779).
Following Rabbi Wittenberg’s moving address, Cambodian Genocide Survivor Sokphal Din gave his testimonial.
The memorial prayer El Malei Rachamim was leynd by Elkan Presman, Lay Cantor-Reader at the New North London Synagogue.
Susan Pollack MBE and Sokphal Din then lit the memorial candle.
To close the ceremony, Meg Hamilton (Violin) and Carol Isaacs (Accordion) then performed Doina and followed with Boybriker Nign.