Huge demand for Holocaust education in schools

By Jay Grenby, January 28, 2010

Huge demand for the annual educational HMD programme organised jointly by Kingston United and Liberal synagogues necessitated its extension to three days this year.

Almost 500 secondary school students attended workshops, heard testimony from survivors and joined candle-lighting ceremonies.

Over 40 volunteers from the shuls were involved and the project was supported by neighbourhood grants from the local council.

At Weybridge-based North West Surrey Synagogue, the Reform congregation’s HMD event featured a string quartet from the nearby Yehudi Menuhin School, who performed a piece by Viktor Ullman, who died in Auschwitz.

In Hertsmere, the Mayor, Councillor Rosemary Gilligan, was joined by other civic leaders and schoolchildren for a service of readings and the showing of a short film.

White doves were released in Hatfield’s Memorial Gardens to mark the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Welwyn Hatfield Mayor Councillor Kim Langley led a memorial service.

Neighbouring St Albans staged an HMD event for the first time in several years featuring Auschwitz survivor Kitty Hart-Moxon and sixth-formers from a Catholic girls’ school who had visited the death camp site through the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Also present was the Mayor, Councillor Chris Oxley and his wife Marion, who is Jewish and lost many relatives in the Shoah.

Schools from throughout the county took part in the commemoration organised by Hertfordshire Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education in Stevenage. Students were joined by councillors for a programme of music, dance, poetry and drama.

Survivor Gena Turgel addressed a Harrow event at which Moriah Jewish Day School pupils were among the performers and the Mayor, Councillor Eric Silver, among the guests. Enfield Council marked HMD with a mix of speeches and dramatic readings by local schoolchildren and a drama group.

Last updated: 3:19pm, January 28 2010