Memorial turnout pleases organisers

Maureen Lipman at the Hyde Park event

Maureen Lipman at the Hyde Park event

More than 750 people attended the main national Yom HaShoah ceremony on Sunday in Hyde Park, one of more than 20 commemorative events held around the country.

The central London gathering was organised by the Forum for Yom HaShoah, which reported a similarly large turnout on Monday at Ilford Synagogue for a memorial addressed by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks. Many congregations held special Shabbat services to mark the day of Holocaust remembrance.

A cross-communal initiative involving some 30 synagogue bodies, charities and Holocaust groups, the forum was launched last year to strengthen Holocaust education within the Jewish community.

Henry Grunwald led the Hyde Park service, which included contributions from Lord Sacks, actress Maureen Lipman, Association of Jewish Refugees' chair Andrew Kaufman and Israeli diplomat Alon Roth-Snir

Survivor Anita Lasker Wallfisch recalled her time as part of an Auschwitz orchestra, after which her grandson Jacob performed a cello solo. Maurice Helfgott, whose father survived Buchenwald, spoke on behalf of the next generations.

The Clore Tikva Primary choir also performed and six memorial candles were lit to represent the six million Shoah victims.

Forum chair Neil Martin said the day was vital in increasing awareness in the younger generation about specific aspects of Holocaust memorial.

"It's time to focus on educating the Jewish community as well. There's real potential to build on this for next year."

    Last updated: 1:14pm, May 5 2011