Family & Education

BBC films JFS wartime history trip

Pupils visited Ely where the school was evacuated during the War


BBC News marked VE Day on Sunday by filming a JFS trip to Ely where many of the school’s pupils were evacuated during the Second World War.

Children from the Jewish school joined some from the local Ely College to find out more about their predecessor’s experience in the Cambridgeshire city.

The school’s wartime sojourn is commem orated now in a permanent exhibit in Ely Musuem.

Accompanying the JFS group was Michael Cohen, who was visiting Ely for the first time since he was brought there at the age of five. Recalling the scene of his first Seder, he said: “I am just overwhelmed by it.”

One JFS pupil, Dan, mentioning the Ukraine War, reflected, “It shows we should help other communities... We should put [out] our hand and really help those in danger. It’s allowed me to connect with my heritage. It made me feel what my grandparents and great-grandparents would have gone through.”

Sites included a church in nearby Isleham, location of a menorah made by the evacuee children and presented as a thank-you to their hosts.

It is, said reporter Daniella Ralph, “a permanent reminder of two communities who supported and learned from each other i

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