“I have planned a Year 10 assembly and will contrive to challenge all bullying and negative group behaviour I see in the school. I will find the strength to show no bigotry or racism towards any group and will hope to show happiness and kindness for my whole life”.
This is a comment from one of the young people who took part in the Holocaust Memorial Day events in January and February at Finchley Reform Synagogue. For the last ten years, they have run sessions for local school pupils in Years 9 and 10, and trainee teachers, to show them how the Holocaust has a bearing on them today. Last year for the first time, one teacher who had taken part in this event when a student took her own group of 180 students to another project at Edgware and District Reform Synagogue and she did so again this year.
Middlesex University are so impressed with the project that they have awarded an honorary Master’s Degree to Louise Heilbron, who developed and runs the sessions. Over the ten years the project has developed and is now up and running in a number of synagogues and growing each year.
The theme for the Day was ‘Don’t Stand By’. Each session included a talk given by a Holocaust survivor. “The Holocaust still affects people today. The memory of it needs to go on”. “Holocaust Memorial Day gives us all the chance to consider what we can do to put an end to discrimination and persecution and to inspire others to believe that one person can make a difference. The lessons are still relevant to the problems in the world today” said another young participant.
“If I could do something to help, it would be helping children and parents move to a safer place and reunite with their families”.
Louise commented: “It is so rewarding seeing so many young people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds sitting together in synagogue and engaging in a learning session”.
If you would like to find out more and put on similar sessions in your synagogue please contact Finchley Reform and they would be delighted to help.