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‘Keeping the Memory Alive’ in Glasgow

HMD AyrGlasgow Reform Synagogue’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day Shabbat Civic Service, was held at the synagogue on Saturday, 24 January 2015. The focus for the service was linked to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust theme of ‘Keeping the Memory Alive’.

The shul was full with over 150 people attending the service. Local invited dignitaries included three MSPs the Lord Provost of East Renfrewshire a number of local councillors, the head of the Glasgow Jewish Represenataive Council and many local religious leaders from different faiths.

The service was conducted by Rabbi Kate Briggs and included readings by members of GRS’s active cheder and singing by the Kef Li choir led by Ingrid Levin. Philip Rodney gave a moving account of his experience as the child of a Holocaust survivor.

To link in with the Holocaust theme, the Gathering the Voices travelling exhibition was displayed at the back of the shull prayer hall. Congregants were very interested in the exhibitions panels illustrating the stories of men and women who sought sanctuary in Scotland to escape the racism of Nazi dominated Europe. The six local founders of the project, including GRS members Steven and Hilary Anson, were present to explain the refugee journeys, settling in Scotland, and the contribution the refugees made to the country that gave them a new home.

The exhibition will now be displayed in schools and libraries across Scotland.

Over 30 testimonies can be heard and read here at the Gathering the Voices website.

Eileen Carroll, chair of Glasgow Reform Synagogue, said after the event, “the service was extremely moving and I’m pleased so many attended our annual Holocaust memorial service. With the beginning of the 70 days for 70 years campaign and the recent events in Paris, it’s more important than ever that we hold such services and work with the local community to eradicate anti-Semitism.”

Glasgow Reform Synagogue members were also involved in the day’s events when Scotland’s national Holocaust Memorial Day event was held at Ayr Town Hall On Tuesday 27 January.

Ben Freeman, Director of from Yesterday for Tomorrow, produced and presented a documentary film about the persecution of gay men by the Nazis. Steven Anson, Vice Chair of Glasgow Reform, and Logistics Manager of Gathering the Voices Project met with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and explained to her the refugees’ stories exhibited and the positive contributions they made to Scottish life. The exhibition has been invited to be displayed at the Scottish Parliament in the future.

Pictured above is Steven Anson with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Scottish National Holocaust Event in Ayr Town Hall.


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