Stand Together: South Hampstead Synagogue to host exhibition marking 75 years since Holocaust ended
- Credit: Archant
South Hampstead Synagogue will soon throw open its doors to the Camden community to mark 75 years since the end of the Holocaust.
Stand Together, running from January 26-30 (Sunday-Thursday), will see the synagogue, in Eton Road, host a series of commemorative events for schools, councillors, businesses and residents across the borough.
Stories will be told of the horrors endured by Holocaust survivors and how the Jewish community has come together, with people of all backgrounds and religions, to foster tolerance and understanding.
In addition to the Holocaust of World War II (1939-1945), recognition and respect will also be paid to the Bosnian genocide of 1995.
"We want to widen our doors to the Camden community," said Rabbi Eli Levin, South Hampstead Synagogue executive director.
"People inside and outside the Jewish community, people of faith and no faith, people of different backgrounds - all are welcome.
"We do not see ourselves as a little island in the community, we see ourselves as a place that can be enjoyed by many and we are constantly looking for ways to reach out."
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The opening night of Stand Together will see the families of Holocaust survivors discuss and bring to life the objects that reflect their personal stories.
Rabbi Levin said: "It is not uncommon in the Jewish community to have a grandparent who is a Holocaust survivor, whose family were taken off to concentration camps.
"So the notion of them continuing to live and develop their own families is very precious because it marks the continuation of life."
After the storytelling, seven candles will be lit by Camden councillors, faith leaders and Holocaust survivors, followed by talks and a Q&A.
During the following days (Monday-Thursday), South Hampstead Synagogue will welcome 700 students from Camden's primary and secondary schools where they will trace the story of "Leo", a yong boy who lived in Berlin in the 1930s.
Rabbi Levin said: "They will say 'we learned about the synagogue, we learned about the genocide, we learned about healing a fractured world, and about Judaism and religion in the UK'."
Dr James Smith CBE, co-founder of the National Holocaust Centre and Museum, concludes events in conversation with Rabbi Shlomo Levin, of South Hampstead Synagogue.
Find out more at southhampstead.org