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Yom Hashoah: never forget

On May 6, the Jewish Community of Bermuda came together in a moving and poignant ceremony to mark Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The event, held at the Jewish Community of Bermuda Centre, served as a powerful tribute to the six million Jewish lives lost during one of the darkest periods in history.

Members of the community were joined by US Consul-General Karen Grissette, who read a note from the US Secretary of State. The note underscored the importance of never forgetting the atrocities of the Holocaust and the imperative of standing against hatred and intolerance in all its forms.

Candles were lit, and vows of "Never Again" were recited, a testament to the unwavering commitment to honour the memory of the Holocaust victims and to make sure such evil does not make its stain on history again.

The ceremony was led by special guest speaker Tuvia Book, a global Jewish educator with a wealth of knowledge and experience in Holocaust studies and remembrance. He resides in Israel and has been a tour guide there for many years, as well as serving as medic in the Israel Defence Forces.

Dr Book presented a powerful and emotional programme of remembrance, recognising heroic figures such as Janusz Korczak and Sir Nicholas “Nicky” Winton.

Dr Book invited young members of the community to read poignant passages and prayers throughout the ceremony, including 11-year-old Ava Bernstein. She read an excerpt from Anne Frank’s diary, which was an especially moving moment, as Anne Frank was likely the same age as the young community member when she wrote this passage, before being murdered at the age of 16.

As Dr Book acknowledged, it is hard to not get lost in the numbers when discussing the Holocaust — six million Jews, of which 1.5 million were children, and millions others were killed just for being different. But his programme illuminated the humanity behind those numbers.

“To forget those that perished is like killing them a second time,” he remarked. “We must never forget.”

Fiona Elkinson, president of the Jewish Community of Bermuda, said: “It’s important each year that we gather together to remember, honour and ensure that the stories of the Holocaust live on in our hearts and minds."

The Jewish Community of Bermuda extends its heartfelt gratitude to all who attended the Yom Hashoah ceremony, and reaffirms its commitment to promoting tolerance, understanding and peace within the community and beyond.

• For more information about the Jewish Community of Bermuda and upcoming events, visit http://jewishbermuda.com or contact BermudaJewish@gmail.com

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Published May 17, 2024 at 7:58 am (Updated May 17, 2024 at 7:16 am)

Yom Hashoah: never forget

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