Communities Minister Baroness Williams has officially unveiled a new Holocaust memorial garden at Edgware & District Reform Synagogue.

The garden – which was jointly funded by shul members and the Department for Communities and Local Government – is intended as a communal space for interfaith work and discussion.

The memorial sits in the centre of a Magen David created from reclaimed railway sleepers, and is planted with trees, shrubs and flowers that reflect the flora of the three Abrahamic faiths.

In its centre is a “tree of life” sculpture representing the six million Jews whose lives were lost in the Holocaust.

Baroness Williams formally opened the garden after a short service led by Rabbi Daniel Smith.

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The minister unveiled a memorial plaque engraved with a quotation from Shoah survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Eli Wiesel, and paid tribute to the hard work of local volunteers.

She told attendees: “I have just returned from Israel where I visited Yad Vashem and it really brought home to me the importance of remembrance, but also the importance of learning the lessons of the past in the hope that we do not repeat them.

“I really believe that this garden can help build further understanding between communities.

That is why I am particularly honoured to unveil this plaque today. I think the choice of words is very poignant: ‘For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.’”IMG_5698