Cambridge University Jewish Society commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day by inviting members of HATS (Homerton College Amateur Theatrical Society) to produce a full performance of God on Trial by Frank Cottrell Boyce.
A cast of twenty-five in full costume gave a chilling and thought-provoking performance as concentration camp prisoners who, with the knowledge that their death is imminent, lead the audience through an understanding of the Jewish faith and how it is affected by personal experience.
The play was introduced by BAFTA award-winning Mark Redhead, the executive producer of the original God on Trial screenplay.
Michael Berkowitz, Professor of Modern Jewish History at UCL and a foundation fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, also spoke at the event, as did MP for Cambridge Dr Julian Huppert, to an audience of over 100 Jewish and non-Jewish students and donations to The Holocaust Centre were gratefully received.
Hilary Davidson, President of Cambridge J-Soc, said: ‘I wanted to do something different to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in Cambridge. Although God on Trial is set in Auschwitz, the questions it raises are just as relevant today. Collectively the speakers, actors and audience turned this day of remembrance into something very special.”[divider]
Brunel Jewish Society were honoured and privileged to host Mr Ivor Perl, a Holocaust survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp and Allach labour camp. Mr Perl gave a synopsis of his emotional and tragic journey of how he lost his parents and all but one of his siblings during the infamous “Selection” in Auschwitz.
Attendees were also joined by the Jewish Chaplain for London Universities, Rabbi Gavin Broder, Professor Heinz Wolff, a Jewish prestigious academic of Bio-Engineering at Brunel, Martin Zaranyika the President of the Union of Brunel Students & Zein Owfar, Vice President of Academic Representation for the UBS.
J-Soc Vice President Josh began with an opening address highlighting the significance of Holocaust Memorial Day as well as how important it was to sustain the memory of those who perished and how that this insight into Mr Perl’s journey could perhaps shed some light on what occurred, but recognising that only the Survivors could truly fathom the reality of the horrors that took place.
Rabbi Broder concluded the event with a closing address, echoing on Ivor’s words and enlightening the audience with words of inspiration and strength. Brunel Jewish Society were proud to have hosted such an inspiring speaker and extend their thanks to the organisers, speakers and audience members alike.[divider]
Nottingham Jewish Society held their Holocaust Memorial Program with Genesis Leadership, presenting an educational and enlightening series of talks, poems and a film screening.
Attendees heard from Rabbi Farhi and participated in a moving Holocaust Memorial interfaith service before candles were lit in the night air to the sound of poetry and readings of literature.
At 9pm there was a screening of the 2004 documentary Paper Clips, the story of schoolchildren who try to collect 6 million paper clips representing the 6 million Jews killed as a part of their study of the Holocaust.