Students from Yavneh College in Borehamwood said they were proud to represent Jews in a football tournament last week, played between teams of peoples who have experienced collective tragedy.
The youngsters played against communities from war-torn countries like Sudan, as well as people who had survived more recent genocides, such as Rwandans. There was even a team representing the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Organisers of the third annual Play2Remember tournament at White City Tiger Turf ground in London included Football for Hope, Peace and Unity (FHPU) and Waging Peace, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), who say the event helps commemorate the dead and honour the living.
“It’s a powerful way to bring people together to honour the family and friends they lost,” said Waging Peace’s Sonja Miley. “But we are also reaffirming the resilience of survivors, and the triumph of hope.”
Many of those caught up in the Grenfell fire were refugees themselves, said Waging Peace’s Maddy Crowther. “Survivors of genocide, state violence and disaster know what it is like to see their world destroyed. They understand what it is to lose loved ones, photographs of loved ones, treasured memories and a whole way of life.”
Team Yavneh comprised 13 students with an interest in genocide prevention and awareness. They were joined by another team comprising the family of those affected by the Srebrenica massacre, as well as other teams of human rights lawyers and young humanitarians.
“By bringing together groups and individuals who have survived genocide and mass atrocities with friendly immigration solicitors, community members, friends and colleagues we aim to continue to highlight the current suffering of millions of refugees fleeing global conflict,” said Miley.
Team Yavneh (@yavneh_college)-Team Captain: Joel Freedman said: We are a team of year 13 students all with different levels of knowledge & interest in genocide prevention & awareness. We are all football fans & are excited to participate (and hopefully win). #LondonPlay2Remember pic.twitter.com/0YtjfocZBD
— FHPU Enterprise (@FHPUenterprise) April 20, 2018