A moving candlelit memorial service for Jews falsely accused of spying and killed in Baghdad 50 years ago will be held at Bevis Marks Synagogue next month.
The open-to-all event on 19 February in the historic central London shul will recall the victims of the so-called Baghdad Hangings, when in 1969 Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party hanged Jewish men accused of being Israeli spies.
Several Iraqi Jewish families who lost family members managed to escape the country and later made their homes in London, among them Sabah Zubaida, board president of S&P Sephardi UK.
The event, described as a “sombre and fitting tribute to our Sephardi brothers and sisters,” will include poignant personal testimony, with some stories – including one published in Jewish News today – only now being told for the first time.
Senior Sephardi Rabbi Joseph Dweck, who will attend alongside Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Emeritus Rabbi Dr Abraham Levy, said: “As we survive and thrive today on safer shores, we must remember the effects of antisemitism and its direct implications on our own national story and daily lives.”
David Ereira, vice-president of S&P Sephardi UK, said: “It is with dignity and respect that we remember all of the fallen Jews within the Arab lands. We hope the entire wider community will come together for the service.”