British Jews are being asked to join an online commemoration service to fallen Jewish servicemen and women next week in place of the usual in-person service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
The Jewish Military Association (AJEX) will hold a virtual service on Sunday 28 June at 11am during National Armed Forces week, with a variety of online interviews and events in the days leading up to the ceremony.
This year is filled with notable anniversaries, including the 75th anniversary of VE day and VJ Day and the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, but the pandemic had meant that face-to-face events are impossible.
AJEX said it was “even more determined than ever” to gather together online from home to reflect on the contribution of those who served, as it launched its series interviewing both veterans and serving personnel from Sunday 21 June.
AJEX Patron Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a former defense secretary, praised the organisation for its work, saying: “The needs of the many veterans change over the years but the tireless work that AJEX delivers continues to assist them.”
Rifkind will speak at the ceremony, together with Army Chaplain Rabbi Reuben Livingstone, AJEX chair Mike Bluestone, Board of Deputies’ president Marie Van der Zyl, as well as young students.
“When we heard the National Memorial Arboretum was closed, we knew we had to create a different kind of event,” said Bluestone. “We look forward to seeing the community coming together for this memorial week which is so vital to help us honour those who have fought for our freedom.”