Community leaders pay respects at Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday
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Community leaders pay respects at Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and senior Reform rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner among those to represent British Jewry at the ceremony in central London

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in Downing Street arriving for the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph memorial in Whitehall (Photo credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in Downing Street arriving for the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph memorial in Whitehall (Photo credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

Jewish community leaders joined Her Majesty the Queen and senior politicians at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

The nation fell silent to honour those who died in war on 11 November, with a two-minute silence taking place across the country at 11am. It marks 100 years since the first silence was observed on Armistice Day in 1919.

The royal family led tributes at the Remembrance Sunday service in central London, attended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and five former British PMs.

Chief Rabbi Mirvis tweeted that he “was honoured to attend the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the cenotaph today to pay tribute to the men and women of our armed forces who gave their lives for the sake of our freedom. #LestWeForget”

Senior rabbi of Reform Judaism, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, said: “It’s an immense blessing to attend”, adding that “this year was especially poignant as it was the first year in which we are marking civilian deaths alongside the sacrifice of those who served in the armed forces.”

More than 800 armed forces personnel congregated on Whitehall to form a hollow square around the Cenotaph –  and following the ceremony, up to 10,000 veterans and servicemen and women marched past the Cenotaph to honour the fallen.

On Monday morning, The Royal British Legion asked people to pause by muting their telephones, closing laptops, switching off television sets “for just two minutes and pay your respects to our Armed Forces community, past and present”.

Rabbi Reuben Livingstone placing the book of war dead during the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall

Rabbi Major Reuben Livingstone, Senior Jewish Chaplain to HM Armed Forces watched the ceremony at Horse Guards Parade.

He made history the night before, helping to lead the service at the Festival of Remembrance at the the Royal Albert Hall in the presence of the Queen and Royal Family. It was the first time a rabbi carried in and placed the Book of Remembrance containing the names of British war dead.

Rabbi Livingstone said: “It was very moving to see the many ‘old soldiers’ who served and sacrificed; the oldest and frailest of whom span the century. They will not always be with us to guard important and precious memories – so that increasingly falls to younger generations. Jews have pride of place – having served and continuing to serve. But we should certainly not take our freedom lightly or with any complacency as long as antisemitism still palpably exists.”

Captain Rabbi Ariel Abel, Padre to Merseyside Army Cadet Force attended a ceremony at the Cenotaph at St. George’s Hall, central Liverpool.

He said: “I held the hand of my four year old daughter and we went forward to lay the wreath on behalf of the Jewish community. So it must be for us all; to go forward, undeterred, and to teach the younger generations to be grateful for and  inspired by those who have laid down their lives for us to be free and secure”.

Rabbi Livingstone (left) with FLt Mandeep Kaur (RAF), Sikh Chaplain to HM Armed Forces and Chaplain Brent Van Der Linde of the Royal Navy, paying respects to fallen soldiers
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