Family of Jewish 7/7 victim launch programme to combat extremism

Family of Jewish 7/7 victim launch programme to combat extremism

Ambulances at Russell Square, London after the 7th July bombings
Ambulances at Russell Square, London after the 7th July bombings
Miriam Hyman
Miriam Hyman

The relatives of a Jewish woman killed in the 7/7 London bombings have launched a new programme to tackle extremism ten years after her death.

Esther and Mavis Hyman, the sister and mother respectively of Miriam Hyman, who died in the attacks at the age of 32, are taking their campaign across schools to promote a more inclusive society.

Remembering her “exceptionally caring” daughter, who was one of 52 people killed, Mavis launched the web-based ‘Miriam’s Vision’ this week, saying: “It is based on her story.”

The programme includes a collection of curriculum-based lesson plans, resources and guidance notes for teachers of 11 to 14-year-olds, rolled out through the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust, which was set up in 2008.

“Young people will develop skills for life, like resilience in adversity, negotiating, proactive citizenship, acting compassionately, appreciating one’s own traditions and respecting and enjoying others,” said Mavis.

Prof. Chris Husbands, director of UCL’s Institute of Education, which collaborated on the project, said: “This is a welcome and timely resource that offers schools imaginative ways to develop relevant and valuable skills.”

Asked about the rationale behind the project, Esther said it was designed to encourage young people “to have a more open, more critical mind to approach the propaganda they are presented with”.

Miriam died after Islamist men from Leeds and Aylesbury simultaneously detonated three bombs across the Tube network. An hour later, another detonated a bomb on a bus In Tavistock Square, on which Miriam was travelling. An Israeli woman, Anat Rosenberg, 39, was also on the bus, while Susan Levy, 53, was travelling on one the Tube trains. Both were killed.

The family will mark the tenth anniversary of the capital’s worst terrorist attack in living memory at a St Paul’s memorial service, followed by a commemoration at Hyde Park, at the permanent memorial, and finally at a private gathering at their local park in Golders Green.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Christian, Muslim and Jewish representatives convened under the auspices of the Faiths Forum for London, to learn about the response to 7/7 from different communities.

Henry Grunwald, chairman of The Holocaust Centre, said: “The counter narrative is really important. We must learn from our, and Britain’s, opponents. We have to be clever in our use of social media. We don’t tweet enough. We don’t use social media to put positive stories across.”


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