A Shoah educator has been recognised by the Prime Minister with a Points of Light award for founding Echo Eternal, a Holocaust commemoration arts project.
Adrian Packer received the prestigious award given to outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
He received high praise from Theresa May, who said in a letter to him: “You have enabled children of all faiths and backgrounds in Birmingham to learn about the Holocaust and play their part in ensuring that the testimony of British Holocaust survivors lives on for generations.
“You should feel very proud of the way that your innovation and creativity as an educator is helping to bring young people together in fighting all forms of hatred and prejudice and I wish you every success as the project continues to grow.”
Inspired by the testimony of survivors, Echo Eternal was launched on Holocaust Memorial Day of last year across 12 schools in Birmingham.
With the help of an artist in residence, each school produced a creative response to the story of a Holocaust survivor.
The project also offers a series of training events in Holocaust education and works with schools to design civic pledges to counter prejudice.
Mr Packer, who is CEO of CORE Education Trust, said: “Receiving a Points of Light award from the Prime Minister is a testament to everyone’s hard work in getting us to this point.
“At the project’s heart it’s the children who are doing the most wonderful things. It has been magical to see all the schools come together.
“Our schools live and breathe collaboration, and we look for opportunities to encourage and help our students to look outwards and engage creatively with the rich diversity of our communities.”
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”