Sadiq Khan attended the the community’s central commemoration for Yom HaShoah on Sunday in his very first public engagement since becoming London mayor.
In a powerful statement which underlines his message to be a mayor for all Londoners, the first Muslim elected to City Hall joined thousands of community members to honour the millions killed in the Holocaust and paid tribute to the British soldiers who fought the Nazis.
Khan, who secured 57 percent of the vote after second preferences, has been at the forefront of condemning anti-Semitism in Labour in recent weeks.
Speakers included the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev and TV star Judge Rob Rinder, who is the grandson of a survivor, while the event also saw more than 150 survivors join a choir comprising pupils from five primary schools.
The event returned to Barnet Copthall Stadium a year after it hosted the country’s largest ever event marking Yom HaShoah, the memorial Day for the Jewish community, with 5,0000 in attendance.
Yom HaShoah UK has once again brought together 120 organisations from across the religious and political spectrum to support the ‘Remember Together – We Are One’ campaign.
Yom HaShoah UK Chairman Neil Martin said: “Last year, we hosted the largest Holocaust commemoration ever held in the UK. In many ways, this year’s 71st Anniversary is even more important than the 70th, because we, as a community, will honour the pledge made last year to Survivors and Refugees.”
Survivor Ben Helfgott MBE, who was also due to address the gathering, added: “I was moved to tears as I watched the children’s choir sing ‘Never Again’ and heard the leaders of our youth movements commit to marking Yom HaShoah each year. We are passing the baton of remembrance on to the UK Jewish community with a lot of confidence.”
Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “The terrible crimes perpetrated during the Holocaust must never be forgotten – Yom HaShoah gives us time to pause and reflect on that dark chapter in Europe’s history. Hatred has no place in our society, and must be crushed decisively as soon as it appears to ensure it cannot grow.”
It’s understood both mayoral front runners were invited to the event several weeks ago.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.