Voice of the Jewish News: David’s profound enduring legacy
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Voice of the Jewish News: David’s profound enduring legacy

If proof were needed of the late David Cesarani’s incredible, indelible impact on Jewish and British life, it came from the sheer number of heartfelt tributes that poured in during the hours after his death last weekend at the age of just 58.

From the prime minister to community leaders and Holocaust educators to former students, the outpouring of grief and sense of loss was both immediate and profound. Many referred to his role in the creation of Holocaust Memorial Day, his authoring of many definitive books on the Nazi era and unstinting support for organisations involved in passing on the memory.

We will never know the extent of what he might have achieved had he lived a longer life, but his vast body of work will continue to bring the realities of those dark days to the attention of Britain and the entire world for decades to come. Most recently, Cesarani was a prominent member of David Cameron’s Holocaust Commission, which earlier this year recommended that a new national learning centre and prominent memorial be built in central London.

This week, only hours after it was announced he’d passed away, we had another troubling reminder of why his work and that of Sir Martin Gilbert, who also passed away earlier this year, and others remains vital. The exhaustive study by University College London’s Centre for Holocaust Education revealed knowledge of the Shoah among British schoolchildren, even after studying the period, is often limited and based on wild misconceptions.

In particular, very few youngsters were aware of the complicity of ordinary people in crimes around Europe while just a sixth recognised camps other than Auschwitz.

The fact the research revealed a strong interest from students in learning about the Holocaust was, however, a clear positive. Britain has a duty to encourage this interest while survivors still remain with us and beyond – as the prime minister has shown such a readiness to do.

Indeed, David Cameron movingly said yesterday: “I hope the new National Memorial to the Holocaust together with its accompanying learning centre will help to continue the vital work to which David dedicated so much of his life.” It’s a matter of overwhelming sadness that David won’t be there to contribute to that work. He will be greatly missed. We wish his wife and children long life.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

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...

Engaging

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.

Celebrating

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.

Pioneering

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.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

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.

read more:
comments