Voice of the Jewish News: It’s good to talk, it’s good to write
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Voice of the Jewish News: It’s good to talk, it’s good to write

This week's editorial reflects on the Imperial War Museum's decision to drop its objections to a Shoah memorial, and the WIZOUK young writers competition

Front view of the chosen design for the Holocaust memorial.
Front view of the chosen design for the Holocaust memorial.

It’s good to talk

It was perfectly understandable when the Imperial War Museum expressed concern last year about a new national Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre planned for Victoria Tower Gardens.

It was understandable because the IWM is working on its own Holocaust Galleries at the cost of £31million. It was understandable because Victoria Tower Gardens is less than a mile from the IWM. And it was understandable because those backing each project do not wish to dilute or duplicate the other.

To those of us looking at this unedifying public spat from the outside, who simply want as many people as possible to learn the important lessons of history, it was clear the two teams needed to get their heads together.

On such an enormous theme as the Holocaust, duplication could only occur through a lack of communication, discussion and collaboration.

Fast forward to this week and it is gratifying in the extreme to see that the IWM has now dropped its objections, no longer worried that the two sites would “present a divided public offer on learning about the Holocaust”. It seems all concerned have learnt a lesson we Jews know well: it’s good to talk. 

It’s good to write

Seeing their faces beaming with delight as they received their prizes, there was no doubting the winners of our storywriting competition were incredibly proud of what they achieved – and justifiably so.

Teaming up with WIZO UK, as part of the charity’s centenary celebrations, Jewish News received an influx of entries from budding writers penning their dreams on making the world a better place.

Their ideas, equally poignant and thoughtful, ranged from tackling all forms of hate and discrimination, to doing more to help save the planet or just simply being kind to one another – and showed how powerful words really can be.

Dylan Milich, eight, who came runner-up in the primary school category, writes in his poem, Make The World A Better Place, “I close my eyes and I can ‘see’ a world where I want to be/ Pain and suffering will gradually disappear/ Peace and love will not be a fear…”

Similarly, Jamie Copeland, 16, who won the secondary school category, writes in his evocative poem: “If I could, I would put a smile on everyone’s face and place kind words on each and every tongue.”

Their beautifully-written words show not only creativity and imagination, but also the real hope and optimism young people hold for tomorrow’s future. Out of the mouths of babes, indeed.

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