Our annual Brent Interschool’s Conference for Holocaust Memorial Day took place at JFS this week. Following an introductory welcome from the Headteacher Mrs Fink, students from Alperton Community School, Newman Catholic College, Kingsbury High School, Queens Park Community School and The Crest Academy as well as JFS, heard from survivor, Renee Salt. Mrs Salt recalled her horrific experiences and really painted a picture of what life was like during the pre-war years, the Holocaust itself and the recovery period that followed.
Subsequent to this, the students were split into groups and participated in an interactive session entitled ‘Victims, Perpetrators and Bystanders’, which explored how and why the Holocaust was allowed to take place.
In the final part of the day, the students engaged in a session that investigated moral dilemmas raised by the Holocaust. This session was led by Year 12 students who recently visited Poland enabling them to use their knowledge to create interesting discussion and debate around the room.
As part of our whole school HMD educational programme Rabbi David Mason from Muswell Hill Synagogue spoke to Year 9 students about his visit to the refugee camp in Eidomeni, Greece in 2015 with the Chief Rabbi and World Jewish Relief. He talked about the individual human stories behind the big numbers of displaced people from various countries around the world who are escaping from war and persecution. Rabbi Mason’s message was that as a community who has endured much suffering we have a duty to show compassion to others who have undergone similar experiences and be aware that not everyone is able to live in a warm and comfortable home.