Richmond Synagogue hosted two Holocaust survivors for a day of Holocaust Memorial Day workshops for over 100 secondary school children last week.

They were joined by two Jewish councillors, who led break-out sessions for the pupils during the workshops.
Cllr Andree Frieze and Cllr Jo Humphreys welcomed Elizabeth Rosenthal and Sam Freiman, both survivors of the Holocaust.
Throughout the day, over 135 year-nine children from Turing House, Waldegrave, Teddington and Orleans Park schools, heard from each of them about their experiences, learning more about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides which followed, as well as challenges, such as hate crime, facing the UK today.
Cllr Humphreys, said: “Cllr Frieze and I approached Richmond Synagogue last September to see if they would agree to run this programme.

"Educating children and young people about the mistakes of the past is a key way to ensuring that the atrocities endured by so many will never be repeated. 

"Given the recent poll carried out by the Holocaust Memorial Trust showing that 1 in 20 Britons do not believe the Holocaust happened and 8% say the scale of the genocide has been exaggerated means workshops like this are more important than ever."
This year’s global theme was ‘Torn from our home’. And, through these workshops, the children had an opportunity to consider what that would mean for them. 
Cllr Frieze, added: “I felt very humbled to be part of this event. The experiences the survivors shared with us were poignant and emotional, and I saw for myself how the young people learned the importance of being tolerant of other people and their beliefs.  
“We are very grateful to Richmond Synagogue and so many of the Jewish Community volunteers whose hard work helped make this happen.

"We are now hopeful that this programme will become an annual activity for all secondary schools in the borough.”

The Mayor of Richmond, Cllr Ben Khosa, also remembered those the Holocaust, at a service at Richmond Synagogue. 
The service included music, memories of survivors, poems and readings by local teenagers and a presentation from Rabbi Shindler. 

Cllr Ben Khosa also spoke at the service. He said: “It’s right that we should take the time to reflect and remember those who lost their lives and that we learn to celebrate the diversity of our communities.

"The road to genocide can be a gradual one which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked, challenged and prevented.  
“We’re fortunate here in the UK that we are not at risk of genocide. However, discrimination has not ended, nor has the use of the language of hatred or exclusion.

"There is still much to do to create a safer future and Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity to reflect on the work that remains to be done.”
Following the event, Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of the Council, said: “This emotional service provided us with an opportunity to reflect on what happens when individuals, families and communities are driven out of their homes because of persecution or threat of genocide. 
"It's important that we reflect on the atrocities of the past and share their stories with future generations. It's the best defence against history repeating itself."
Rabbi Shindler, from Richmond Synagogue, added: “It was a real privilege to be part of this Holocaust Memorial Day event which I found to be simultaneously emotional, poignant and uplifting.

"We thank the Mayor and Richmond Council for funding the event; we are grateful for their constant support and friendship.”