Thursday, 10 January 2013

Build a bridge to Mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2013

Reading is a diverse town with very good community cohesion. It is important that we all keep working to maintain and improve relations between communities. On this subject, Holocaust Memorial Day is coming up. See below for the Council press release:

"Reading will again this year host an evening of reflection to remember victims of the Holocaust with a special memorial event at the Civic Centre on Thursday January 24th.

The theme for this year's Holocaust Memorial Day is 'Communities Together: Build a Bridge.'

On the day, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is asking people across the UK to remember how hatred and persecution have fractured communities and turned neighbours against each other, and to emphasise the need for all people to show respect for others and to connect with others within our community.

The evening - which begins from 6.30pm - will include a presentation from Reading College Students on 'The Lessons We Learned from Auschwitz', as well as Journalist and Author Monica Porter, who will talk about her Mother, Hungarian actress Vali Racz, and her experiences during the Holocaust where she was amongst many who were responsible for saving Jewish lives.

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and who will also be speaking at the event, said: 'Holocaust Memorial Day is about learning from the past to build a better future; it is about promoting equality, respect and understanding. This year, we are asking people to build bridges within their community by signing an online statement. We hope people used the day to consider the part they can play in creating a safer, better future."

The Reading Holocaust Memorial Day event has been organised by Reading Borough Council and ACRE (Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality). It is supported by Reading Hebrew Congregation, Reading Faith Forum, Reading Refugee Support Group, Zimbabwean Community in Reading, Reading Post and Valpee Printing Company.

Councillor Jo Lovelock, Leader of Reading Borough Council, said: 'It is so important that we all make some time to remember the horrors of the Holocaust and the divisions it caused. This annual memorial event acts as a good reminder on the need to respect people of all nationalities and backgrounds and to renew our resolve that we will work throughout the year to maintain community cohesion in Reading.'

Victor Koroma, Interim Manager of ACRE/RCRE, said 'We believe that by holding commemorative events for the Holocaust & Genocides we not only pay homage to past victims, we are also informed and sensitised to the consequences of extreme racial & religious hatred, and to incidents of human rights abuses. We must therefore remain vigilant in challenging bigoted views and working towards achieving a more cohesive society in Reading and beyond'.

A candle-lighting ceremony will take place on the night and entry to the service is free.

For more information, call Victor Koroma from Reading Council for Racial Equality on (0118) 951 0279 or


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