Shoah commemorations in Northern Ireland


(Photo: Joe Cohen) from left, Jennifer McCann MLA, Cantor Alwyn Shulman, Belfast Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir, Tanya Coppel, Jonathan Bell MLA and Tali Appleton

Close to 450 people attended the Holocaust Memorial Day service at Belfast City Hall. Ulster Television presenter Paul Clark presided, and welcomed the Lord Mayor of Belfast and Government ministers. The keynote speaker was Rabbi David Singer of the Belfast Jewish community. The rabbi spoke on the theme of Journeys and recounted his own experience of life journeys which have taken him from England to Israel and now to Belfast. A remembrance candle was lit by Tanya Coppel and Tali Appleton, the youngest member of Belfast’s Jewish community. The memorial prayer was recited in Hebrew by Cantor Alwyn Shulman from the Dublin Jewish community. The commemoration was organised by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister assisted by the HMD Advisory Group.

On the same evening, well over 100 people attended a service at Castlereagh Borough council – an exhibition by a child veteran of the Millisle Refugee Farm told the story of Holocaust refugees in Northern Ireland, many of whom were trained in agriculture to become Kibbutz pioneers in Israel.

In Carrickfergus, it was full house as the Holocaust was remembered and Jewish life celebrated at an event in Jubilee Hall. Musical entertainment was provided by Los Desterrados, a Sephardi (Spanish-speaking) band who were on their third visit to Northern Ireland.