Torn from home: Holocaust Memorial Day 27 January

Torn from home is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2019.

Kindertransport girls passing through customs

There are activities across the capital to mark this important day. Some of the borough events are listed below. Find an activity near you on the HMD site.

Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.

Torn from home encourages us to reflect on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ is part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide. ‘Home’ usually means a place of safety, comfort and security. On HMD 2019 people across the UK will reflect on what happens when individuals, families and communities are driven out of, or wrenched from their homes, because of persecution or the threat of genocide, alongside the continuing difficulties survivors face as they try to find and build new homes when the genocide is over.

HMD 2019 will include marking the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda, which began in April 1994 and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Genocide in Cambodia, which ended in 1979. HMD activity organisers may particularly want to acknowledge this milestone anniversary, and reflect on how this theme impacts on members of the Rwandan and Cambodian communities.

Safet is a survivor of the Bosnian War. This photograph is taken in his living room.

Safet was 16 when Muslim men and boys began being taken away to concentration camps. He remembers his father and brother being ordered out of the house, and his mother stopped him from going with them. He came to England with his mother, and later his father and brother joined them.

Safet is holding a school photograph, taken in 1982 when he was six years old, before the war started.

‘It was a really mixed group in terms of religion. We were kids and we didn’t think of religion at all. I have chosen this [photograph] because it shows how things were before, and it just reminds me. It would be nice to be able to go back to how it used to be. It can be done, I’m 100% certain. We have no problems between ourselves, it’s the politicians making these problems, and that’s the most frustrating thing.

‘It’s important to keep the memory alive, because some people are just not aware of what was happening in Bosnia, it’s a surprise to me. People were dying in concentration camps, torture took place, in Europe, in the 90s. Everyone thought that once World War II was over that wouldn’t happen again, but it did.

Click on the dates for borough HMD 2019 events. If you know of others, please add a comment to this post with details. A map of activities is on the HMD site.

Upcoming events

Today: follow #HOBV9 to keep in touch with Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network‘s annual Black Mental Health event, Healing Our Broken Village, at New Testament Assembly Church in Tooting, SW17.

If you’re able to join the conference, which includes the CEO of South West London & St George’s Mental Health Trust and Royal Holloway’s Dr Frank Keating, all the details are here.

Saturday 28 October: Kingston Study DayUnderstanding Islam with Dr Chris Hewer, an exploration from predominantly Christian and Muslim perspectives, at the Milaap Centre, Acre Rd, Kingston, KT2 6EE. For beginners and the knowledgeable alike – all welcome.

Download details here and contact Diana if you would like to participate.

Thursday 2 November: opening of a new venue for Greenwich Peninsula’s Multi Faith Prayer Space at the Aperture Building on Greenwich Peninsula, 42 Chandlers Avenue, SE10 0GE. The Prayer Space provides a venue for faith groups to meet for prayer and worship and is available for booking by faith groups for their own prayer or worship activities. The Prayer Space is also open every day for people to drop in for prayer and reflection.

The Community Room provides a facility for activities or events which build up the local community and is available for booking by individuals or groups for such activities or events.  Find the details here.

Saturday 4 November – Sunday 5 November: With God on Our Side… Religion and War, with talks, panels and debates including Holy Wars, Is Religion Inherently Violent (with Karen Armstrong) and War and Peace in the Middle East, at the Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX.

Monday 6 November: St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square – Reforming Attitudes to Islam, with Prof Mona Siddiqui and Joshua Ralston of Edinburgh University.

Monday 6 November: second in LBFN’s safety, security and resilience four-part course for places of worship, hosted by New Scotland Yard and supported by the Corporation of London.  Contact LBFN for further details.

Sunday 12 November: Harrow Interfaith‘s Remembrance Service at Harrow Civic Centre War Memorial at 10.30am.

Monday 13 November: Barnet Multi Faith Forum launch an exhibition “Love Your Neighbour – Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust” at Middlesex University Quadrangle, the Borroughs, Hendon NW4 4BT.  Details here
Monday 13 NovemberQuiz night – A Question of Unity with Faiths Together in Lambeth at the Karibu Education Centre, 7 Gresham Road, SW9 7PH.  Details here
Tuesday 14 NovemberTower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum, “Faith & Communities” at The Royal Foundation of St Katharine, 2 Butcher Row, E14 8DS.  Details and booking here.
Tuesday 14 November: Redbridge Faith Forum ‘s Come to Dinner with RFF!  Interfaith Buffet at Ilford Islamic Centre. Details and booking details are here.

Tuesday 14 November: Youth debate with Islington Faiths Forum, “How can we have harmony in a multifaith community environment?” at Platform, Hornsey Road Baths, 2 Tiltman Place, N7 7EE.

Saturday 18 November: Hounslow Friends of Faith presents, “The Bundle – an asylum seeker’s story” at Brentford and Isleworth Quaker Meeting House, Quakers Lane, London Road, Isleworth, TW7 5AZ.  Details and booking (performance is free but must be booked in advance) here.

12 – 19 November is Inter Faith Week 2017: plenty of events taking place in London this year – find them on the map and add your own.
Monday 20 November: third in LBFN’s safety, security and resilience four-part course for places of worship, hosted by New Scotland Yard and supported by the Corporation of London.  Contact LBFN for further details.
Looking ahead, #VisitMyMosque Day is on Sunday 18 February 2018 – more details on how to plan for the day can be found here.

17 May | Greenwich | Southwark | Lewisham | Tower Hamlets

For all who were involved in London 2012 (and everyone who wished they had),  Hamid Vaghefian has been in touch about an exciting sporty event and festival in four of our boroughs.  He writes:

“Imagine a major mass participation event that celebrates London’s multi-cultural diversity, brings local communities together to inspire social change, and welcomes all ages and abilities.

The Big Half will be truly global, uniquely local – but for this, we need you!

Sported is thrilled to be teaming up with London Marathon Events to give you, your group and your local community an amazing opportunity to be a big part of the festivities.

Together, we would like to extend a warm invitation to attend a special Big Half community launch event at 10:00am Wednesday 17th May 2017 at Rainmaking Loft, 1 International House, St Katharine’s Way, London E1W 1UN where you will get the chance to:

  • Find out all about The Big Half, The Big Relay, The Little Half and The Big Festival.
  • Get involved and become one of the first community groups to sign up. Get the chance to say “We were there at the start!
  • Learn how you can use The Big Half to promote and fundraise for your group.
  • Have your say and help us deliver a uniquely local event.
  • Network with other community groups in your local Borough.

London Marathon Events is delighted to announce the launch of The Big Half – an exciting new event and festival that will feel and be like no other!  Coming to the streets of Greenwich, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Lewisham in March 2018.”

Come along to the launch event on Wednesday 17 May 10am-12 noon at Rainmaking Loft London, 1 Saint Katharine’s Way, E1W 1UN.  Register your place here.

Genocide never just happens | HMD 2017

hmd-2017There is always a set of circumstances which occur, or which are created, to build the climate in which genocide can take place.
Holocaust Memorial Day this year asks the question “How can life go on?
Boroughs across the capital are marking the day. Check the details here:

Hammersmith & Fulham

Merton

Brent

Barnet

Southwark

Tower Hamlets

Enfield

Camden

Wandsworth

Harrow

Newham

Hackney

Ealing

Greenwich

Haringey

Hounslow

Find more events on the HMD website.
Denial, a film about the legal case surrounding Holocaust denier David Irving, opens in London next week.

#LondonIsOpen film for Inter Faith Week

London’s faith communities are open and welcoming!

In step with the Mayor’s #LondonIsOpen message, a short film has been shot on location across the capital and includes Sikh, Quaker, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist & Baha’i places opening their doors.

Against a backdrop of international tensions and increased hate crime, London’s faith groups, from humble to grand, are not closed and fearful – we remain open and welcoming!

Inter Faith Week events across London are screening the new film as part of their activities – you are welcome to do the same by using this link.  Can you identify the different places?

london-is-open-logo

Thanks to everyone who responded to our email during the summer and welcomed in the cameras – we were overwhelmed with offers.  A big thank you to Rosalind Parker and Jack Jeffreys for the filming.  For any who would like to get involved in the next stage, our #LondonIsOpen initiative continues – join us at 3pm on Tuesday 6 December at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PW, to plan for 2017.  Let us know if you’d like to join us.

Near Neighbours – additional boroughs

Near Neighbours areas

Areas of London eligible for funding under the expanded Near Neighbours programme.  Contact coordinators Becky or Tim (see Borough by Borough page) for details.

The Near Neighbours programme has expanded into more boroughs.  It offers small grants (£250 – £5,000) to bring together neighbours and develop relationships across different religious traditions & ethnicities in order to improve our communities.

Check whether areas of your borough are included and contact Becky (West and South London) or Tim (East and South East London) if you’d like more information or would like to talk over an idea.

Launch events for the new boroughs are planned and we hope Becky & Tim will join us at LBFN before long to tell us more.

Mayor’s police & crime roadshows

Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, is revisiting every London borough with senior Metropolitan Police officers.  Sixteen boroughs were visited early in 2014.

They will be talking about local policing, telling us how they’ve been putting the Police and Crime Plan into practice and answering our questions.

Following our recent meeting at New Scotland Yard with Commander Mak Chishty, the roadshow may provide another opportunity to contact our Borough Commanders to talk about their engagement plans with local faith forums.

The next 16 events are scheduled from September to December.  Attendance is on a first come, first serve basis. They are asking people to register now and to let them know of any access needs.