CNSS goes to National Holocaust Centre near Nottingham
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Thursday 21st February 2019

CNSS were privileged to have the opportunity, thanks in part to sponsorship from the Centre for Community Excellence at Office of the Chief Rabbi, to visit Beth Shalom - the National Holocaust Centre and Museum near Nottingham, created by brothers James and Stephen D. Smith.

It is part of our Bnei Mitzvah Educational Programme, which had been devised by Rabbi Daniel Epstein together with community members Ruth and Ben Weinberger for our community. 25 members of the Bnei Mitzvah families were accompanied by 30 further community members for what was an important and formative experience for all.

Rabbi Epstein commented: “As part of the Bnei Mitzvah Programme, the group heard personal testimony of a Kindertransport child, Ruth Auerbach Schweining, which was powerful for the younger people to hear. There will be less and less opportunities over the coming years and every chance we get to her these first-hand accounts, we much grab them with both hands.”

The project – as the brainchild of two older teenagers whose visit to Yad Vashem: World Holocaust Center, Jerusalem in 1991 inspired the UK’s only dedicated Holocaust Museum – was conceived and built by James and Stephen D. Smith whose efforts inspired the teenagers.

The museum’s “The Journey” exhibit for younger people was beautifully put together (see photos) and allowed a chance to engage with the story of the horrors of Kristallnacht in November 1938, coupled with the escape via Kindertransport. This type of considerate education leave the door open for continued discussion, rather than overwhelming our younger people into emotional shutdown when it comes to the Holocaust.

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