Richmond Civic Remembrance Service 2016
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Thursday 17th November 2016

A unique Civic Remembrance Service was held at Richmond Synagogue on 5 November with a congregation approaching 150; bringing together leaders of a number of Service Charities; all to commemorate those who lost their lives or were grievously wounded in the two World Wars as well as the many confrontations of more recent times.  The poignancy of the day was all the more apparent by the presence of representatives of so many faiths, and none, all with a common purpose of reconciliation and the promotion of peace.

The service was conducted by Rabbi, Major Reuben Livingstone, Jewish Chaplain to HM Forces, and was organised by Robert Bieber.

Amongst others the service was attended by Zac Goldsmith, prospective MP for Richmond Park, Cllr. Kate Howard, Deputy Mayor of Richmond, and representatives of the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Islamic, Hindu and Sikh faiths as well as none.

Many Jewish and non Jewish ex service men and women also attended, including Brian Bloom National Chairman of AJEX.

Rabbi Livingstone's sermon drew together the threads of the week's Torah portion; highlighting the concept of Remembrance and Sacrifice, and in doing so he highlighted not only for those who had lost their lives but also those who had been maimed in body and mind by their experiences in the many conflicts in which British Forces have been engaged.

Paul Lawrence conducted the latter part of the service tunefully and a number of War Poems were recited by four children of the community.

After the Service Robert Bieber presented the Mayor with a copy of ‘Fighting Back’; describing British Jewry’s military contribution in WWII.

Many Jewish and non Jewish service and ex service men and women also attended, including Brian Bloom National Chairman of AJEX.

Paul Lawrence conducted the latter part of the service tunefully and a number of War Poems were recited by four children of the community.

After the Service Robert Bieber presented the Mayor with a copy of ‘Fighting Back’; describing British Jewry’s military contribution in WWII.

A strong theme throughout the service was the great debt of gratitude which the Jewish Community has for the British Armed Forces and how the Jewish Community has and still does form an important part of it.