Yom HaShoah 2022 at Chigwell & Hainault
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Wednesday 4th May 2022

The Yom HaShoah commemoration at Chigwell & Hainault Synagogue this year was an extremely special event, not only because it’s the first time in two years that so many could attend, and over 160 did. But to make the event extra special, I wanted to involve as many children as possible, after all they are the future, new life, new beginnings.

For a number of years I have been involved with and have been promoting the Yad Vashem Bar/Batmitzvah twinning project, where a child who is about to celebrate their Simcha can be twinned with a child who was murdered in the Holocaust before they could celebrate this milestone in Jewish life.

At Chigwell & Hainault Synagogue we have had many twinnings over the past few years. I set about writing to many of the twinning families to ask them if their children would be willing to come to our Yom HaShoah event to light a candle in memory of their twin.

The response was immense, 30 children wanted to take part in the candle lighting ceremony.

The evening was orchestrated and run by Mizrachi UK, narrated by Rabbi Andrew Shaw with

Chazen Jonny Turgel singing in the most special and emotional way, capturing the sheer essence of the event.

Then came the part of the candle lighting ceremony. 30 children lined up behind 30 candles as each child placed a card on the table with their name and the name of their twin on it,  they then lit their candles.  What made it extra special is that every single child said the name of their twin without looking at their card, meaning every child takes the responsibility of twinning to their heart, and has taken on this roll with the intention of keeping their twins memory alive.

Also in attendance were the team from the Yad Vashem UK, Sandra Gold and Laurie Rosenberg.

At the end of the evening Laurie gave a short briefing into the vital work they do.

It is my dream that every child, pre Bar/Batmitzvah who was murdered in the Holocaust is remembered in this way.

If you have a Simcha planned, please do consider getting involved with the Yad Vashem twinning programme, either contact them directly or email me at  harveyfrankel@hotmail.com

By Harvey Frankel