Almost 2,000 people pay respects at Yom HaShoah ceremony in Hyde Park

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Almost 2,000 people pay respects at Yom HaShoah ceremony in Hyde Park

Sadiq Khan warns rising antisemitism cannot be ‘dismissed as passing trend’ as organisers announce major stadium event next year to mark 75th anniversary of liberation.

Mixed school choir led by  Stephen Melzack at The Dell in Hyde Park. Photo: John Rifkin
Mixed school choir led by Stephen Melzack at The Dell in Hyde Park. Photo: John Rifkin

The Mayor of London warned against any “complacency” in tackling antisemitism during the community’s main Holocaust Memorial event on Sunday.

Addressing a crowd of almost 2,000 people during the annual Yom HaShoah ceremony in Hyde Park, Sadiq Khan expressed his admiration for Holocaust survivors “triumphing over darkest adversity’, but cautioned against the growing “politics of blame and hatred” in society. 

He said: “Sadly we know antisemitism is on the rise once again. This cannot be dismissed as a passing trend and we cannot be complacent.

“We know from our history where antisemitism can lead if left to fester. So in these testing times it is more important than ever that we remember the horrors of the Holocaust.”

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, Lord Howard and Woody Johnson, US ambassador. Photo: John Rifkin

Organisers also confirmed that next year’s ceremony will be held in a major stadium to commemorate 75 years since the end of the Holocaust. 

Joining the London mayor was Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis who in a moving address mourned the lack of survivors to “record stories of heroism and outright faith” which “highlighted the depth of the cruelty and the enormity of the crime of the Holocaust.”

He added: “All of us within our society must be determined- for the sake of the victims whose names are known to us and those who are not- to stamp out antisemitism once and for all.”

A candle is lit by survivor Mala Tribich. Photo: John Rifkin

Other notable attendees included Marie Van der Zyl, at her first Yom HaShoah ceremony since becoming Board of Deputies President, senior leaders from all Jewish denominations, and Rabbi Barry Marcus who received an award for his contribution to Holocaust education. 

The hour-and-a-half-long ceremony, hosted by Henry Grunwald, included a performance by Shir of Oyfn Pripetchik, with extracts from the Association of Jewish Refugees’ ‘My Story’ project narrated by Judge Robert Rinder and actress Laura Pradelska.

Attendees also heard from Holocaust Survivor Hannah Lewis, who recalled the horrors of witnessing her mother’s execution in Poland, but expressed gratitude for the kindness she experienced after settling in England.

“This year is 70 years since I arrived in Great Britain, which gave me a home and security. I found a country of tolerance and respect for others. 

L-R at Yom HaShoah: Jude Robert Rinder, Laura-Pradelska, Henry Grunwald, Chief Rabbi Mirvis, Sadiq Khan, survivor Hannah Lewis, Board president Marie van der Zyl and Yom HaShoah UK chair Neil Martin (Credit: John Rifkin)

“It is my sincerest wish that society continues to remember the horrors of the Holocaust so that with respect and tolerance it can never happen again,” she concluded.

Neil Martin, Yom HaShoah UK Chair said: “Next year will mark the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Shoah, and Yom HaShoah UK are embarking on a new legacy initiative with major plans already underway, including the return of a large-scale stadium event on erev Yom HaShoah next year. We’re giving the entire community an entire year’s notice to save the date of the evening of Monday 20th April 2020 where we hope 10,000 people will remember together as one and pledge to ensure the legacy of our survivors and refugees continues for generations to come.”

Game of Thrones actress Laura Pradelska addresses the Yom HaShoah ceremony in Hyde Park. (Credit: John Rifkin)

Representatives of Jewish youth movements also pledged their commitment to “ensuring the Shoah retains a permanent place in the community’s memory”, promising to gather each year to memorialise the victims of the Holocaust.  

Attendees also heard from a combined choir of Jewish primary school children reciting ‘Never Again’, composed and conducted by Stephen Melzack.

Sadiq Khan has attended the annual Holocaust remembrance ceremony every year since becoming Mayor of London. 2016’s ceremony was Khan’s first public engagement after taking office.  

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: