Communities donate 200,000 buttons for Holocaust memorial

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Communities donate 200,000 buttons for Holocaust memorial

Communities in Bushey, Watford and Elstree and Hertsmere Jewish Primary School, Radlett, were collecting for B's Buttons

Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.

  • Zigi Shipper, Gabi Rolfe and Abigail Mann at the Bushey United Synagogue button count earlier this month
    Zigi Shipper, Gabi Rolfe and Abigail Mann at the Bushey United Synagogue button count earlier this month
  • Scores of volunteers at Bushey Synagogue counted 143, 900 buttons
    Scores of volunteers at Bushey Synagogue counted 143, 900 buttons
  • Year 6 students at HJPS, Radlett counted 51,335 buttons
    Year 6 students at HJPS, Radlett counted 51,335 buttons

More than 200,000 buttons have been donated to a project creating a memorial to the 1.5million children who perished in the Holocaust, by communities in Bushey, Watford and Elstree, as well as pupils at Hertsmere Jewish Primary School.

B’s Buttons, which launched in September, was started after a student at The Lakes School in Windermere, Cumbria, asked to come up with a meaningful way of understanding the sheer scale of mass-murder that took place during the Second World War.

She had been inspired by a visit from survivor Arek Hersh, one of 300 displaced children, known collectively as “The Boys”, who were given a new home after the war on the Calgarth Estate in the Lake District, where The Lakes School now resides.

Alongside her history teacher, Laura Oram, they came up with the idea of collecting 1.5 million buttons, to reflect the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust.

Earlier this month, the project passed the one million mark, with many more buttons from around the world still being sent to The Lakes School.

On Sunday, 8 July, scores of volunteers at Bushey Synagogue counted 143, 900 buttons and were joined by Holocaust survivor Zigi Shipper, one of the surviving members of The Boys and Abigail Mann, from St Albans, who has helped spread the word and organise button collections at museums, schools and synagogues throughout the UK.

Scores of volunteers at Bushey Synagogue counted 143, 900 buttons

The buttons were donated by members of Bushey United, Watford United and Elstree Liberal Synagogue.

Collection boxes were also set up at The Kelman Deli, Bushey, which counted 6,000 buttons, and Flax’s Foods, Bushey, which donated 4,860 buttons.

Meanwhile, Year 6 students at HJPS, Radlett counted 51,335 buttons.

Mum-of-three Gabi Rolfe, from Bushey, helped organise the count at Bushey United and started a collection at HJPS, where her children attend.

She said: “The year 6 pupils have been studying the Holocaust as part of their World War Two Shoah week and the B’s buttons project was a fantastic way to involve the children.

“They also designed ideas for the memorial, which they will be sending to The Lakes School.”

Natasha Collins, acting deputy head added: “All the children at HJPS were really excited to bring in the buttons and take part. It was a great team effort from the school community.

“We feel proud of our contribution and are delighted that we have taken part in something so important.”

Once 1.5 million buttons have been collected, they will be turned into a permanent Holocaust memorial sited on the grounds at The Lakes School, next to a sapling brought from Auschwitz that was planted in the school gardens last year.

For more information about B’s Buttons, email or visit

 Listen to the Jewish Views podcast:

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: