Fallen Jewish heroes to be honoured at virtual AJEX event

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Fallen Jewish heroes to be honoured at virtual AJEX event

Cenotaph parade will not take place due to coronavirus restrictions, so a remembrance service will be held online on Sunday 15 November

AJEX parade 2018. Credit: Marc Morris Photography
AJEX parade 2018. Credit: Marc Morris Photography

A poignant online event will replace next month’s annual parade and ceremony at the Cenotaph to remember Jews who fought and died for Britain.

The normal in-person event, typically attended by thousands, cannot take place this year due to coronavirus restrictions, so remembrance will instead take place online at 2.30pm on Sunday, 15 November, with a special Shabbat the day before.

Organisers at the Association of Jewish
Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX) said those wishing to take part can download a profile
picture for the weekend, an AJEX prayer, and an AJEX poppy image that can be shared with a personal message.

They can also share a photo of themselves or a family member as a veteran, while teachers can access educational resources, with a competition for children to enter.

AJEX chair Mike Bluestone said it was essential to remind people of the vital role played by the Jewish community in British life and to honour the “immense contribution” of Jewish ex-servicemen and women.

“It is our sacred duty to ensure that we always remember and commemorate our Jewish brothers and sisters who gave their all, not only in two World Wars, but in subsequent and contemporary conflicts in the service of HM Armed Forces,” he said.

“It is of course with a sense of deep sadness that we cannot be together this year at the Cenotaph in the usual way, but despite the challenges members and volunteers have worked tirelessly to plan an online event that includes contributions from a wide range of community figures of all ages.

“As Jews all over the world show resilience in such challenging times, we too approach the pandemic with the same vigour and attitude. We will not allow this to affect us from honouring our fallen heroes, so please join us on Sunday.”

The parade has been a major event in the Jewish calendar since the 1930s, and last year more than 2,000 people attended, but this year AJEX said it would mark the day in other ways and “demonstrate an ongoing commitment to Jewish veterans and serving community members, passing the legacy on to the next generation”.

On Shabbat on 14 November, the organisation is asking for synagogues, religious services and individuals to say a Prayer of Remembrance, in a call from Rabbi (Major) Reuben Livingstone CF LLM, Senior Jewish Chaplain to HM Armed Forces.

“In light of what is continuing to unfold around the world, it is more important than ever to ensure we can all come together,” said Livingstone.

“The first AJEX parade took place to combat antisemitism. We draw strength from the resilience of past generations and the AJEX Shabbat gives us the opportunity to come together and remember the courage and sacrifice of all who served.”

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