The Annual AJEX (The Jewish Military Association) Remembrance Parade and Ceremony at The Cenotaph on Whitehall attracted thousands of participants marchers and spectators who came together in a display of unity, pride and support.
With the rise in antisemitism in the UK, this year’s AJEX Parade served as a powerful statement of solidarity within the Jewish community.
Veterans and families marched side by side, honouring the legacy of thousands of Jewish Servicemen and Women who have made significant contributions to the British Armed Forces.
The Parade marked significant anniversaries, including the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, The Dam Busters Raid, and the 70th anniversary of the end of fighting in the Korean War.
JLGB members, cadets from JFS, Jewish schools, Scout groups and hundreds of members of the Jewish community participated creating a multi-generation and broad, inclusive event.
National Chair, Dan Fox hosted The Reviewing Officer, Air Chief Marshall Sir Michael Wigston. The Parade was commanded by Ron Shelley MBE and supported by Commander Daniel Weil as his second in command, and as Operational Marshall Lt Col Simon Soskin and as Deputy Parade Commander Jon Tyler. The Parade Band this year were the Band of the RAF Regiment.
The service at The Cenotaph was conducted by the Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis, AJEX Chaplain Rabbi (Major) Reuben Livingstone and Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg who recited prayers in honour of those that served as well as in support of today’s Armed Forces. The Chaplain of the Fleet and Chaplain-General both contributed to the service too.
Wreaths were laid by senior members of AJEX, The Board of Deputies of British Jews, fellow veterans organisations, military leaders, the JFS Combined Cadet Force and CST.
Six students from Jewish schools also laid poppy posies. AJEX were honoured and grateful to receive letters of support from His Majesty King Charles and Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.
AJEX National Chairman, Dan Fox said: “Over 5,000 Jewish veterans, serving personnel, families, friends and supporters, including many non Jews in solidarity, marched or spectated at the AJEX Annual Parade this afternoon. Our heartfelt gratitude and thanks goes to all those who took part, especially to the Met Police and CST for making it possible. This event sits at the very centre of what it means to be British and Jewish. Our community. Our country. Nothing and no one changes that”.
The ceremony marked the end of a memorable Remembrance fortnight for AJEX with schools taking part in the Remember in Red Campaign, AJEX speaker and veteran school activities and the annual AJEX Shabbats, as well as participating in community and national events across the UK.
Fiona Palmer, chief executive of AJEX, expressing gratitude for the tremendous turnout, said: “Today’s ‘Side by Side’ theme captured the current mood with the importance of community unity, strength and pride. The community’s standing together, especially after events in southern Israel, stands as a powerful defiance against antisemitism.
“In Remembrance, we look back and forward with hope for peace amid global challenges. Today we honoured thousands of Jewish men and women who fought for our freedom. A heartfelt thank you to CST and the Met Police for ensuring the safety of today’s ceremony, and to all who participated, whether marching or spectating”.
This year’s Parade, the only Jewish gathering that closes Whitehall, coincided with Mitzvah Day, providing a unique opportunity for the community to engage in the mitzvah of Remembrance. Attendees witnessed historic moments as participants marched proudly with their medals, family medals, or as supportive spectators.
To make a donation to help AJEX continue the vital work they do in Remembrance, Education, Welfare and combatting antisemitism please click here.
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