Srebrenica Memorial Day 2022

This year marks the 27th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, in which over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were murdered in the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War because of their identity. The lessons from Srebrenica are that hatred and intolerance can flourish if left unchallenged which underlines the importance of why we must never forget about the tragic events that took place and remain resolute in our commitment to tackling hatred, intolerance, prejudice and discrimination in all forms.

The Srebrenica Memorial Day theme for 2022 is ‘Combatting Denial: Confronting Hatred’. Despite the unequivocal fact that genocide was committed, denial of the Srebrenica genocide as well as the crimes against humanity committed across Bosnia and Herzegovina between
1992 to 1995 remains prevalent. Denial brings not only more pain and suffering for the survivors who live in the UK and elsewhere but serves as a rallying call to continue the division and hatred as well as to glorify the murderers. In the UK, communities are only too aware of the
damaging impact that denial can have for individuals and community cohesion. Divisive propaganda and misinformation is thriving, and clear and established facts are denied and manipulated, frequently resulting in minority communities being scapegoated and vilified to create mistrust and promote hatred that threatens community cohesion.

This year’s twin-aimed theme, therefore, seeks to shine a light on the importance of combatting denial and the need to confront the hatred behind the denial.

Kehillat Kernow, therefore, joins others in remembering and honouring the memory of the victims and will continue to work towards building a more cohesive, stronger and safer society free from hatred, discrimination and prejudice.

Garden Shul

When the Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, our sages moved from sacrifice to prayer and from a centralised place of worship to many places. Wherever Jews went, they built synagogues or adapted already existing buildings for services.

On the last Saturday of April, we found our usual place of worship had an extra lock to which we did not have the key. What did we do? We went to our Chair’s home and set up shul in the garden, moving garden furniture around, bringing more chairs from the house out into the garden and laying a cloth on the table. As luck would have it, we had a scroll with us, since the Chair’s wife had the day before found the place for the weekly reading.

The weather was favourable and everything went well, including the kiddush lunch after the service. One of the congregation said it was the the most spiritual service she had ever attended, while another, new member, commented afterwards, “This is the first service I’d atttended and perhaps the garden location will be the first of many. It was magical.”

Even so, we do hope to be back in our normal location this month.

Jewish Community of Cornwall