Three students stand solemnly at the Yom HaShoah assembly. One is speaking at the lectern.

Remembering HaShoah, today and always

On Tuesday, we commemorated Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah (known as Yom HaShoah) with a special assembly. We marked 80 years since the Warsaw Uprising with the assembly’s theme ‘resistance’. We heard poetry and songs written in the Warsaw and Vilna ghettos.

We were extremely privileged to hear from student Leo Aarons’s grandmother Miriam Skurnik, who told her incredible story of survival. Her mother, who perished in the Warsaw Ghetto, had the foresight to hide Miriam in a convent where she assumed a Christian identity. Miriam was later rescued by her great aunt who had survived the atrocities and migrated to Australia after being in a displaced persons’ camp in Germany. Miriam reminded us that pain and hardship create great empathy. Miriam told stories of tasting sugar and bananas for the first time and helped us to remember how lucky we are. In the darkest times may we find hope.

Thank you to all of the teachers and students involved in this moving commemoration, especially Feygi Phillips (Learning Area Leader Hebrew & Jewish Studies MC). Yom HaShoah was observed in the Junior School in an age-appropriate manner, with Year 3-5 student representatives called upon to light candles and younger ages learning about difference and respect.

This week and everyday, we remember. May the memories of the righteous be for a blessing.