AFTER attending remembrance ceremonies across the region on Sunday, Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Dame Ingrid Roscoe said how impressed she had been to see so many young people joining in services.
Dame Ingrid — attending the AJEX annual memorial service — commented particularly on how proudly young people from Jewish cubs and scouts and other youth movements had marched.
She praised the Leeds Jewish community and Leeds Jewish Representative Council and the work that is done, not just for the community but for the city of Leeds as well.
“You know how much the AJEX service means to me,” she told nearly 150 people. “This community is thriving and it is a joy to see it.”
Referring to the war memorial in Street Lane Gardens, Lord Mayor Councillor Jane Dowson noted how many servicemen and women lost their lives.
It also mentions the six millions Jews murdered in the Holocaust and she tried hard, she said, to put that into context.
“One says six million, but it doesn’t sound such a big number, it just trips off the tongue.
“Leeds has 775,000 residents. The Yorkshire city region has one million residents. Consequently if one were to travel into Leeds and drive for an hour one would possibly encounter where six million people live.
“And that is how many people we are talking about, in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and Harrogate.
“When one looks at it in that way, the enormity of what happened actually hits one very hard; that number will faze me for a long time to come.”
The Lord Mayor, who represents the Chapel Allerton Ward, said it is a district which resonates as a huge part of the history of the Leeds Jewish community.
Several years ago, the city placed a Blue Plaque on the Chapeltown Road building that housed the ORT school, and that organisation now serves as another important link which the city has with its Jewish community.
“The ORT school was a Berlin organisation and it is particularly sad that when the school’s organisers realised the writing was on the wall and made the decision to escape to the UK, half of the school set off by train to establish the education centre in Leeds, leaving the rest of staff and children behind to pack up all the engineering equipment to come over at a later date.
“For those people it was too late, they never arrived.”
She said: “On days like this, when we all come together as one community, it is vital that we always remember, and we hope by remembering it will never happen again.”
Four members of The Zone received volunteer awards — Brad Raw, Tahlia Robbins, Noah Libbish and Mandy Crawford.