This was an impressive service, and all who attended were very glad they had made the effort to get to Saxon Hall, Hereford, for the occasion. Although we had no visiting choir, so numbers attending were smaller than recent years, it was a great opportunity to celebrate our strengths as a community, with a very creative and thoughtful service prepared by Rabbi Anna and several of our own young people taking an active part in the service.
Rabbi Anna chose an original selection of diary extracts illustrating the passage of Anne’s life, from the youthful carefree experience of a teenager in Amsterdam to her final journey to Auschwitz. These extracts were movingly read by Josh, Isaac, Seth and Golda, and were especially poignant, as our readers were all of a similar age to Anne Frank when she was writing her diary. Rabbi Anna emphasized the literary qualities of the diary and also how Anne’s individual experiences reflected universal messages, which are still very much relevant to us today. After the service, we all gathered around the Anne Frank tree outside the hall as Julian and Cherry sang two songs: Sachki Sachki, A Hebrew song written by Saul Tchernishevsky and a chant emphasising the power of nature, Adama v’ Shamayim, followed by an al fresco kiddush. We then enjoyed a shared lunch with the opportunity to catch up with members and guests. The Mayor of Hereford, Councillor Jacqui Carwardine, and Emma Wright from Churches Together in Herefordshire, both thoroughly appreciated the event, neither having attended a Jewish service before