Holocaust Memorial Day: Jewish and Islamic school choirs to sing together in ‘show of love’

Harmony: the choir rehearses ahead of Monday’s service. Photograph: Olive School

A Jewish school choir is to sing with an Islamic counterpart on Holocaust Memorial Day in a “message of love”.

Pupils from Simon Marks primary and the Olive School will perform Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’ at a Town Hall ceremony next Monday.

The choirs have been rehearsing together since the beginning of the year.

Olive School principal Caterina Park said: “The pupils have enjoyed learning a new song with their friends at Simon Marks.

“The ceremony provides a timely opportunity for us to come together with a message of love and brighter futures. I’m very much looking forward to watching their performance.”

The neighbouring schools have already forged close ties as members of the Three Faiths Forum, a charity focused on building relationships between religious organisations.

Simon Marks headteacher Ms Gulcan Metin Asdoyuran added: “This has been a wonderful opportunity for pupils to visit both schools, further develop cultural bonds and join together in a song about hope and healing the world.”

Speaker of Hackney Cllr Soraya Adejare. Photograph: Hackney Council

Speaker of Hackney Cllr Soraya Adejare is to host Monday’s service, which this year follows the theme of ‘the power of words’.

The ceremony will include songs, readings and candle-lighting, followed by the laying of a floral tribute at the Holocaust Memorial Tree in the Town Hall Square.

Cllr Adejare said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an important day of commemoration providing formal means for communities to honour those who were murdered and experienced unimaginable suffering as a result of Nazi persecution.

“It also allows us to recognise the atrocities suffered by others as a result of genocides which have occurred since the end of the Second World War.

“These were abhorrent acts which have universal resonance both demonstrating the evil which mankind can do but also the need for us all to ensure we work collectively to counter oppression wherever it arises.”