Holocaust Educational Trust Appeal Dinner, Monday 16th September 2013

Every September, the Holocaust Educational Trust holds an Appeal Dinner for sponsors, benefactors, patrons and distinguished guests that support the work of the Trust, financially or otherwise. 2013 is a particularly special year, as it marks 25 years since the founding of the Trust. This was also the first time I had had the honour of being able to attend the Dinner, and was very proud to be a part of such a great event.

The Regional Ambassadors (RAs) that could make it to The Dorchester Hotel were 'paired up' with one or two survivors to greet, escort to dinner and to a separate room to meet the important guest speaker. I was in charge of helping Kitty Hart-Moxon and Mala Tribich, both of whom I have met on previous occasions and, indeed, worked with. They were two of 28 Holocaust survivors present at the Dinner, out of a total of 500 guests, all of whom have spoken or still speak to audiences about their experiences. Their courage, bravery and determination knows no limits, and I am humbled every time I meet a survivor.

Holocaust survivors with Prime Minister David Cameron at the Dinner

The "senior Cabinet minister" we had been told would be the guest speaker turned out to be none other than Prime Minister David Cameron. Despite being warned that it was very unlikely that Regional Ambassadors would have the chance to meet the PM, he happened to be entering the dining room (flanked by security, of course) whilst I was leaving. Seizing the opportunity with two other RAs, I introduced myself and we briefly discussed the role of the RAs and at what age Holocaust education should be encouraged. The PM seemed pleasant enough, and I was quite impressed with his speech (despite the distortion put on it by the Metro newspaper - see my last blog). You can watch the speech in full here:

The Holocaust Educational Trust also makes an annual Appeal Film to showcase the work that it does and to encourage donations. This year's film focuses on Ambassadors being the "flagbearers" for survivors and how we now need to focus on educating future generations, especially when those who witnessed the Holocaust are no longer with us. I am very pleased to be able to say that I feature in the film, both individually and in conversation with Mala Tribich. There is also footage from the Ambassador Conference and reception at Speakers' House in July. I do hope that you enjoy it, and that it may inspire you either to promote Holocaust education in your local community or donate to the Trust (or both!).