A poignant vigil has taken place to mark the end of the official 30 day mourning period (Shloshim) for the Jewish victims of the Paris Supermarket attack in Paris along with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks earlier the same week.
The vigil organised by the North West Friends of Israel was attended by over 300 people and featured a candle lighting ceremony with an individual candle being lit for the four victims Yoav Hattab, Yohan Cohen, Philip Braham and Francois-Michel Saada whilst the Lord Mayor of Manchester lit a fifth candle for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks following prayers by the Bishop of Middleton, Mark Davies.
The Mayor of Bury, Michelle Wiseman, called on the communities to unite and for all religions to live together and Rabbi Lewis of Bowdon Synagogue said that those of religion should be allowed to pray in their synagogues, churches and mosques without fear and those without religion should be free to make that choice.
Co-Chair of NWFOI, Anthony Dennison said of the event, “It is important that we continue to remember the victims of persecution and religious intolerance. The vigil was particularly poignant, taking place so close to the commemoration of the 70th year since the liberation of Auschwitz. It is very sad that Jews in this country are once again witnessing an increase in anti-Semitism. The vigil was intended not only to remember the Jewish victims of the Paris attacks but also the 3 police officers and 11 Charlie Hebdo journalists who lost their lives. Our placards read “Say No to Anti-Semitism”, “Je Suis Charlie” and “Je Suis Juif”. We are all “Charlie”. We are all Juif”