Activity type: Public activity
Organisation name: The Association of Jewish Refugees
Planting of a special oak tree to commemorate the thousands of Jewish refugees who managed to find refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in Europe, and the massive contribution they have since made to every aspect of British culture, industry and society.
This winter, to mark our 80th anniversary, the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) is planting 80 native oak trees around Britain in honour of people and places that symbolise the enormous contribution of Jewish refugees.
The AJR was created in 1941 to serve the unique interests of thousands of Jewish people who had fled to Britain from Nazi Europe. Their journeys, both to and within the UK, were far from easy and the support provided by the AJR would be critical.
Eighty years on we like to think that the AJR still plays a vital role, not only in continuing to serve the needs of the smaller number of Holocaust survivors and refugees, but also in recognising the massive contribution that this generation has made to every aspect of British life and providing a focal point for their children and grandchildren.
Oak is one of the globally recognised symbols for 80th anniversaries which is why, in addition to planting oak trees, we have incorporated an oak leaf into our special 80th anniversary logo.
In addition oak trees are such an important part of our past and future heritage, living for centuries and supporting thousands of species of precious wildlife. A 200-year-old oak has around 260,000 leaves, providing shade, releasing oxygen and helping tackle flooding to make our cities healthier places to live and work. For all these reasons (and more) it is tremendous that 80 new oak trees will be planted between this winter and cared for.
Each tree planting also creates a platform for telling the story of Britain’s Jewish refugees and celebrating the remarkable contribution that we have made to every walk of British life.
Logistically, this is an enormous project which requires significant resources and support. So we are delighted to be working with a number of key organisations, including The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation, The Jewish Small Communities Network and The Holocaust Educational Trust. Our 80 trees are also included as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy – the unique tree planting initiative which marks Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.