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News Brief

April 27, 2006
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In what is believed to be a first outside Israel, a siren was sounded for a minute from Cape Town’s Jewish community center to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. At the same time, parliamentarians in the city interrupted their proceedings and stood for a minute’s silence. The siren was switched on by Holocaust survivor Mike Breslin at 10 a.m., the same time it’s sounded in Israel. The event was covered by local media and the siren was broadcast on national radio, meaning that it was heard nationwide. The move was the initiative of David Hersch, chairman of the Western Province Zionist Council, who heard the sirens last year in Israel on Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron — the memorial day for Israel’s fallen soldiers — and said he was “very touched.” Plans were afoot to install a permanent siren to be sounded by the Cape Town Jewish community on Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron. “It is our ardent hope that it will come to be sounded around the world,” Hersch said.

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