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CCJ Director Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, CCJ Chair Bishop Michael Ipgrave, James Smith and CCJ Trustee Zaki Cooper at awarding of the CCJ Bridge Award. Credit: CCJ


The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) announces today that the Smith family (Eddie, Marina, Stephen, and James) have received the inaugural Bridge Award.

The CCJ Bridge Award is a new annual award which has been introduced for the charity’s 75th anniversary year. It is given to an individual(s) who has/have made an exceptional and leading contribution to building bridges between communities.

On behalf of his family, James Smith was presented with the Award by CCJ’s Chairman today, Rt Rev Dr Michael Ipgrave OBE, Bishop of Lichfield.

The Smith family founded the National Holocaust Centre in their former family home in Nottinghamshire in 1995. The Centre is now one of the leading centres of Holocaust education and commemoration in the UK. Stephen and James Smith also co-founded the Aegis Trust, which works to prevent genocides worldwide, and which James serves as Chief Executive. Stephen was the first chair of the Holocaust Memorial Day trust and is now Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education

On behalf of the family, James Smith said:

“The Smith family are humbled to be recognised by the Council of Christians and Jews through this award.  With growing extremism, anti-Semitism and division in our communities we must redouble our efforts to promote understanding between communities – as the CCJ has pioneered for some seven decades.

I wish to add that the National Holocaust Centre could not have been established without the dedication of the staff, volunteers, trustees and financial supporters. Most of all we thanks Holocaust survivors who embraced the Centre as their own. They bring it life and meaning as they share their lives and stories with the younger generation.”

CCJ Bishop Michael Ipgrave said:

“The Smith family have made a very remarkable contribution to Holocaust education and interfaith relations. They are an inspiration to us all on what we can achieve when we work together to promote understanding between communities.”

For more information and press enquiries contact Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, Director of CCJ: