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 YIDDISHKAYT INITIATIVE (YILOVEJEWISH.ORG) TO HOST “YI REMEMBERS… YOM HASHOAH” – A TWO-DAY VIRTUAL HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION FROM APRIL 7-8, 2021


From a touching tribute to the lost memories of the Holocaust to a powerful play about “The Last Survivor” by Eleanor Reissa, Tony award-nominated director, playwright and actor, the Yiddishkayt Initiative (YI) will be hosting a nine event, two-day virtual commemoration entitled, “YI Remembers… Yom Hashoah” from April 7-8, 2021.

“As the number of survivors continues to decline, it is that much more important to ‘Always Remember’ the plight of those who suffered the greatest tragedy in the history of mankind,” said YI Founder and CEO Avi Hoffman, a child of Holocaust survivors himself. “We have put together an extremely powerful program featuring Holocaust Survivor stories, as told by Second and Third Generation (2G and 3G) representatives, entertainers, artists and a female rabbi who has created a multi-generational, global movement for all those who have been deeply affected by the Holocaust – Jews and non-Jews alike.” 

Here are the highlights of the upcoming “YI Remembers… Yom Hashoah” series: 

CZĘSTOCHOWA: A JEWISH LEGACY FEATURING LEA WOLINETZ
Wed, April 7, 2021
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

About this Event

Częstochowa, Poland is considered one of the most important European centers of Jewish faith and culture in the long history of the Jewish people. From the early 19th century, Jews played an important role in the development of industry and commerce in Czestochowa, and a number of Jewish social, educational and charitable institutions were established. Lea Sigiel-Wolinetz is the Executive Director of the World Society of Czestochowa Jews and their descendants. Her task is to recount the stories of her forefathers, as a bequest, for the sake of all Jewish children and grandchildren. As the world loses more Holocaust survivors, it becomes the next generation’s mission to pass this legacy on and to celebrate the rich and deep history of the Jewish people.  

 

THE LAST ONE: AN EPILOGUE BY ELEANOR REISSA (A PLAY READING)
Wed, April 7, 2021
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT

About this Event

In this play reading, viewers will have the opportunity to meet the last one, the very last one. Like the survivors of the civil war or the battle at Wounded Knee, we meet the last survivor of the Holocaust. Written in 1995, it was an imaginary play. Soon, in the not-so-distant future, this monologue will tragically come true. Starring Avi Hoffman; directed by Eleanor Reissa.

 

THE LAST SURVIVOR BY ELEANOR REISSA – (A PLAY READING)
Wed, April 7, 2021
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

About this Event

“The Last Survivor” is a play written and directed by Tony Award-nominated director, playwright and actress Eleanor Reissa. This reading stars Avi Hoffman and a national cast of acclaimed  actors including Jill Abramovitz, Lori Wilner, Adam Grupper, Robert Zuckerman, Jakob Plummer and Etai Benson. The play is part of a published anthology by Reissa encompassing six decades of modern Jewish life in the United States, exploring the subtle and not-so-subtle effects of a post-Holocaust world on a modern American woman. Her plays are bound together by a unique slant toward life, death, God and love, depicting what is humanly and inhumanly possible. The Chicago Tribune review read: “profoundly, beautifully moving … a life-affirming dance.” 


FROM CHESS MASTERS TO THE HOLOCAUST AND BEYOND – SURVIVOR DAVID FRIEDMAN’S ART LEGACY FEATURING MIRIAM FRIEDMAN MORRIS
Thu, April 8, 2021
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

About this Event

David Friedman(n) 1893-1980, made important contributions both in the realms of 20th century art and in the creation of materials that play a powerful humanitarian role in educating people about the reality of the Holocaust. A gifted artist and historian, he chronicled people and events before, during, and after the Holocaust. He depicted human fate as a refugee in Prague, as a prisoner in the Lodz Ghetto and the Auschwitz subcamp, Gleiwitz. His first family was murdered, his artwork was Nazi-looted and lost. As a survivor, he fought antisemitism and racial hatred through painting the horrors he had witnessed—to show them to the world. He titled the series, Because They Were Jews! His daughter Miriam Friedman Morris will talk about her journey to find David Friedman’s Nazi-looted art and preserve her father’s remarkable legacy for future generations.  

 

A CONVERSATION WITH RABBI ROSALIE GERUT, FOUNDER OF ONE BY ONE
Thu, April 8, 2021
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT

About this Event

Rabbi Rosalie Gerut is an award-winning singer and songwriter, actress, recording artist and producer as well as an educational psychologist and a catalyst for personal transformation. She is also the co-founder of One by One, Inc., a non-profit organization founded by those whose lives have been deeply affected by the Holocaust. The membership is multi-generational consisting of Holocaust survivors, and their descendants; perpetrators, bystanders, resisters and their descendants; as well as concerned individuals. Although rooted in the Holocaust, its work now extends to other polarized groups. As we listen to each other’s stories we learn that we are sensitive to many of the same issues. Together, we seek to bear witness to the realities of war and genocide from our diverse perspectives and to take it upon ourselves to work for a more peaceful world.

 

ROBERT WATSON, TEREZIN: THE MODEL CAMP (A LECTURE)
Thu April 8, 2021
6:30PM

About this Event

The Terezin Concentration Camp was originally a holiday resort reserved for Czech Republic nobility, which was transformed by the Nazis and their collaborators into the notorious concentration camp during World War II. A distinguished scholar and author, Robert Watson discusses and presents the truth behind the Nazi propaganda ‘Model Camp’. 

 

SIGNS OF LIFE, A MUSICAL DRAMA (A Virtual Reading)
Thu, April 8, 2021
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM EDT

About this Event

Signs of Life, a musical drama based on the true story of the Czech ghetto Terezin, tells one of the most fascinating and least known stories of WWII. It was created to house the artistic and academic Jews of Europe who were forced into “beautifying” the ghetto prior to a 1944 visit by the International Red Cross. The show reveals the struggles of the Terezin captives as they wrestle with the question: 

When survival depends on hiding the truth, how does the truth survive?

 

Signs of Life, A Post-Reading Talkback
Thu, April 8, 2021
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM EDT

About this Event

Join us for a post reading talkback with Signs of Life producers: Joan Liman and Virginia Criste;  the creative team:  Peter Ullian, Len Schiff and Joel Derfner and reading director, Amy London. 

 

For more information about “YI Remembers,” please visit www.yilovejewish.org.

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ABOUT YI LOVE JEWISH: YI Love Jewish is a division of Yiddishkayt Initiative (YI), a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization that celebrates and promotes Jewish history, life and culture — and their positive and far-reaching impact on the world. From performing arts, publishing and education to language, philosophy and literature, YI offers a global clearinghouse of Jewish culture and entertainment staffed by experts in subject matter and production. The organization works with a wide range of organizations, including Federations, JCCs, synagogues, Hadassah chapters, Hillel chapters, men’s groups, women’s guilds, special interest clubs, youth groups, summer camp programs and educational institutions, including the University of Miami’s Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies.