Last night, Heschel families, faculty, and alumni came together for a memorable and moving program to commemorate Yom HaShoah. The theme of the evening was Music, Art, And Healing: Life After The Holocaust.
Heschel's Holocaust Commemoration Committee (HCC) co-chairs, Sharon Schneier and Jeannie Fisher introduced the program, which consisted of a multigenerational dialogue between Heschel alumni and their grandparents, survivors of the Shoah, as well as musical performances by the Motyl Chamber Ensemble.
Rachel Brandeis (HS '13) interviewed her grandmother, Renee Brandeis, about her story and how Renee was able use art and poetry as a tool to heal after the Shoah. Leora Einleger (HS ’14) interviewed her grandmother, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, to discuss how Dr. Ruth used song, humor, and a joie de vivre (joy of living) to be able to move forward after the Holocaust. Both women stressed the importance of telling their stories so that future generations will never forget the tragedies they endured.
The MOTÝL Chamber Ensemble performed two pieces during the evening which further embodied the theme for the evening. The The MOTÝL Chamber Ensemble, formed in 2003, performs music by composers whose lives were cut short or radically transformed by the Holocaust. Naomi Cohen, EC/LS Music Teacher, joined the Ensemble for the second piece, singing the lyrics to Ein Judisches Kind (A Jewish Child) written by Carlo Taube (1897-1944), who was murdered in Auschwitz.
The evening concluded with final remarks by the HCC co-chairs, thanking everyone involved, with special appreciation of Shira Nadich Levin, who chaired the Committee for the past five years. Peter Geffen, Heschel Founder, recited El Malei Rahamim and then led everyone in the singing of Hatikvah.