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Time to remember

How to engage in the national period of mourning the Holocaust

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

  • Memorial candles as a testament to memory (photo credit: Dadi Elias)
    Memorial candles as a testament to memory (photo credit: Dadi Elias)
  • Holon design students and their take on the ever-present memorial candle (photo credit: Dadi Elias)
    Holon design students and their take on the ever-present memorial candle (photo credit: Dadi Elias)
  • Using different materials to create the memorial candle (photo credit: Dadi Elias)
    Using different materials to create the memorial candle (photo credit: Dadi Elias)
  • The red memorial candle, ironic in tone? (photo credit: Dadi Elias)
    The red memorial candle, ironic in tone? (photo credit: Dadi Elias)
  • A sheet of wax candles (photo credit: Dadi Elias)
    A sheet of wax candles (photo credit: Dadi Elias)
  • A candle in time (photo credit: Dadi Elias)
    A candle in time (photo credit: Dadi Elias)

The arrival of Yom Hashoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day — so soon after eight days of Passover, always feels sudden. It’s a quick segue into a distinct part of the calendar year, a period of history and memory that takes us through the sirens and mournful songs of Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron (Day of Remembrance for Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism) and concludes more happily with singalongs and barbecues on Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day.

There are a host of events, screenings and readings that take place during the days around Yom Hashoah, and we’re listing five around the country.

http://youtu.be/i60wpyZ2AYU

1) 88-year-old filmmaker Claude Lanzmann will be present at a two-day screening of “Shoah,” the nine-and-a-half-hour documentary from 1985 that uses first-person testimonies and footage from Holocaust-related sites to tell the oral history of the Holocaust. Born in Paris, hidden as a teenager and then active as a member of the French resistance, Lanzmann will discuss aspects of the documentary with Jerusalem filmmaker Benjamin Friedenberg, including the filmmaking process of “Shoah,” its relevance to younger generations and Hollywood productions dealing with the Holocaust, following the second day of screening. Recently awarded the Honorary Golden Bear at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival in February, Lanzmann will be screening the films at the Jerusalem Cinematheque on Sunday, April 7 at 6:45 pm, and Monday, April 8 at 5 pm, both free of charge, with tickets for the general public available at the Cinematheque Box Office on the day of the screening. The Cinematheque continues the month of April with a tribute to Lanzmann’s cinema.

A memorial candle in color, by a Holon design student (photo credit: Dadi Elias)
A memorial candle in color, by a Holon design student (photo credit: Dadi Elias)

2) Industrial design students at the Holon Institute of Technology have designed a series of memorial candles that will be exhibited at the school. Working with members of the Tied to the Holocaust organization, the students aimed to demonstrate the dialogue of memory, given the importance of the memorial candle as a way of traditionally remembering the victims of the Holocaust. “The Candle Remembers,” opening Thursday, April 4 at 6:30 pm, through Thursday, April 18, Vitrina Gallery, Holon Institute of Technology.

3) Several theaters will be performing plays and readings for Yom Hashoah. At Beit Lessin in Tel Aviv, the family drama “Glass Wall” by playwright Oren Jacobi will be performed, telling the story of a young Israeli dancer living in Berlin who faces an identity crisis over an unexpected pregnancy. As the granddaughter of a successful judge and Holocaust survivor, she isn’t speaking to her mother and brother over her decision to live in Berlin. Beit Lessin, Sunday, April 7, 8:30 pm, call 03-725-5333 for ticket information. The Yiddishspiel Theater will hold a ceremony to mark 70 years since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on the morning of Yom Hashoah, with actors reading and telling about the days prior to the rebellion. Held in conjunction with the Jerusalem Theater on Monday, April 8 at 9:50 am. Tickets are free and must be ordered by phone, 03-560-5755. The Mediatheque Theater in Holon will perform Gila Almagor’s autobiographical play, “Summer of Aviya,” about a summer in the life of child of survivors, during the early days of statehood. The play will be followed by a discussion with Almagor. Monday, April 8, 5 pm, 03-502-1552.

http://youtu.be/xaDOsj-7w1o

4) Trust writer Etgar Keret to firmly place the jumbled feelings and emotions of Holocaust remembrance in the context of life and its idiosyncrasies  His short story, “Siren,” is about an introverted high-school senior who must decide whether to break away from tradition in a competition to win the girl of his dreams. Here, a short clip from the film being made by director Jonah Bleicher based on Keret’s story.

5) Yom Hashoah is always an opportunity to visit Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust museum, and this year Yad Vashem is putting out a request for photographs of Holocaust survivors together with one or more family members. The photographs are needed for the permanent exhibition opening in the Jewish Block at the Auschwitz Memorial, for the section depicting the survivors’ return to life. The museum requires either the photograph itself or a scanned copy (300dpi quality), and asked that it be sent to museum@yadvashem.org.il. Hard copies should be sent (or dropped off) at Museums Division, Yad Vashem, POB 3477, Jerusalem, 91034. All photographs require the following information:

1. First name and family name during the Holocaust and afterwards (if changed) in Latin characters.
2. Place of residence after the Holocaust.
3. Date the photograph was taken.
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