Nadeslal Piotr Jassem
OTHER 2014 PROGRAMS ON POLISH-JEWISH TOPICS
Fabric of Survival
More than 40 years after the Holocaust, Esther Nisenthal Krinitz told her remarkable story of survival as a young girl in a Polish village in a series of vividly-colored and deeply moving fabric collage and embroidered panels. To accompany an exhibit of images of her work, her daughter Bernice Steinhardt will present an award-winning documentary film, “Through the Eye of the Needle,” followed by a discussion with Toronto artist Ian Leventhal.
Bernice Steinhardt is the President of Art and Remembrance, a non-profit arts and educational organization she and her sister, Helene McQuade, founded to honour the legacy of their mother, Esther Nisenthal Krinitz. Sculptor, artist, and designer, Ian Leventhal has achieved a vast body of work over the past 30 years. His imaginative and often whimsical style uses colour and texture in an exuberant display of fantasy and humour.
The exhibit is appropriate for grades 6+ and includes guide and lesson plan downloads. For information about hours and to schedule group visits, contact Debby Kassoy at email@example.com or 416–781–7855 or Sharon Polansky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416–510–0296.
Exhibition on view 2–21 November
Film & Discussion Sunday, 9 November, 10:00 AM
Temple Sinai Congregation
The Return of the Violin
The remarkable story of survival of a 1731 Stradivarius violin once owned by Israeli Philharmonic founder Bronislaw Huberman is the subject of this new documentary. A young Jewish prodigy from Częstochowa, Poland, Huberman’s story and that of his violin are intertwined with the story of Sigmund Rolat, also a native of Częstochowa, and his survival during the Holocaust. Huberman’s violin was stolen twice during his ownership and later put up for sale as a museum piece. Disturbed that such an instrument would remain silent, American virtuoso Joshua Bell purchased the Huberman Stradivarius and now plays it during his concerts. (2012, English, Polish and Hebrew with subtitles, 65 minutes)
Co-sponsored by the Azrieli Foundation. Generously co-sponsored by Helen Stollar, in memory of her husband, Jack Stollar.
Saturday, 8 November | 8:00 PM
The Complicated Case of Mordecai Chaim Rumkowski and the Lodz Ghetto
Mordecai Chaim Rumkowski (1877–1944), the Judenalteste (Ghetto Elder) appointed by the Nazis over the Lodz Ghetto, maintained it longer than any other, and three years longer than its originally-intended terminus date. This lecture revisits the man, the environment in which he worked, what scholars and others have said of him and larger questions of collaboration within the context of the Shoah.
Steven Leonard Jacobs is Associate Professor and Aaron Aronov Chair of Judaic Studies at Department of Religious Studies, University of Alabama. He received his BA from Penn State University; and his BHL, MAHL, DHL, DD, and Rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Dr. Jacobs’ primary research foci are in Biblical Studies, Jewish-Christian Relations, and Holocaust and Genocide Studies. His is the co-author of Fifty Key Thinkers on Holocaust and Genocide (2012).
Generously co-sponsored by an anonymous donor; and by Stanley z”l & Dorothy Tessis in memory of her parents, Zenek and Yadzia Wajgensberg.
Sunday, 9 November | 2:00 PM
Lodzer Centre Congregation
Collaboration: Irena Sendler, Who Had The Courage to Care
A screening of the documentary film, Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers, will tell the story of Irena Sendler and her defiance of the Nazis to rescue Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. Her achievements went largely unnoticed for many years. Irena Sendler did not consider herself as a hero, nor did she claim any credit for her actions. She saw the suffering of Warsaw’s Jews, reached out to her most trusted colleagues and together they rescued over 2,500 Jewish children. (2011, English and Polish with subtitles, 57 minutes) Following the screening, Eli Rubenstein will discuss Irena’s story and those of other rescuers.
Eli Rubenstein, Director of March of the Living (Canada), spiritual leader of Congregation Habonim will discuss the role of Irena Sendler and other Righteous Among the Nations. Selected materials from Centennial Library’s special collections will be on display, including items from the John and Molly Pollock Holocaust Collection.
Co-sponsored by the Institute for Global Citizenship & Equity and School of Advancement. Generously co-sponsored by Norman Glowinsky & Lillian Vine Glowinsky in memory of their beloved parents, Holocaust survivors Helen & Stan Vine and Rose & Jonas Glowinsky; and by Guido Smit in honour of Jan Smit, Righteous Among the Nations, member of the Westerweel Group, active in Holland, Belgium and France.
Tuesday, 4 November | 1:30 PM
Centennial College – Holy Trinity Armenian Church | Magaros Artinian Hall
The ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory) performs a concert of chamber music featuring works by long-ignored Polish exile Jerzy Fitelberg, who died in New York City in 1951. The performance is followed by a discussion that focuses on the actions of musical collaborators during the Third Reich, the political and moral responsibilities of the artist, and on whether one can separate belief and behaviour from artistic achievement. How do we measure an individual’s accountability and at what point, if ever, can their conduct be excused?
Panelists include Alexander Neef (General Director of the Canadian Opera Company) and Simon Wynberg (Artistic Director of the Royal Conservatory’s ARC Ensemble.) The discussion is chaired by HEW 2014 Scholar-in-Residence Doris Bergen (Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto.)
Registration required through the box office as of September 29. Tickets: $18. Proceeds from ticket sales support Neuberger Holocaust Education Week.
Co-sponsored by BMW, Kuehne + Nagel Ltd., and the Canadian German Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. The Scholar-in-Residence is sponsored by Cohen Family Charitable Trust.
Tuesday, 4 November | 6:00 PM
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
Canadian Opera House Corporation
Smuggling in the Warsaw Ghetto
Pedagogue Chaim Kaplan and members of the Jewish Labor Bund considered smugglers the scum of the earth, leeches who fed off the starving ghetto population to fill their own pockets. For Emanuel Ringelblum and Peretz Opoczynski of the underground Oyneg Shabes Archive, however, smugglers were models of Jewish-Polish collaboration who risked their lives on a daily basis to supplement the starvation diet of Jews in the ghetto. This debate over professional smuggling in the Warsaw ghetto offers opportunities for dialoguing about Jewish self-understanding and survival. Lecture in Yiddish.
For David G. Roskies’ bio and information about his English language lecture, see page 33.
Co-sponsored by Toronto Workmen’s Circle and Friends of Yiddish.
Sunday, 9 November | 2:00 PM
UJA Federation’s Committee for Yiddish
Tamari Hall, Sherman Campus, Lipa Green Centre
Are All Collaborators Alike? The Poles of Jedwabne and the Ukrainian Guards at Treblinka
The brutal slaughter in July 1941 of the Jews of Jedwabne, Poland by their neighbours has been carefully studied by historians. Analyzing and explaining the motivations of Jedwabne’s Poles, who had lived in peace with their Jewish neighbors for 200 years, provides vital insights into the influences that help distinguish the “shades of collaboration.” It is useful to compare and contrast the Poles’ actions with the relatively small number of Ukrainian guards who ran the day-to-day killing operations at Treblinka. Were they collaborators who willingly employed sadism and brutality or, as many claimed, prisoners of war who had to choose between death in a Russian prison camp and an assignment to Treblinka?
Dr. Jack Lipinsky specializes in Canadian Jewish history and Holocaust education. He researched Toronto Jewish communal responses to the Shoah in his bookImposing Their Will, awarded an Ontario Historical Society award, and trains teachers in Holocaust and Genocide education as a facilitator and online educator for Facing History and Ourselves. Dr. Lipinsky holds a Ph.D. in Canadian History from the University of Toronto and is researching a new book on Jewish farmers in Ontario.
Thursday, 6 November | 7:30 PM
Beth Lida Forest Hill Congregation
This past summer, three staff members from St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic High School guided a contingent of 32 YCDSB students on a Holocaust study tour. Students from Grades 9 through 12 examined the Holocaust from a Christian perspective. They participated in formal classroom learning, and in experiential learning, as the group traveled to Poland and Germany. There, they visited a number of sites including: Majdanek, Buchenwald, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This program afforded students with the opportunity to share their narratives.
Generously co-sponsored by Anita Ekstein in loving memory of her husband, Frank Ekstein.
Thursday, 6 November | 7:00 pm
York Catholic District School Board
& St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic School | YCDSB Centre for the Arts
525 New Westminster Drive
Bending the Rules to Save Thousands of Jews
Orthodox rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld risked his life to save thousands of Jews and bring them to safety in England. Soon after the Nazis took power, he collaborated with British officials and Jewish leaders in Vienna and Slovakia to rescue 500 rabbis, religious officials and their families—approximately 1300 people; after Kristallnacht, he saved more than 500 children. Immediately after the war, he brought thousands of Jewish war orphans to England. – mostly from Poland, from which two large transports of children left for England. A number of Canadians were among them.
Rabbi Schonfeld organized a convey of lorries equipped as ‘Mobile Synagogues’, with Jewish ritual objects and kosher food, to travel to liberated lands, and accompanied some of these to former concentration camps, including Belsen and Auschwitz. The British authorities insisted he travel in uniform for his own safety, which he wore with a badge of the Tablets of the Law of his own design on his officer’s cap. He travelled in an Austin Seven car, with armed soldiers in the back to protect him from partisans, and he helped set up fledgling communities, including in Krakow. His car was ambushed near Kielce, and his death announced on Polish radio before he arrived at a meeting in Warsaw.
He gathered children whom he collected in the Nozyk Synagogue, the only house of worship left standing in Warsaw, that had been used as stables by the Germans. From Warsaw, the children flew in a Russian bomber to Danzig, sitting on the floor, packed tightly in the empty fuselage, and then by truck to Gdynia on the Baltic coast, where a Swedish ship was waiting to them to take them to England. How Rabbi Schonfeld managed to arrange all this, at a time when Europe was still in turmoil, is amazing.
In total, Rabbi Schonfeld is thought to have helped 3,500 people escape the Nazis and, after the war, the rigours of life under communism.
Jonathan Schonfeld, a retired Chartered Building Surveyor, was an associate director of a large international surveying company based in London. The second son of Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld, he frequently addresses conferences and seminars—including a special tribute at Yad Vashem—discussing his father’s Holocaust rescue.
Generously sponsored by David Mansell & Naomi Rifkind Mansell and Aaron & Joyce Rifkind.
Sunday, 9 November | 10:00 AM
Shaarei Shomayim Congregation
470 Glencairn Avenue | Toronto | 416–789–3213
Click here to leave a message is you are a survivor saved by Dr. Solomon Scholfeld or know one.
This film tells the story of antisemitism fueled by the collective guilt of a Polish farming village whose gentile residents rose up to murder and steal the property of its Jews. Although the town is not identified, the story was inspired by the July 1941 massacre in Jedwabne, in northeast Poland. The Nazis approved the slaughter, in which Jews were herded into a house that was burned to the ground. The perpetrators ascribed the disappearances to Nazi deportation and maintained a code of silence. (2013, Polish with English subtitles, 107 minutes)
Pre-registration required: 416–631–5689 or holocausteducationweek.com. Limit 4 tickets per family.
Co-sponsored by the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. Generously co-sponsored by Stanley and Gail Debow, in memory of Max & Maria Reisberg and Heneck Reisberg.
Monday, 3 November | 7:00 PM
Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk