The San Diego Jewish community will host a “Remembrance Reading” Tuesday with the goal of educating the youth about the Holocaust.
The reading — which will be hosted by Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center and J Company Youth Theatre in partnership with The National Jewish Theater Foundation’s Holocaust Theater International Initiative — is one of many to be hosted throughout the world in an effort to tell the story of the Holocaust through the arts.
“The importance of the ‘Remembrance Readings’ Holocaust education over the last generation has been driven by first hand accounts of the experiences of survivors,” said Betzy Lynch, CEO of the Jewish Community Center. “As we enter the next generation we no longer will have the presence of these miraculous people in our midst. Their stories must live on. In our case, the power of our ‘Remembrance Readings’ is that the children are the ones delivering the stories with the goal of sharing it with other children.”
The reading will feature “And A Child Shall Lead” by Michael Slade, which tells the true story of children coming of age in Terezin, the “Jewish city” established by the Nazis near Prague as a way station before the death camps. In the face of horror, these children use their determination and creativity to build lives filled with hope and beauty – playing, studying, making art, and writing an underground newspaper.
Joey Landwehr, artistic director for the J Company Theatre, said the play proves that young people have and will continue to lead the public.
“Not only did (the children) speak through the arts, music, poetry, writing, drawings, but they also created an underground newspaper called Vedem, which means ‘We are leading!’” Landwehr said. “Through this paper, they not only united the prisoners of the camp but their hope was to get this to the Red Cross on one of their visits so they could understand the truth. These young people had the forward thinking and bravery to work on such an endeavor proves that, as usual, it is the young that lead us. And that are still leading us today.”
Being able to share stories of the Holocaust helps the public in other ways as well, Lynch said.
“The wounds of the Holocaust will never be healed, yet art allows us to explore the depths of tragedy, sacrifice, and resilience to reveal those stories of survival in a way that touches people’s soul’s, is relatable and makes the story their own,” Lynch said.
“Within the next decade most of our survivors will no longer be with us and the sharing of their stories must continue through creative and thoughtful ways.”
The play will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Jewish Community Center’s Garfield Theatre. The event is free but registration is required.
For more information on The J, visit www.lfjcc.org.
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