Alice’s Gift: The Life and Music of Alice Herz-Sommer

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Saturday, November 10 & Sunday, November 11Bell’Arte Music Drama is thrilled to have the opportunity to perform again Alice’s Gift: The Life and Music of Alice Herz-Sommer. Performances will take place on Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 11 at 2:30 pm at 2875 Tudor Avenue, Victoria V8N 1L6.  Tickets $25 each can be purchased at alicesgift3.brownpapertickets.com or call 1-800-838-3006.  For more information call 250-721-2121 or email bellartemusicdrama@gmail.com

This musical one act play written by Elisabeth Wagner and performed by Lina de Guevara with Elisabeth Wagner at the piano lasts for one hour.  There will be a short “Question and Answer” session following each performance.

Alice Herz-Sommer was born in Prague and lived through World War II playing piano recitals in Theresienstadt ghetto. At the time of her death, at 110 years of age, she was the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor.  Besides having a remarkable story of a cultured upbringing, and a story of endurance and survival, Alice had an extraordinary ability to embrace life and the people she met. In the play, the audience is warmly invited into her living room and given the opportunity to hear some of her stories, her music and her simple but profound wisdom.

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Remember Kristallnacht: Choose Action Over Indifference

Kristallnacht 2018 NLThursday, November 8, 2018,  7 pm — The Victoria Shoah Project invites the public to the annual commemoration of Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) on Thursday, November 8, 7 pm at Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue, 1461 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2J3 . We will remember what took place on the evening of November 9, 1938 when, targeted solely for their ethnic identity, Jews were the victims of planned attacks on Jewish owned stores, buildings and synagogues in Germany and Austria while authorities did nothing to stop the assault.

The name Kristallnacht refers to the pieces of broken glass covering the streets after the windows of Jewish-owed store were shattered. It represents the broken lives, forever changed by this tragedy. Kristallnacht was only a hint of the greater harm to come. Not only is Kristallnacht a painful scar in the pages of Jewish history, it is a call to all humanity to respond promptly and loudly at the first appearance of injustices targeting any group. This is a message particularly significant in today’s world when acts of irrational and violent prejudice are all too common.

Our program will remember all who perished in the Holocaust with a candle lighting ceremony by survivors, second- and third-generation descendants, as well as students and youth, representing our ongoing hope for a future of peace. In addition, the program will include a variety of other speakers, musicians and the reading of our Pledge of Mutual Respect and Support by politicians, multi-faith representatives and law enforcement leaders from the Victoria community and others in attendance.

Please join us to remember the past and envision a better future where we will respect and protect our neighbours, not remain silent in the face of any injustice against any person or group and work towards building bridges leading to unity and shalom (peace) in our own community and beyond.

For additional information, contact Peter J. Nadler, Victoria Shoah Project
Email: victoriashoahproject@gmail.com
Website: https://www.victoriashoahproject.ca/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/victoriashoahproject

Legislating the Past—the Holocaust and the Polish “History Laws”

GrabowskiTuesday, 2 October 4:30 pm David Strong Building, Room C122Prof. Jan Grabowski from University of Ottawa is a renowned Holocaust historian whose award-winning book Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland focuses on Polish-Jewish relations during WWII. Recently Polish authorities attempted to impose harsh legal measures for those found guilty of “slandering the good name of the Polish nation.” In this talk, Grabowski discusses this brazen attempt to legislate the history of the Holocaust as well as how his own research positions itself in these debates.
Free & open to everyone: seating is limited. For disability accommodation call 250-721-7320.
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Robert Waisman: On Survival, Truth and Reconciliation

Holocaust Memorial MonumentMonday, June 11, 7 pm – 8.30 pm, David Strong Building C103 —  Holocaust survivor and educator Robert Waisman will share insights into a life dedicated to advocacy and peace-building in a special conversation with University of Victoria Chancellor Shelagh Rogers. Waisman will be recognized with an honorary degree at UVic’s convocation in June for his work as a community leader, philanthropist and former president of the Vancouver Holocaust Centre for Remembrance and Education.

Continue reading Robert Waisman: On Survival, Truth and Reconciliation

Imprint: A Memoir of Trauma in the Third Generation

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Sunday, June 10, 2:00 pm, Congregation Emanu-El — Claire Sicherman will speak about her book, Imprint: A Memoir of Trauma in the Third Generation, and how the Holocaust affects the third generation on Sunday, June 10 at 2:00 pm at the synagogue.  This event is sponsored by the Emanu-El Adult Education Team. Books will be available for purchase for $20 cash.

Claire Sicherman grew up reading Anne Frank and watching Schindler’s List with almost no knowledge of the Holocaust’s impact on her family. Her grandparents didn’t talk about their experiences and her mother grew up in Communist Czechoslovakia unaware that she was Jewish.

When her son nearly died at birth and her grandmother passed away, something inside her snapped. While she had always felt weighted down by unknown hurt, she suddenly suffered from chronic health conditions. Her heart held a grief so large it seemed to encompass more than her own lifetime – and she determined to find out why.

The Founding President of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, Dr. Robert Krell, calls Imprint a “thoughtful book, a powerful and helpful read for anyone dealing with the consequences of a painful past.”

Sicherman weaves together a story that honours her ancestors and also offers truth to the next generation – and her now nine-year-old son. A testament to the connections between mind and body, the past and present, Imprint is written with grace and strength, a story of love and survival.

Sicherman is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers and Langara College. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies from UBC. She is a facilitator in a multi-generational writing group called Home Words Project. She has participated in a Corporeal Writing workshop with Lidia Yuknavitch and in Writing & The Body with Jennifer Pastiloff and Lidia Yuknavitch. Claire lives with her husband and son on Salt Spring Island. 

Making of an artist: Pnina Granirer

Pnina Talk publicityMay 2, 2018 at 7 pm Congregation Emanu-El — After a long career as a visual artist, Pnina Granirer published her memoir Light Within The Shadows last year. Congregation Emanu-El Adult Education Team invites you to the synagogue on May 2, 2018 at 7 pm when Pnina will share herstory with us.

Born in Romania in 1935, she moved to Israel in 1950, and came to Canada in 1965. Throughout her life she has created a large body of art while searching for beauty and spirituality. She will speak to us of her successes and failures and how issues of dislocation, otherness, being a woman and the uprooted soul’s wish for permanency and belonging shaped her art. She will offer us insight into how art is forged and released into the world.

Entry is by donation: book signing to follow: light refreshments will be served. 

 Pnina Granirer has exhibited her work locally, nationally and internationally since 1962. She has shown in more than eighty solo exhibitions. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, and in books and exhibition catalogues in Canada, Israel, Spain, Portugal, Costa Rica and Chile. Her works are found in many private and public collections in Canada (some as cultural property donations), the US, Chile, Europe and Israel. Recently her triptyich Sorrow, Hope, Truth has been hung in Government House, Victoria BC.

Pnina Granirer: Celebrating a Life’s Work; a 40 Years Survey, her retrospective of 120 works at the Richmond Art Gallery in January 1998, reflected the artistic development over her long career. The lavishly illustrated book Pnina Granirer: Portrait of an Artist by Ted Lindberg (Ronsdale Press) was launched at the opening of the exhibition and a film on her work by Mehdi Ali was first screened in 2005 on Bravo!TV.

The Trials of Eve, a major work of 12 mixed media drawings and 12 poems, now in the collection of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, was published as an Alcuin Citation Award limited edition book and later as a softcover. The book has been acquired by numerous Special Collections of Universities, Art Galleries and libraries as well as by private collectors. A film by the same title was first shown at the FIFA in Paris, and subsequently on Bravo!TV, on Knowledge Network and other venues.

In 1993 Granirer co-founded Artists in our Midst, the first ongoing Open Studio Walk in Vancouver, BC. For six years she organized and hosted Philosopher Art Cafes sponsored by Simon Fraser University.

In 2014 the artist was included in the encyclopedia of International Surrealism by Arturo Schwarz, Il Surrealismo — Ieri e oggi (Italy) and in a 5-page chapter of José Miguel Pérez Corrales’s Anthology, Surrealismo: El Oro del Tiempo (Spain).

Visit Pnina’s web site…for a review of Light Within the Shadows: A Painter’s Memoir…

Carl Lutz World War II Hero

_99395308_carllutzinbudapestafterarrivaloftherussiansnl-carl-lutz_00000272_020Friday, March 23, 7:00 pm — You and your friends are invited to attend this free talk by Charlotte Schallié on Friday, March 23, 7:00 pm at St. Philips’s Church Hall, Outside Entrance, 2928 Eastbourne Road, Victoria.

A UVic scholar, Charlotte illuminates one of the World War II’s unrecognized heroes, Carl Lutz, who saved an estimated 60,000 (minimum) people from the Holocaust.

Charlotte Schallié, Professor of Germanic studies at the University of Victoria and a member of the university’s Holocaust Studies Program, said it’s only in the past few years that Lutz’s story and the enormity of his humanitarian achievement have been recognized.

This event is organized by the Victoria Swiss Society. The Swiss Consul General will be attending. Refreshments will be served following talk. RSVP: Daniel von Kanel 250-727-7950 dkvonkanel@shaw.ca.