Witnessing Holocaust History: From Generation To Generation

Witnessing Holocaust History: From Generation To Generation – A New Global Project Partnership between WE ARE HERE! Perth, Australia, HAMEC Philadelphia and World ORT, London #education
From: Eli Rabinowitz
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2020 

Orla Poland, 1921

About

Perth, Australia

This global program will start with 19 ORT schools on 27 January 2021, and will continue with more schools for Yom Hashoah through 8/9 April 2021
Website:
https://wah.foundation/witnessing-holocaust-history-from-generation-to-generation/

Press Statement from HAMEC:

 

 

WITNESSING HOLOCAUST HISTORY: FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION

WITNESSING HOLOCAUST HISTORY: FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION

HAMEC ORT WAH! Ruth Almy Intro 27 January 2021

Source: youtu.be/Fqm3R-h6RPE

Participating ORT Schools for the 27 January 2021 event are:

Country/ City Timezone School
Mexico/ Mexico City CST CIM-ORT
South Africa/ Cape Town SAST Herzlia
South Africa/Johannesburg SAST King David Victory Park High
Bulgaria/Sofia EEST Dimcho Debelianov Hebrew and English Language School
Netherlands/ Amsterdam CET JSG Maimonides
Spain/Madrid CET ORT Colegio Estrella Toledano
Russia/ St Petersburg MST ORT de Gunzburg Secondary School # 550 “Shorashim”
Russia/ Samara SST Samara ORT Secondary School# 42, “Gesher”
Russia/ Moscow MST ORT Tekhiya, Center of Education # 1311
Russia/Moscow MST ORT Moscow Technology School, Gymnasium # 1540
Russia/ Kazan MST ORT “Mishpahteinu” Secondary School # 12
Ukraine/ Chernivtsi EEST ORT Specialized School #41
Ukraine/ Kiev EEST Kiev ORT Educational Complex #141
Ukraine/ Odessa EEST ORT Secondary School # 94
Ukraine/ Zhaporozhie EEST ORT “Aleph” Jewish Gymnasium
Moldova/ Kishinev EEST ORT Technology Lyceum
Estonia/ Tallinn EEST ORT Tallinn Jewish School
Latvia/ Riga EEST ORT Network Jewish Secondary School
Lithuania/ Vilnius EEST Vilnius Sholom Aleichem ORT School

Bielski Reunion, Belarus

http://wah.foundation

For more info about this post, contact Eli Rabinowitz eli@elirab.com

The World Premiere of the four language Partisan Song

The World Premiere of the four language Partisan Song

Ellenbrook Secondary College & Carmel High SchoolAt Ellenbrook Secondary College5 August 2019

Source: youtu.be/iIJ-rC-DcWA

Perth Modern School, December 2019

Oxi Day at St. Andrew’s Grammar

With Simon Millman, Georgia Karasiotou & Peter Katsambanis

2 November 2020

Final OXI Day Assembly Programme 2020
OXi Day – Wikipedia

Ohi Day – Wikipedia

Ohi Day or Oxi Day (Greek: Επέτειος του Όχι, Epéteios tou Óchi [eˈpetios tu ˈoçi]; “Anniversary of the No”) is celebrated throughout Greece, Cyprus and the Greek communities around the world on 28 October each year. Ohi Day commemorates the rejection by Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on 28 October 1940, the Hellenic counterattack against the invading Italian forces at the mountains of Pindus during the Greco-Italian War, and the Greek Resistance during the Axis occupation.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohi_Day

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Ohi Day Dance

School Principal Craig Monaghan

 

Georgia Karasiotou, Consulate of Greece
Basil Zempilas, Lord Mayor of Perth 

With St. Andrew’s Grammar School Principal, Craig Monaghan
With Graeme and Roy, the school’s first principal

 

Thanks to photographer Jess at The Pink Tank Creative for sharing her photos:

 

The Metropolitan Chrysostomos Award – The Washington OXI Day Foundation

The Metropolitan Chrysostomos Award – The Washington OXI Day Foundation

Many know that Greece created democracy, but few know that it also saved it… Until now. The Washington Oxi Day Foundation’s events and ongoing activities will resurrect the incredible Oxi Day story and assure it becomes part of the collective public memory.

Source: oxidayfoundation.org/annual-celebration/the-metropolitan-chrysostomos-award/

The Partisans’ Song in Māori – A World First

We are pleased to advise that we have just had the Partisans’ Song translated into Māori – our 30th language!
 
 

 
Translated by Hēmi Kelly
Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Tahu-Ngāti Whāoa
Lecturer | Te Ara Poutama, Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Development
Researcher | Te Ipukarea, The National Māori Language Institute
Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
 

Kaua rawa e mea ko te mate anahe tō huarahi,

Ahakoa āraia ana te kiko o te rangi e te pōuriuri,

Kei te tata mai te wā kua roa e tāria ana;

Ka rū te whenua i te takahi a ngā wae – ki te haka!

 

Mai i te whenua o te nīkau, ki te whenua kōkēi o te huka,

E haere nei mātou i runga i te kōharihari me te tiwhatiwha;

Katoa ngā wāhi i pipī ai ō mātou toto ki te papa,

Ka puāwai mai i reira tō mātou māia me tō mātou kaha.

 

Ka whiti tonu te rā i te ata, ka ao te rangi,

Katoa ngā raru o nanahi ka ngaro me te hoa kakari;

Ā, ki te roa te wā i mua i te aranga mai anō o te rā,

Tukua mā tēnei wai ngā tau e whakaaomārama.

 

I titongia ai tēnei waiata ki te toto, kaua ki te matā;

Ehara i te waiata e haria ai e ngā manu o ō te raumati rā

Engari nā te iwi i te kauhanga riri a Tū,

Tēnei waiata a mātou i hari ki te pū me te pohū.

 

Kaua rawa e mea ko te mate anahe tō huarahi,

Ahakoa āraia ana te kiko o te rangi e te pōuriuri,

Kei te tata mai te wā kua roa e tāria ana;

Ka rū te whenua i te takahi a ngā wae – ki te haka!

All 30 language versions:
 
 
 

Sir Ronald Harwood: Obit by Abel Levitt

Plunge, Lithuania

Sept 2020: planted by Eugenijus Bunka at Litvakland, Plateliai

Sir Ronald Harwood 

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Harwood

The Ronald Harwood International Art Competition
 

The Tolerance Centre

More artwork to follow….

Abel Levitt on the passing of Sir Ronald Harwood from natural causes at his home in Sussex on 8 September 2020, at age 85.

Abel:

I would like to write specifically about Ronald’s connection to Plungyan in Lithuania and his visit there with his wife Natasha in 2005.

I grew up with Ronnie Horwitz. We started school at the Kings Road Primary School in 1941, in the same class of sub A. We completed our schooling at Sea Point Boys’ High in 1951. Throughout our school lives we were in the same class, at Kings Road, at Sea Point Junior and at Sea Point Boys’ High. We lived close to one another, Ronnie in Victoria Road Bantry Bay, and, I, 150 yards away in Brompton Avenue. We were in the Cubs and Scouts together at the 10th Green and Sea Point, We played tennis together, watched cricket at Newlands together, competed with one another at the Eisteddfods. 

At school, Ronnie took the lead in the school plays. He was outstanding. After we had finished writing our matric exams, Ronnie left for London, to study Dramatic Art, dropped out of the Royal Academy due to financial difficulties, and the rest, as they say, is history. A career of writing and leadership. We maintained a loose relationship, the occasional phone call when I was in London, but we did spend a day together after watching his acclaimed play “Taking Sides”.

It was whilst reading his novel “HOME” that I learned for the first time that Ronald’s father Isaac Horwitz had emigrated from Lithuania. In half a lifetime, our fathers’ ancestry was not a subject of discussion. Glenda and my journey to Lithuania had already began, when I read Ronnie’s book “Home” and discovered that both of our fathers were from Plungyan. I called Ronnie. “What about you and Natasha joining us in a trip to our shtetl Plungyan” I asked. The reply was immediate. And the date 25th May agreed upon, with our guide Regina to be our leader.

The meeting at the airport was emotional. Ronnie had recently been awarded the Oscar for writing the screenplay of what was to become a Holocaust Classic “The Pianist”. And here he was, with his dear wife Natasha, in Lithuania.

Our journey to Plungyan was via Kovno where we visited Eugenijus Bunka, the son of the “Last Jew in Plungyan”, and our friend and partner in our Plungyan ventures. Eugenijus was in hospital, recovering from an operation. He would not be with us on the upcoming welcome to the Oscar winner.

 Upon our arrival in the town our first stop was at the apartment of Yacovas Bunka. During the few years of Lithuanian independence from the Soviet occupation, Yacovas Bunka had welcomed some hundreds of Plungyaner Jews. Few would have been of the international stature of the writer, playwright, literary giant and Oscar winner as Ronald Harwood. There was an immediate warm relationship although Bunka spoke no English and Ronald did not understand Yiddish.

The following morning we proceeded to the mass graves, where 1800 Plungyan Jews had been murdered by the Germans and their Lithuanian Collaborators in July 1941. The mass graves in Plungyan are special .The acclaimed sculptor Bunka, together with his Lithuanian sculptor friends had carved the sculptures which stand as sentinels overlooking the mass graves. These mass graves in the Kausenai Forest have been described by some as the most impressive in the whole of Eastern Europe. Ronald did not have family who had remained in Lithuania, but he walked around, silent, as he absorbed the sanctity of the moment. He was profoundly moved. The photo of Ronald sitting quietly on a bench describes the emotion of the visit.

Our next visit was to the Saules Gymnasium. The headmaster Jouzas Milacius welcomed his important guests, the Harwood’s, in one of the multiple European languages that he spoke, but not a word of English. Jouzas is a true friend of ours, a man who was directly helpful when we proposed the establishment of a Tolerance Education Centre in his school.  The pupils were assembled in the hall, waiting for the guests to arrive. They were well prepared. Every class had seen the film, “The Pianist”, and had lessons about the Warsaw ghetto uprising. And here they were, seated and waiting to hear from Ronald. The students were riveted by Ronald’s charm and dynamic personality.

The questions were intelligent. These children had as a teacher Danute Serapiniene, a committed and sincere lady who since 1995 had been teaching children about the Holocaust and about the Jews who lived in their town Plunge.

In the evening there was an event at the local Ogynski Palace where Ronald addressed the intellectuals of the town, relating his experiences of working in Poland with the director of the film Roman Polansky. Again the audience interacted with his engaging and charismatic personality and interacted with many questions about the film.

The following morning was a scheduled meeting with the mayor of Plunge, all arranged by the school? We sat in the mayor’s office, listening to the usual welcome and niceties.

And then Ronald Harwood spoke. I remember his words very clearly. “Mr. Mayor, I know that you have difficulties with budgets. I appeal to you, whatever you do don’t reduce the budgets for culture. To do so will be to the detriment of your society.”

As we walked down the stairs at the conclusion of the meeting, Glenda looked at me, and I looked back at her. We were both thinking of the very same thing. That was to create an art competition, called “The Ronald Harwood Holocaust Art competition“. Ronald’s words to the mayor of Plunge had inspired us and since that time the Ronald Harwood Art Competition has grown from a local event, to a regional event and to a national event. The word “Art” has become “Arts” as all forms of art are part of the competition today. Painting, drawing, sculpture, drama, music and writing.

We were present at the 10th anniversary of the Ronald Harwood Arts Competition, held in the Plunge Town Hall. There was an exhibition of prize-winning art works from previous years and entries from throughout Lithuania. The International School in Vilnius arrived with two full busloads of children of all ages who took part in a musical play, in Lithuanian, English and Yiddish with

Vilna and the Holocaust as the theme.

On Friday night at our hotel in the nearby resort of Plateliai we had a traditional Friday night dinner with candle lighting and Kiddush. Our guests included teachers from the district.

Before leaving Plungyan we had a special visit to make. Living in the centre of the town was Kazys Vitkevicius and his wife. As a 14year old in 1941 Kazys had helped his mother to save Jewish girls. He did this by digging pits in which he hid the girls covered by branches, and bringing them food. Both his mother and Kazys were honoured by Yad Vashem and became Righteous among the Nations. Ronald and Natasha were visibly moved at the experience of meeting this special man.

And so back to Vilnius where Ronald addressed the students at the Sholem Aleichem Jewish Day School. Again, the subject was the movie The Pianist and once more the children at the school were enthralled by the charm and competence of the writer of the script of the film

The Harwoods returned to their home in London after an experience which Ronald told me was something beyond his expectations.

 For us, that experience of being with my lifelong friend in the land of the birth of our fathers, to witness the appreciation of the young people of the artistry of Ronald Harwood inspired us to talk about Tolerance Education and to display the winning art works from the Ronald Harwood competition in countries around the world, including South Africa and Lithuania.

Abel Levitt 

Eli with Glenda & Abel Levitt in Ra’anana, Israel – July 2017

———————

Sea Point High School 

Sea Point High School – Wikipedia

Sea Point High School, formerly Sea Point Boys High School, is a co-educational public high school in Main Road, Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa. The school was established on 21 April 1884. In 1925, the senior grades were separated from the junior grades. In 1989, the school merged with Ellerslie Girls’ High School after becoming co-educational.

Sea Point Boys connected to Plunyan

  • Sir Ronald Harwood (Horwitz)
  • Sir Antony Sher
  • Abel Levitt
  • Eli Rabinowitz (KehilaLink manager)

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Point_High_School

The Last Jew in Plunge

Last Jew

Source: kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/plunge/Last_Jew.html

Source: kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/plunge/Home.html

 

Gintautas Rimeikis and Yolanta Mazhukne

   

Yolanta Mazhukne, Gintautas Rimeikis and Danutė Serapinienė 

With Gintautas Rimeikis, Yolanta Mazhukne and Danutė Serapinienė 

 

Elected to IAJGS Board

August 2020,  For release: Upon receipt

Contact: Sandra Golden, Publicity Chair, IAJGS, publicity@iajgs2020.org

Perth resident elected to International Jewish Genealogy Board                 

Eli Rabinowitz, a Perth, Australia, resident,  was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) at its International Jewish Genealogy Conference, presented virtually on Aug. 12.  The Conference drew more than 2300 registrants from 28 countries.

Eli  has researched his family’s genealogy and associated Jewish cultural history for over 30 years. A South African-born Australian, Eli has travelled extensively, writing about Jewish life, travel and education on his website, Tangential Travel and Jewish Life. http://elirab.me 

 Eli writes and manages 87 Jewishgen KehilaLinks, and over 750 WordPress posts. His articles have appeared in numerous publications. Eli has lectured internationally: at educational institutions, commemorative events, at IAJGS and other conferences, and online platforms.

He established the Partisans’ Song Project, and was awarded a U.S. government cultural grant for his WE ARE HERE! Human Rights and Social Justice initiative, https://wah.foundation.

Eli has an Economics Honours degree from the University of Cape Town.

IAJGS is an umbrella organization of more than 91 Jewish genealogical organizations worldwide.  The IAJGS coordinates and organizes activities such as its annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy and provides a unified voice as the spokesperson on behalf of its members. The IAJGS’s vision is of a worldwide network of Jewish genealogical research organizations and partners working together as one coherent, effective and respected community, enabling people to succeed in researching Jewish ancestry and heritage. Find the IAJGS at: www.iajgs.org and like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/iajgsjewishgenealogy.  

                                                            

 

They Are Returning – A Year On!

Atzalynas Gimnazija, Kedainiai Lithuania

Reflecting back to  June 2019

Rabbi Dan Fink

Bobbie Lamont

Eli Rabinowitz 

13 June 2019

VIDEO OF OUR EVENT IN LITHUANIA

They Are Returning

‘’TILTAI-BRIDGES-בריקן’’

For video, click here:

Source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZXBEuPfeFc

Rabbi Dan Fink handing out gifts to students
With Israeli Ambassador to Lithuania, Amir Maimon
Photos of our group – descendants of Keidaners

At the school

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At the cemetery

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At the Holocaust site

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Vale Simonas Dovidavicius. 

Standing between Laima Ardaviciene and me in Kėdainiai, Lithuania on 15 June this year. Simon passed away last week and was laid to rest on the 18th December 2019. 

With Rimantas Zirgulis

 

We Are Here – Now!

How an idea has progressed around the globe!

From: UK Jewish Telegraph Manchester – May 2018

To: Philadephia – April 2020

Highlights

Australia 2019

WE ARE HERE! For Upstanders

For Upstanders – Founded by Eli Rabinowitz

Source: wah.foundation

Melbourne, Australia
The William Cooper Legacy

The Ark Centre Melbourne

Elder Shane & Rabbi Gabi

Barbara Miller & Federal Minister Ken Wyatt

With Viv Parry

Maroopna VIC, Australia 2019

Uncle Boydie, Maroopna VIC

London 2019 – World ORT

With Shoshana, Daniel & Edwin

Johannesburg  – ORT SA

Marcelle & Ariella

The Together Plan 2019

With Debra Brunner & Michael Mail in London

Birzh Lithuania 2019

Benny Rabinowitz

Aldone Shapiro & Emanuelis Zingeris MP at Birzh commemoration

Ambassadors to Lithuania

Kedainiai, Lithuania 2019

Keidaner descendants weekend at cemetery with Laima Ardaviciene 

Kedainiai Students

Israel 2019

Group at Yad Vashem

Belarus 2019

The welcome committee to Novogrudok – Tamara & Olga 

Nance Adler, Aron Bell- the last of the original Bielski with wife Henryka

Jerusalem Forest, Naliboki

IAJGS Conference in Cleveland 2019

With Saul Issroff, Roy Ogus & Henry Blumberg – all ex SA

South Africa

King David Victory Park, South Africa

Zog Nit Keynmol on Yom Hashoah 2020

Zog Nit Keynmol on Yom Hashoah 2020

South Africa  – Footage from SAJBD Facebook Live Stream with thanks

Source: youtu.be/ab_o311MR6Y

Choir Performances | WE ARE HERE!

Choir Performances | WE ARE HERE!

At Perth Modern School at Kristallnacht Commemoration on 10 November 2019 The joint choir of Ellenbrook Secondary College and Carmel High School The World Premiere performance at Ellenbrook Secondary

Source: wah.foundation/program/

Audience at Perth Modern School