WE ARE HERE! Global Program For Upstanders

https://wah.foundation

WE ARE HERE! for Upstanders is a global program that promotes universal human rights and inclusive development. We are headquartered in Perth, Australia.

Using the stories of the Jewish Partisans, WE ARE HERE! seeks to inspire in young people the confidence and ability to stand up in the face of prejudice and oppression.

The website: https://wah.foundation 

This program is sponsored by a cultural grant from the U.S. Department of State.

PRESS: 

THE AUSTRALIAN JEWISH NEWS – 18 January 2019

J-Wire Australia
http://www.jwire.com.au/partisans-song-translated-from-yiddish-to-noongar/

The Partisans’ Song in Noongar: 

Audio:

More details on our website: https://wah.foundation

Holocaust educator and specialist Nance Adler of Seattle, Washington will visit Australia in August 2019. Nance will present to teachers, students and community leaders involved in education. We will also run workshops.

Nance’s Partisans’ Project and Lesson Plan have already been translated by our global team into Russian, Lithuanian, German, Polish and Spanish, and are available for free! https://wah.foundation/lesson/lesson-plan/

Professor Lynne Cohen, recently retired vice-chancellor of ECU – Edith Cowan University, has joined our project team. Lynne was also Head of the ECU School of Education in Western Australia

Our international team of educators and collaborators: https://wah.foundation/who-we-are/

Through our network of global collaborators, there are now 27 language translations of the Partisans’ Song. The Partisans’ Song portal: https://elirab.me/znk  

In YIDDISH, HEBREW, ENGLISH, POLISH, BELARUSIAN, RUSSIAN, GERMAN, SPANISH, CZECH, DUTCH, ITALIAN, ROMANIAN, FRENCH, SWEDISH, PORTUGUESE, NORWEGIAN, JAPANESE, FINNISH, SWISS GERMAN, SLOVAK, GREEK, AFRIKAANS, UKRAINIAN, SERBIAN, NOONGAR , ARABIC and XHOSA

Recently we arranged translations into Aboriginal Noongar, Arabic and Xhosa, and soon in Zulu, Mongolian and Ladino.

The Partisans’ Song will be sung in Noongar in July at Ellenbrook Senior High School, with planned national media coverage of this World Premiere! 

William Cooper

There is a strong theme connecting the Jewish Partisans and William Cooper, the Aboriginal leader who attempted to deliver his protest to the Nazi consulate in Melbourne on 6 December 1938, just after Kristallnacht. William’s petition was eventually accepted by Germany in 2017: http://www.jwire.com.au/uncle-boydie/

The Gandel Foundation, Melbourne has recently announced two scholarships in the name of William Cooper.

Uncle Boydie and Moshe Fiszman

Our Melbourne educator, Viv Parry, produced a movie, Ties That Bind, in 2017. Read more:  https://elirab.me/ties-that-bind/

This powerful nine minute documentary film features Uncle Boydie, grandson of William Cooper, and Moshe Fiszman, a Holocaust survivor. https://youtu.be/1N700Olmw-U

Ties That Bind is now part of the USHMM’s – The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s (in Washington) presentation.

We are writing a lesson plan for this documentary. This will be freely available to teachers and students around the world.

Our North Queensland collaborator, Barbara Miller, has written the book: William Cooper – Gentle Warrior 

William Cooper, Gentle Warrior

We are also expanding our global online collaboration classes with World ORT and other schools. World ORT is the world’s largest Jewish education and vocational training non-governmental organisation. Several lesson plans will be offered to a global audience.

ORT students recite Zog Nit Keynmol for Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Partisans’ Song in English recited for us by Freydi Mrocki: https://youtu.be/9gS7c4iNCI0

Our project features in a documentary on South African National Television in 2018:  https://youtu.be/NRcGcNGrYWo

Kristallnacht Cantata

The Kristallnacht Cantata by Ron Jontof-Hutter of Melbourne and Israeli composer, Alon Trigger.  Here is a 6 minute promo video: https://youtu.be/A3IlzEAwmIk. The full work will be about 35 minutes. This is based on this story of Ron’s grandfather, Otto Jontof-Hutter, and William Cooper:  https://www.jwire.com.au/kristallnacht-and-the-righteous-australian-aboriginal-william-cooper/  Otto and William never met or even knew of each other’s existence!

Several orchestras around the world have shown a strong interest in performing the work. 

Please contact me at eli@elirab.com
Eli Rabinowitz: bio https://elirab.me/about

About Me

********************************
Projects For Your School:
https://elirab.me/znk

Learn The Partisans’ Song

Recite or sing the Partisans’ Song in your home tongue, or in a language you have learnt. Make a video, which can be as creative as you wish or just a simple recording. 

The Power Of Words

The background and context

The ‘Partisans’ Song’ – Zog Nit Keyn Mol – written by Hirsch Glik, 22, in the Vilna Ghetto in 1943, is one of the most powerful songs of resistance and defiance ever written.

Today, 75 years on, long after the demise of Hitler’s murderous regime, the partisans’ song is now sung worldwide to mark the Jewish spirit of resistance.

Words – Michael Cohen, Melbourne MC – Freydi Mrocki
https://youtu.be/SvNoyReKxO0

KEY WORDS FROM THE POEM

“Zog nit keyn mol, az du geyst dem letstn veg…….Never say that you have reached the end of the road……

Mir zaynen do! WE ARE HERE!

“This says that although it looks like the last moments of the life of the Jewish people, it is not, and where the blood was shed, will begin a new, a heroic and a wonderful Jewish life!” https://youtu.be/koA7fpGxRgw

(Quote: Cantor H Fox, LA)

Beis Aharon School, Pinsk, Belarus
https://youtu.be/yN3QGZkmGjY

Rabbi Levi Wolff’s Tribute To A Japanese Hero

Here is my interview with Rabbi Levi Wolff.

at Central Synagogue, Bondi Junction, Sydney

on 15 December 2014

Rabbi Levi Wolff talks about the visit to Sydney of Kei Sugihara, great grandson of Chiune Sugihara as well as Rabbi Wolff’s own family connection to the Japanese hero who saved so many Jewish lives.

 

Rabbi Levi Wolff

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An emotional meeting with an icon’s great-grandson

December 5, 2014 by Henry Benjamin
Read on for article

Descendants of Jews who escaped Nazi Europe through the heroic actions of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, have met his great-grandson in Sydney.

“Sempo” Sugihara was a Japanese consul in Kaunas, Lithuania who ignored instructions from Tokyo in 1940 and issued exit visas to an estimated 6,000 Jews who successfully escaped the Nazi persecution in World War II.

Visas were also issued ignoring instructions to thousands who were unable to get out of Europe many of whom perished in the Nazi death camps. The exact number of Jews who received visas from Sugihara is unknown but estimates put the number of family visas he issued around 6,000.

Many put the figure of those Jews who are alive today because of Sugihara’s bravery at around 40,000.

For those who made it to Kobe in Japan, life was relatively peaceful as they made their homes amongst the Russian Jewish community which had lived there for over 100 years. But all changed after Pearl Harbour and Japan’s entry into the war and the Kobe-based European Jews were sent to Shanghai. Many moved again to other parts of the world…including Australia.

At The Sydney Jewish Museum, representing their families, Rabbi Levi Wolff, John Roth, Victor Grynberg met Keisuke Sugihara, the 21-yr-old great-grandson of Sugihara on his first visit to Australia.

Accompanying Grynberg were his grandchildren Asher, 13, Maya, 11 and Tali 11 who are the great-grandchildren of the late Dora and Oscar Grynberg who travelled to Kobe on visas issued by Sugihara.

Asher Grynberg, Rabbi Levi Wolff, Keisuke Sugihara, John Roth, Maya Grynberg, Victor Grynberg and Tali Grynberg

Keisuke or Kei as he prefers to be known has his great-grandfather’s surname only because his mother, Sugihara’s granddaughter, persuaded her husband Nakamura to adopt it in July this year so that it may live on.  Kei explained: “This year my 19-yr-old sister started university so the family thought this would be a good time to change the name.” He told J-Wire the change had been effected specifically to ensure that his great-grandfather’s name would be remembered.

Rabbi Levi Wolff shows Asher Grynberg and Keisuke Sugihara his grandfather's photograph

Kei Sugihara believed that his great-grandfather had followed his human instincts in doing what he did saying “I am very proud of him”. Kei was six years old when he  first heard of great grandfather’s life-saving actions. “I learned about it in my elementary school text books and I remember  my father telling me ‘your great grandfather saved a lot of people’.”

On his trip to Australia Kei Sugihara has met Jewish people for the first time in his life…but it won’t be the last. He plans to meet members of other families who are descendants of those his grandfather saved in other parts of the world.

John Roth, Victor Grynberg and Rabbi Levi Wolff told Kei stories of their families’ experiences with Grynberg pointing out that his older brother had been born in Kobe and that John Roth’s father had been the sandek at his brit.

Rabbi Levi Wolff said: “The thousands that he saved had hundred and hundreds of descendants. We’re talking about around forty thousand people are alive today because one man didn’t allow his conscience to let him sleep at night. The power of one is unbelievable.”

Rabbi Wolff told Kei Sugihara: “Your great-grandfather could not handle the fact people were being persecuted and being killed. He could have turned a blind eye to it but he put his life in danger because he felt that it was the right thing to do.”

Rabbi Levi Wolff, Victor Grynberg. Maya Grynberg, Keisuke Sugihara and John Roth

He told Sugihara’s great-grandson that the Japanese consul would not allow what most of the world was turning a blind eye to.

Rabbi Wolff told those gathered at the museum that when Sugihara’s family was traced after the war every effort was made to help them telling Kei that his grandparents were sent to university in Israel.

Rabbi Levi Wolff’s mother’s father Rabbi Yechezkel Deren was a 13-yr-old boy studying in a yeshiva in Poland. The family fled Poland arriving in the Lithuanian city in which Sugihara was based eventually getting a visa from him. As Japan entered the war Rabbi Deren was amongst those who moved to Shanghai. Rabbi Wolff said: “We never knew the story as my grandfather never spoke about it. It was hard for many to relive the experience. He lost everybody in his family except for his sister.” He told Kei that in 1980 Readers Digest did a story on his great-grandfather. That’s when those he had saved sought to find him and his family. He saved more Jews than Schindler.”

Victor Grynberg explained that Schindler had made commercial use of the Jews he saved and that Sugihara had not charged anything for the visas he issued even though some of them may have been onsold.

Rabbi Levi Wolff told J-Wire: “The Jewish people have long memories. We not only remember those who wish to destroy us but we also remember those who stood up for us when others tried to eradicate us. We will not forget what Kei Sugihara’s great-grandfather did for us. I am eternally grateful. Meeting Kei was like paying a debt of gratitude on behalf of my grandfather.”

Victor Grynberg added: “I took Kei to Sydney’s Moriah College and proudly showed him how the Roth and Grynberg families who had benefited from his great-grandfather’s achievements had contributed to the community in which they now live. Meeting Kei has been a highly emotional experience. I remember my late mother at the age of 90 touring provincial area with Courage to Care telling the Sugihara story.”

For John Roth the meeting was hard to grasp. he told J-Wire: “It is hard to comprehend the enormity of what his great-grandfather achieved. Rabbi Wolff choked on his words when he made reference to the 40,000 who live today because of Sugihara’s actions and bravery. I did too.”

When Kei visits Rabbi Wolff’s congregation on Shabbat at Sydney’s Central Synagogue, he will receive a framed Talmudic saying from Rabbi Levi Wolff…”He Who Saves One Life it is as if he has saved an entire world.”

Before returning to Japan to continue his education studies ahead of a hoped-for career in diplomacy, Keisuke Sugihara will travel to Queensland’s Bundaberg to pick fruit.  But his life’s plan also includes extensive world travel and more meetings with Jews who owe their existence to Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara.

A photograph of Sugihara is on permanent exhibition at the Sydney Jewish Museum.

If you or someone you know is a descendant email sugihara@jwire.com.au and J-Wire will pass on your details to Keisuke.

 

Chiune Sugihara

Chiune Sugihara

Native name  杉原 千畝
Born 1 January 1900 Yaotsu, Gifu, Japan. Died 31 July 1986 (aged 86)Kamakura, Kanagawa, JapanNationalityJapanese
Other names”Sempo”, Pavlo Sergeivich Sugihara
OccupationVice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania. Known forRescue of some ten thousand Jews during the Holocaust
Religion Eastern Orthodox Church
Spouse(s)Klaudia Semionovna Apollonova (m. 1919; div. 1935)Yukiko Kikuchi (m. 1935)
Awards:
Righteous Among the Nations (1985)
Chiune Sugihara (杉原 千畝 Sugihara Chiune?, 1 January 1900 – 31 July 1986) was a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania. During World War II, he helped several thousand Jews leave the country by issuing transit visas to Jewish refugees so that they could travel to Japan. Most of the Jews who escaped were refugees from German-occupied Poland and residents of Lithuania. Sugihara wrote travel visas that facilitated the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family’s lives. Sugihara had told the refugees to call him “Sempo”, the Sino-Japanese reading of the characters in his first name, discovering it was much easier for Western people to pronounce.[1] In 1985, Israel honored him as Righteous Among the Nations for his actions.
For more, visit the Shanghai Kehilalink at:

http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/shanghai

2. My visit to the Sugihara House Museum in Kaunas, Lithuania in May.

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Students with their lecturer, Raimundas Kaminskas. I was asked to address them – May 2014

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The Museum’s guide, Ramunas Janulaitis.

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3. Nine Forth, Kaunas 2012

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4. Reprinted from J-Wire with permission of Henry Benjamin

Chiune Sugihara And His Legacy

This post is in honour of Chiune Sugihara.
Contents

1. A profile of Sugihara
2. Photos of  my visit to the Sugihara Museum in Kaunas, Lithuania in May this year

3. Nine Forth, Kaunas. May 2012
4. The visit to Sydney this week of his great grandson, Kei Sugihara, as reported by Henry Benjamin of J-Wire.

1. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chiune Sugihara

Chiune Sugihara

Native name  杉原 千畝
Born 1 January 1900 Yaotsu, Gifu, Japan. Died 31 July 1986 (aged 86)Kamakura, Kanagawa, JapanNationalityJapanese
Other names”Sempo”, Pavlo Sergeivich Sugihara
OccupationVice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania. Known forRescue of some ten thousand Jews during the Holocaust
Religion Eastern Orthodox Church
Spouse(s)Klaudia Semionovna Apollonova (m. 1919; div. 1935)Yukiko Kikuchi (m. 1935)
Awards:
Righteous Among the Nations (1985)
Chiune Sugihara (杉原 千畝 Sugihara Chiune?, 1 January 1900 – 31 July 1986) was a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania. During World War II, he helped several thousand Jews leave the country by issuing transit visas to Jewish refugees so that they could travel to Japan. Most of the Jews who escaped were refugees from German-occupied Poland and residents of Lithuania. Sugihara wrote travel visas that facilitated the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family’s lives. Sugihara had told the refugees to call him “Sempo”, the Sino-Japanese reading of the characters in his first name, discovering it was much easier for Western people to pronounce.[1] In 1985, Israel honored him as Righteous Among the Nations for his actions.
For more, visit the Shanghai Kehilalink at:

http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/shanghai

2. My visit to the Sugihara House Museum in Kaunas, Lithuania in May.

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DSC_2013

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DSC_2017

DSC_2029DSC_2030

Students with their lecturer, Raimundas Kaminskas. I was asked to address them – May 2014

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s+L1490505

The Museum’s guide, Ramunas Janulaitis.

s+L1490503

DSC_2046

DSC_2039

DSC_2036

DSC_2034DSC_2033

3. Nine Forth, Kaunas 2012

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4. Reprinted from J-Wire with permission of Henry Benjamin

An emotional meeting with an icon’s great-grandson

December 5, 2014 by Henry Benjamin
Read on for article

Descendants of Jews who escaped Nazi Europe through the heroic actions of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, have met his great-grandson in Sydney.

“Sempo” Sugihara was a Japanese consul in Kaunas, Lithuania who ignored instructions from Tokyo in 1940 and issued exit visas to an estimated 6,000 Jews who successfully escaped the Nazi persecution in World War II.

Visas were also issued ignoring instructions to thousands who were unable to get out of Europe many of whom perished in the Nazi death camps. The exact number of Jews who received visas from Sugihara is unknown but estimates put the number of family visas he issued around 6,000.

Many put the figure of those Jews who are alive today because of Sugihara’s bravery at around 40,000.

For those who made it to Kobe in Japan, life was relatively peaceful as they made their homes amongst the Russian Jewish community which had lived there for over 100 years. But all changed after Pearl Harbour and Japan’s entry into the war and the Kobe-based European Jews were sent to Shanghai. Many moved again to other parts of the world…including Australia.

At The Sydney Jewish Museum, representing their families, Rabbi Levi Wolff, John Roth, Victor Grynberg met Keisuke Sugihara, the 21-yr-old great-grandson of Sugihara on his first visit to Australia.

Accompanying Grynberg were his grandchildren Asher, 13, Maya, 11 and Tali 11 who are the great-grandchildren of the late Dora and Oscar Grynberg who travelled to Kobe on visas issued by Sugihara.

Asher Grynberg, Rabbi Levi Wolff, Keisuke Sugihara, John Roth, Maya Grynberg, Victor Grynberg and Tali Grynberg

Keisuke or Kei as he prefers to be known has his great-grandfather’s surname only because his mother, Sugihara’s granddaughter, persuaded her husband Nakamura to adopt it in July this year so that it may live on.  Kei explained: “This year my 19-yr-old sister started university so the family thought this would be a good time to change the name.” He told J-Wire the change had been effected specifically to ensure that his great-grandfather’s name would be remembered.

Rabbi Levi Wolff shows Asher Grynberg and Keisuke Sugihara his grandfather's photograph

Kei Sugihara believed that his great-grandfather had followed his human instincts in doing what he did saying “I am very proud of him”. Kei was six years old when he  first heard of great grandfather’s life-saving actions. “I learned about it in my elementary school text books and I remember  my father telling me ‘your great grandfather saved a lot of people’.”

On his trip to Australia Kei Sugihara has met Jewish people for the first time in his life…but it won’t be the last. He plans to meet members of other families who are descendants of those his grandfather saved in other parts of the world.

John Roth, Victor Grynberg and Rabbi Levi Wolff told Kei stories of their families’ experiences with Grynberg pointing out that his older brother had been born in Kobe and that John Roth’s father had been the sandek at his brit.

Rabbi Levi Wolff said: “The thousands that he saved had hundred and hundreds of descendants. We’re talking about around forty thousand people are alive today because one man didn’t allow his conscience to let him sleep at night. The power of one is unbelievable.”

Rabbi Wolff told Kei Sugihara: “Your great-grandfather could not handle the fact people were being persecuted and being killed. He could have turned a blind eye to it but he put his life in danger because he felt that it was the right thing to do.”

Rabbi Levi Wolff, Victor Grynberg. Maya Grynberg, Keisuke Sugihara and John Roth

He told Sugihara’s great-grandson that the Japanese consul would not allow what most of the world was turning a blind eye to.

Rabbi Wolff told those gathered at the museum that when Sugihara’s family was traced after the war every effort was made to help them telling Kei that his grandparents were sent to university in Israel.

Rabbi Levi Wolff’s mother’s father Rabbi Yechezkel Deren was a 13-yr-old boy studying in a yeshiva in Poland. The family fled Poland arriving in the Lithuanian city in which Sugihara was based eventually getting a visa from him. As Japan entered the war Rabbi Deren was amongst those who moved to Shanghai. Rabbi Wolff said: “We never knew the story as my grandfather never spoke about it. It was hard for many to relive the experience. He lost everybody in his family except for his sister.” He told Kei that in 1980 Readers Digest did a story on his great-grandfather. That’s when those he had saved sought to find him and his family. He saved more Jews than Schindler.”

Victor Grynberg explained that Schindler had made commercial use of the Jews he saved and that Sugihara had not charged anything for the visas he issued even though some of them may have been onsold.

Rabbi Levi Wolff told J-Wire: “The Jewish people have long memories. We not only remember those who wish to destroy us but we also remember those who stood up for us when others tried to eradicate us. We will not forget what Kei Sugihara’s great-grandfather did for us. I am eternally grateful. Meeting Kei was like paying a debt of gratitude on behalf of my grandfather.”

Victor Grynberg added: “I took Kei to Sydney’s Moriah College and proudly showed him how the Roth and Grynberg families who had benefited from his great-grandfather’s achievements had contributed to the community in which they now live. Meeting Kei has been a highly emotional experience. I remember my late mother at the age of 90 touring provincial area with Courage to Care telling the Sugihara story.”

For John Roth the meeting was hard to grasp. he told J-Wire: “It is hard to comprehend the enormity of what his great-grandfather achieved. Rabbi Wolff choked on his words when he made reference to the 40,000 who live today because of Sugihara’s actions and bravery. I did too.”

When Kei visits Rabbi Wolff’s congregation on Shabbat at Sydney’s Central Synagogue, he will receive a framed Talmudic saying from Rabbi Levi Wolff…”He Who Saves One Life it is as if he has saved an entire world.”

Before returning to Japan to continue his education studies ahead of a hoped-for career in diplomacy, Keisuke Sugihara will travel to Queensland’s Bundaberg to pick fruit.  But his life’s plan also includes extensive world travel and more meetings with Jews who owe their existence to Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara.

A photograph of Sugihara is on permanent exhibition at the Sydney Jewish Museum.

If you or someone you know is a descendant email sugihara@jwire.com.au and J-Wire will pass on your details to Keisuke.