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Friday, April 12, 2013

Yom Hashoah 5773: Witness Theater

This year, the Yeshivah of Flatbush was fortunate to be involved with a program called Witness Theater. Thirteen committed seniors took time out of their schedules to meet with Holocaust Survivors once a week for two hours. As the students and survivors formed bonds, the adults started telling their personal stories of the Shoah. Their painful and horrifying accounts, while difficult for the students to hear, helped the participants grow closer. When the survivors told their stories, they really tried to paint a very detailed picture for the students so that they could understand what the survivors experienced. This program also was incredibly special because it enabled the students to share their lives with the adults who lost their teenage years during World War II.

At the end of an intense eight month program, on Yom Hashoah, our Witness Theater group, under direction of Sally Grazi Shatzkes, performed for the public and for the students at the Yeshivah. The play was a moving dramatization of the stories, narrated by the survivors. The survivors went through the program so that we can pass it down to the next generation and the world will never forget. As Sonia Klein, one of the survivors said, If I can't erase the war from my arm, why erase it from my mind? But more importantly, let me tell you my story. Because when you become a witness to my telling, then you will know why we can never forget, never erase, never stop telling and witnessing….  ~Contributions by Millie Marcus

This unique program has been featured in multiple news outlets including:
The Jewish Week
UJA Federation of New York
Israel's YnetNews
News12 Brooklyn
JM in the AM