South Florida’s Jewish community will commemorate the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, which signaled the beginning of the Holocaust, through different virtual events and online film screenings.
Kristallnacht, referred to as the Night of Broken Glass, was a pogrom against Jews throughout Nazi Germany on Nov. 9-10, 1938. During this event, the Nazis torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed close to 100 Jews.
On Nov. 8, the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and the March of the Living will present the 19th annual Kristallnacht Film Forum on Zoom with a screening of the documentary, “Chasing Portraits” at 1:30 p.m.
“‘Chasing Portraits’ is a very apt KFF selection, conveying the lessons of the Holocaust and their intergenerational impact,” said Roneet Edrich, March of the Living Southern Region director. “While commemorating Kristallnacht, the Film Forum is also a vital annual effort to raise scholarship funds for local teens to participate in the life-changing March of the Living, and to enable our courageous Holocaust survivors to accompany them.”
The film details the journey by director Elizabeth Rynecki in search of the artwork that her Polish great-grandfather, Moshe Rynecki, lost during World War II. The filmmaker hopes to introduce and expose the audience to her great-grandfather’s artwork.
“I hope they can better know a little bit about his history and my family’s history, as well as have a slightly different understanding about Holocaust-era looted art,” Rynecki continued.
Rynecki will will also have a question and answer session on Zoom at 3 p.m. following the film screening.
Before the screening, all KFF participants can join in on Zoom at 1 p.m. for a Kristallnacht candle lighting ceremony featuring local March of the Living alumni, and to honor child survivor and long-time Marchactivists Rosette and Gil Goldstein.
“There is no program like the March of the Living,” said Rosette Goldstein. “Now, as anti-Semitism rears its ugly head, it is more important than ever. At the blood-soaked camps, I see in their 1/8 March participants] faces how they will remember and relate our stories to future generations, and in Israel I see their joy and pride in being Jewish and having a homeland.”
Since its inception in 1988, the March of the Living has taken place every spring with the exception of this year due to the COVID-19 crisis. If the pandemic prevents groups from traveling in 2021, the March anticipates a very large 2022 local delegation of students, many of whom will need support.
The Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, a Committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, will host its annual commemoration of Kristallnacht virtually at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9. The event will include the eyewitness testimony of Holocaust survivor Herbert Karliner, participation from other survivors and comments from Miami-Dade County Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho. Those interested in participating in the program can register at jewishmiami.org/kristallnacht/.
The commemoration will continue at 9 p. m. that evening with the broadcast of the film “Harbor from the Holocaust,” which tells the story of nearly 20,000 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II to the Chinese port city of Shanghai., on South Florida PBS Channel 2.
Dolores Sukhdeo, president and CEO of South Florida PBS, said “‘Harbor from the Holocaust,’ as well as ‘My Survivor’ and ‘Holy Silence,’ among other programs South Florida PBS will be airing during the week of Nov. 9-16 in commemoration of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, stress the importance of greater understanding among all peoples and emphasize our need to respect differences and to cultivate acceptance rather than choosing racism and anti 1/4 u2010Semitism, especially in culturally rich and diverse South Florida.”
Visit southfloridapbs.org for more information.
Before the commemoration, the Holocaust Memorial, GMJF and Miami Jewish Film Festival will partner to host a virtual day of screening films that examine the Holocaust from 10 a.m. on Nov. 8 through 4 p.m. on Nov. 9. The films can be accessed to see free of charge by registering at jewishmiami.org/kristallnacht/.
The Memorial will also host its annual Holocaust Education Week, a program of films, presentations and discussions, virtually this year from Nov. 9-13. Visit holocaustmemorialmiamibeach.org/2020hew/ for more information.
Sidney Pertnoy, chair of the Holocaust Memorial, said there is a new approach this year.
“Holocaust Education Week has always been at the end of January, and we have been mandated by the state to produce a Holocaust Education Week for the entire state of Florida, so we’re basically kicking off the Kristallnacht observance and Holocaust Education Week at the same time.”
Pertnoy said about this year’s events, “Even though we are socially distanced, our primary goal is to educate with a much broader and wider audience than we have ever had in the past.”
Contact Sharon Horowitz, the memorial’s executive director, at email@example.com or 305-538-1663 for more information on the events.
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