Bucknell University will host Dayeinu! Beyond Survival There is Hope Nov. 2-9 — a week of free, public workshops, lectures, films and musical performances that will reinforce the relevance of Holocaust education.
“Learning about the causes of the Holocaust helps students understand that it was not an event that began and ended anti-Semitic violence, it was only the most dramatic manifestation of it in our age,” said Emily Martin, a Bucknell music professor who is the event’s organizer. “Effective Holocaust education also allows us to show how fear, hatred and apathy can spiral into devastating consequences, a lesson that is reflected in our world today.”
“The Hebrew expression dayeinu — meaning, it would have been sufficient for us — is used to express gratitude for continued blessings and resilience,” said Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer, Chaplain for Jewish Community at Bucknell. “Had there only been survivors of the Holocaust, it would have been sufficient for us (dayeinu), but instead, the Jewish people have continued to thrive and create in an often hostile world.”
Daynieu! week begins Saturday, Nov. 2, with a workshop for school teachers in the region focusing on Holocaust education and its relevance in today’s classrooms. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Sigfried Weis Music Building. Organized, in part, by Kim Councill, Bucknell associate dean of arts and humanities, the workshop requires registration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The workshop will be followed by a 1:30 p.m. screening of Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah, an epic documentary film that records the testimony of the Holocaust through interviews with Holocaust witnesses — survivors, bystanders and perpetrators — in the Elaine Langone Center’s Gallery Theatre.
Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton — a professional singer and teacher who also serves as rabbi of the Or Haneshama Reconstructionist Community of Ottawa, Canada — will perform For Tomorrow: The Story and Poetry of Hilda Stern Cohen on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 4 p.m., in Rooke Recital Hall, Sigfried Weis Music Building. The musical chronicles the life of German-born Holocaust survivor Hilda Stern Cohen, with music by composer William Gilcher.
On Monday, Nov. 4, Dr. Rona Buchalter, director of refugee programming and planning, HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) PA, will present a 7 p.m. lecture titled “Refugees Then and Now” in Bucknell Hall. HIAS works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands and helps refugees rebuild their lives in the U.S. Buchalter’s own great-grandfather was resettled in the U.S. from Odessa, Russia, by the HIAS organization.
The Campus Theatre will screen another Lanzmann film, Sobibor, October 14, 1943, 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. The film documents the 1943 uprising of prisoners at the Nazi extermination camp of Sobibor, located in today’s Poland, one of only two successful uprisings that occurred at Nazi death camps during World War II. The film will be introduced by Rebecca Meyers, a lecturer in Bucknell’s film/media studies program and the academic film programmer for Bucknell screenings at the Campus Theatre.
A roundtable discussion on the representation of the Holocaust in film will also be held in the Campus Theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. The discussion will be led by Meyers and include Ken Eisenstein, Bucknell film/media studies professor; Michael Renov, a critical studies professor in the School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California; and Rabbi Nina Mandel, rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Sunbury who also teaches religious studies at Susquehanna University. Excerpts from the films Night and Fog, Schindler’s List and Shoah will also be shown.
Thursday, Nov. 7 begins with the “Songs of the Holocaust” performance at noon in Rooke Chapel, where Martin and students of the Bucknell Opera Theatre will perform songs written by prisoners of the concentration camp of Theresienstadt, located in today’s Czech Republic. That evening, Brown University history professor Omer Bartov will present a lecture titled “Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of Buczacz” at 7 p.m. in Trout Auditorium. Bartov’s research concerns the troubling story of how, after only three years of Nazi rule, the Eastern European border town of Buczacz could have allowed its entire Jewish population, as well as its Polish residents, to be murdered.
A Jewish Shabbat Service and dinner led by Rabbi Glazer will take place on Friday, Nov. 8, at 5:30 p.m. in the Berelson Center for Jewish Life. The weekly service is filled with singing, prayer, reflection and meditation.
The week will conclude on Saturday, Nov. 9, with two separate performances of Brundibar by the Bucknell Opera Theatre at 11 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts. Brundibar is a children’s opera composed in 1938 by Jewish Czech composer Hans Krasa. The opera was first performed it at the Theresienstadt camp in 1943. The production was then offered another 55 times at the camp that following year, as part of a Nazi propaganda campaign to show prisoners’ quality of life in the camps to visiting observers from the Red Cross. The 11 a.m. family performance will be preceded by 30 minutes of storytelling with cookies in the Weis Center Lobby. Between the two performances, there will also be a reception in the lobby commemorating the Kristallnacht anti-Jewish pogroms at 5 p.m.
Dayeinu! is sponsored by The Charles J. & Isabelle Kushell Music Endowment Fund, the Lattal Family Opera Endowment, the Rabbi Serena L. Fujita Social Justice Fund, the Dalal Family Fund for Creativity & Innovation, the Bucknell Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, the Bucknell Office of Campus Jewish Life, the Campus Theatre and the Bucknell Departments/Programs of Art History, English, Education, Film/Media Studies, German Studies, Jewish Studies, Music, Russian Studies and Sociology.