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April 23, 2004 - Image 78

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-04-23

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Let Us Never Forget

Musical Performance
Adds Vivid Dimension

event also made her feel linked with the
Jewish community.
Milner added that the performance
venue resonated with her as well because
Ann Arbor
the JCC is also currently home to a
olk singer Joe Aronson
Holocaust-related art exhibit by Ann
brought songs, stories and
Arbor artist and survivor Miriam Brysk.
poems to the Jewish
"I thought it was good and it fits so
Community Center of
well with the exhibit, which to me is very
Washtenaw County Saturday night as
artistically compelling, but also a very
part of an Ann Arbor Reconstructionist
moving representation of the horror of
Havurah Yom HaShoah Havdalah
the Holocaust," she said.
The fresh voice in Aronson's
work was part of what struck
Hanny Leitson of Ann Arbor,
who was sent to England on a
Kindertransport when she was
"I thought he had an inter-
esting project with an interest-
ing point of view," she said.
"Through his songs, poetry
and storytelling, he carried us
through this time; and we had
a chance to remember some of
the very heroic people from
those years — Christians and
Leitson said it is important
Folk singer Joe Aronson performs songs, poems and
to remember what happened,
stories about the Holocaust during a program in
even though today's comfort-
Ann Arbor.
able lives make it seem more
removed. "It's part of my his-
tory, and it's only by the grace of God
Some audience members sang along
that I wasn't put into a concentration
because they knew the Yiddish and
camp," she said.
English words to many of the songs he
was singing, songs they remembered
Steve Merritt of Ann Arbor likes the
from their youth.
more experiential window into Judaism
Aronson, who has been performing for that commemorates the Holocaust with
programming that goes beyond religious
more than 50 years, shared a collection
services. He said the creative approach
of materials written by victims and sur-
reflected in Saturday night's program
vivors about the Holocaust and reflec-
"honors what our movement is about,
tions on the post-war years, weaving
together a presentation that audience
but it also allows us to appeal to a larger
cross section of Jews.
members said was unique and inspiring.
"So often the Holocaust is presented in
For Ann Arbor resident Emily Milner,
a very text-based way — there's practical-
the program made the remembrance
more accessible and strengthened her
ly an entire industry of Holocaust
feelings of connection to Israel.
books," Merritt said. "I think by not
being a lecture but a performance,
"I feel some division, so this program
Aronson was able to bring in emotions
makes me feel aligned — about why
and a vividness you don't necessarily get
there is an Israel and why there needs to
from reading a book." fl
be an Israel," she said, adding that the

Special to the Jewish News






Finds A New Home

one in the community, especially with
600 people in the community on their
way to Israel right now" on Federation's
Michigan Miracle Mission 4.
Rabbi Charles Rosenzveig, HMC
founder and executive director, told the
crowd, "Our mission is not to fight hate
with hate, evil with evil. We will fight
evil with love and righteousness. That is
our mission — to make the righteous
acts of the few the stanclnrd of the
Saul Waldman, who chaired the event
with Alan Zekelman, said, "This
[Holocaust Memorial Center] was built
to act as a teaching tool for youngsters
going to school to learn of our history,
what life was like before the Holocaust
and how the righteous were there to
help people." E



he program remains the
same: An honor guard from
Selfridge Air National Guard
Base opened the ceremony,
followed by a candlelighting in memory
of the six million Jews who died in the
Holocaust and Israel's victims of terror-
ism. Then came prayers and speeches
and music.
But what drew a crowd of nearly 600
people to the 90-minute Holocaust
Memorial Academy during a beautiful
Sunday afternoon on April 22 was the
new Holocaust Memorial Center in
Farmington Hills.
"It looks great, and it has a lot more
of the history rather than just the
Holocaust," said Shayna Levine, 22, of
Royal Oak "I think it's amazing that
this many people can come out on a
Sunday for something that affects every-

For more photographs from this story, see

Clockwise from top right: Survivor Harry Praw of Oak Park.
A mezzuzah ceremony takes place before the commemoration.
Josh Mendelson, 15, of Novi listens to the ceremony.
Madge Pollack (foreground) ofWest Bloomfield and Golda Indig of Southfield
light yahrzeit candles after the ceremony.


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