Upcoming & Recent Events

 

April 2021

—Weiss “attended” Yom Hashoah seminars in Europe, United States, and Israel—see highlights in April 2021 blog post.

June 3-September, 2021 Premiere of the exhibit titled “IMAGE and MEMORY: Yesterday and Today” at Bernard Zell School (3751 North Broadway in Chicago). As a year-long project, Ann Weiss has been teaching students in Chicago (see September/October 2020 blog for more details) and now this year-long project is culminating with a student-created exhibition, visible through the ground floor windows of the school. Since no one except students and faculty are ever allowed IN the school—including parents and me (I was able to teach the students in person, outside in a tent, with all of us masked, and then later, remotely, on Zoom, this exhibition is only able to be seen—through the ground floor windows—on site. However, since it will remain mounted throughout the summer, I am personally inviting you to visit, if you find yourself in Chicago this summer. Please see the school’s invitation below. I am hoping that this great effort by the students can be converted to digital format so that it can be viewed from anywhere in the world. A ‘girl’ can dream, right?

BERNARD ZELL CLASS OF 2021
IMAGE AND MEMORY: YESTERDAY AND TODAY
A single photograph represents a world entire. Each photo and short film in this exhibit represent the world of the Holocaust and its aftermath. Each photo represents a story about survival, death, loss, and trauma that reach across generations and time. Can you see those worlds in their eyes, their faces, and the objects they carry?


On behalf of Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, it is our distinct honor to invite you to the viewing of the Class of 2021’s yearlong, interdisciplinary project combining Holocaust studies with the art of photography. The result is a stunning gallery of meaningful images and profound stories.

This project was initiated under the leadership of eighth-grade history teacher, Dr. Jeff Ellison; middle school art teacher, Ms. Gili Sherman; and Bernard Zell Artist-in-Residence and author of The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Dr. Ann Weiss.

With inspiration and guidance from Dr. Weiss—whose own work traces the history of individuals pictured in a cache of photos confiscated from the prisoners of Auschwitz—students completed a similar project using art and personal narrative. Beginning in the fall of last year, students were given the name and contact information of a Survivor, or if deceased, a Survivor’s relative. After learning the art of interviewing, and the history of photography and photographic techniques, students both interviewed their Survivor via Zoom and asked each to take a photo of themselves in a way that would reflect their personal narrative. Students then completed their own artist reflection photos, all of which will be on display.

Through dedicated research and interviews with each Survivor and their family members, the result is a gallery honoring the lives of those who lived through the atrocities of the Holocaust. In seeing and hearing the stories of these Survivors, the students became witnesses, and now you, the visitor, who sees and hears these stories, become witnesses as well.

Thursday, June 3
Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School
3751 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 60613

We look forward to sharing this meaningful project presented by our outstanding eighth-grade students.

Warmly,

Gary Weisserman
Head of School

Stephanie Bloom
Head of Middle School


September 2020-May 2021

In September, Ann Weiss drove to Chicago (12 plus hours) and started teaching a photography course to students at the Bernard Zell School. In this course, which runs through Spring 2021, Ann will teach students about the photos in the Eyes from the Ashes collection—how they were found, how they were saved and their significance. In addition, students will learn how to analyze photos, how to conduct an effective interview, and in this yearlong project, Weiss will also help students curate a contemporary exhibition of their own.

In addition, there is scarcely a day that goes by that Weiss is not involved in one (but usually more) Zoom lectures. For example, yesterday and today, September 29-September 30, 2020 is 79th anniversary of one of the largest massacres of Jews during the Holocaust: 34,000 Jews murdered at Babi Yar in a ravine measuring 45 feet deep and 900 feet long. Although I participated in two Babi Yar lectures in New York and in Illinois, on September 29-30, respectively, it is the 75th year after this massacre that I will never forget, because I was right there in Babi Yar and in Kiev, Ukraine.

In that year, together with my friend and colleague, Dr. Emilie Passow, we led a memorial service on the grounds of Babi Yar, as well as at a number of other murder sites in Ukraine. For those who don’t know, today Babi Yar is the site of a sprawling, lovely park, on the outskirts of Kiev. Although currently, there are discussions about building a memorial and education center, at present, no one but the most knowledgeable person could ever imagine that anything so sinister occurred there. Today it is an obscenely beautiful urban park, where people play ball, picnic and happily stroll.


Sunday June 14, 2020

Join us and 100 other museums and cultural institutions around the world for We Are Here: A Celebration of Resilience, Resistance, and Hope on Sunday, June 14 at 2:00 PM ET.

Featuring award-winning media personalities Whoopi Goldberg, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Adrien Brody, Mayim Bialik, and Jackie Hoffman, world-renowned singers and musicians Renee Fleming, Lea Salonga, Steven Skybell, Joyce DiDonato, and Lang Lang, and other public figures from all walks of life, the free 90-minute program will commemorate the recent anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and project a message of hope amidst the crises we face. Find more info and tune in to view the program.


Thursday April 30, 2020 – Ann Weiss will give keynote speech at the Brotherhood Alliance Annual Dinner, Williamsport. PA (from 6-9 pm).

NOTE: This event cannot take place now, as scheduled, because of covid-19.


YOM HASHOAH — IN THIS TIME OF COVID-19

Ordinarily, this section would inform you of speeches and exhibits and other opportunities for us to meet, or events you can attend where I am keynoting or participating. However, these are not ordinary times.

Of course, my Yom Hashoah presentations and other speeches have been canceled or postponed, so I am very sorry not to be able to meet with you personally. However, because this week is Yom Hashoah, there are a number of meaningful events and commemorations that I’d like to share with you here, immediately.

Although virtually every community has its own Yom Hashoah commemoration, I am highlighting only a few for special consideration:

[Note: By clicking the links below, you have the opportunity to register for any of these free events]

1-This consortium of Holocaust museums and Holocaust organizations has a link that, in addition to the traditional memorial service and lighting 6 candles in memory of the 6 million, this one also gives you access to a superb film by #Roberta Grossman, ‘Who Will Write Our History?’ based on the excellent book of the same title by #Samuel Kassow. By clicking below, you will be able to participate in this Yom Hashoah service and also to view this superb film.

CLAIMS CONFERENCE

2- Although there are city-wide commemorations throughout the country and throughout the world, I wanted to particularly highlight the one in Pittsburgh as well as the Yom Hashoah article, written by Lauren Bairnsfather, published in the Times of Israel. Lauren is the Director of the Pittsburgh Holocaust Center and after the Tree of Life murders, she was called upon, again and again, to help the Pittsburgh community heal. It is for that reason that I have chosen to spotlight Pittsburgh’s Yom Hashoah service, Sunday April 19 at noon.

Holocaust Rememberance Goes Virtual Article

Yom Hashoah Event Link

3-In his website, Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks regularly offers a thought-provoking dialogues and reflections for the week. This week, in association with Yom Hashoah and with the Holocaust Education Trust in Great Britain, he presents a series of video reflections and dialogues on the Holocaust. To hear any (or all) of his 19 video clips on, as he puts it, the “biggest spiritual and ethical questions posed by the Holocaust” (including: Where was G-d? Where was Humanity? How has the Holocaust impacted my own faith? What is the place of the Holocaust in 21st century Jewish identity?), please click here: RABBI SACK’S HOLOCAUST EDUCATION WEBSITE

Click the image below for a message from Rabbi Sacks

Monday January 27, 2020 in New York City:

UNITED NATIONS:
Ann Weiss will attend the United Nations General Assembly ceremony to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.

At a presentation at the UN, the personal photos that Jews carried to Auschwitz, which form the basis of Ann Weiss’ book, traveling exhibition and film montage, will be highlighted in a special lecture.

MUSEUM of JEWISH HERITAGE:
Weiss will continue to commemorate the 75th anniversary with a lecture at the museum, delivered by Robert Jan van Pelt, Chief Curator of the massive Auschwitz exhibition, titled “Not Long Ago, Not Far Away”, in which he explains how this unique exhibit was created and organized. Note: Weiss’ photos are included in this monumental exhibition.

Finally, the 75th Anniversary of Auschwitz’ Liberation concludes with a concert by Yitzhak Perlman, which Weiss is grateful to attend.

January 11-14, 2020, Weiss participates in Association of Golocaust Organizations Winter Seminar, Washington DC

Click here for Past Events