NJTF HTII 4th Annual Remembrance Play Readings to include International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Saturday January 27, 2018 and week of Yom Ha Shoah April 8-12, 2018.
Beginning 2018 Remembrance Readings of National Jewish Theater Foundation (NJTF) – Holocaust Theater International Initiative (HTII) at University of Miami Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies will expand to include International Holocaust Remembrance Day held annually on January 27th . This date was chosen by the United Nations in 2005. The day honors victims and survivors and date coincides with the liberation of Auschwitz –Birkenau on January 27th, 1945. If Saturday January 27 tth programmed or observed Remembrance Play Readings can occur on Sunday January 28, 2018.
NJTF HTII will also continue commemorating the victims and survivors of the Holocaust during week of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) designated by the state of Israel. Yom HaShoah is set by Hebrew calendar and changes annually. The 2018 reading dates begin with the Sunday April 8 and Monday April 9 just before actual Yom HaShoah dates of April 11/12 to avoid program conflicts by using dates when theaters are often dark. Participants are also welcome to have their Remembrance Play Readings on April 11/12.
History and Overview
Beginning April 13, 2015 arts, educational and memorial organizations across the country united by participating in the first ever Remembrance Readings for Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah). This event was conceived and launched by the National Jewish Theater Foundation (NJTF) Holocaust Theater International Initiative (HTII) as a way of harnessing the unique power of theater to remember the Holocaust, honor its victims, and foster subsequent conversations about lessons learned for future generations. It draws upon material from over 750 plays made accessible in our newly created Holocaust Theater Catalog (HTC).
In 2017, our third year, participation increased by 50% to include theaters, memorial museums /organizations, libraries, consulates, colleges and universities, secondary schools and JCCs from 11 states including the celebrity involvement of actress Tovah Feldshuh appearing at The Old Globe in San Diego, and Broadway lyricist Sheldon Harnick and composer Charles Strouse at Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. Participants of all age levels and backgrounds chose their own play or musical and most combined their presentation with a follow up panel. Remembrance Readings recognizes Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) by using theater as a means to honor the victims of the Holocaust, their memories and stories and its must never to be forgotten lessons.
All 2017 events were held in honor of the contribution to theater made by Elie and Marion Wiesel, who were recipients of the NJTF HTII 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Arnold Mittelman, NJTF President and Founding Project Director of its Holocaust Theater International Initiative at University of Miami Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies stated, “Over the past 3 years our participants and audiences across America have recognized that Remembrance Readings with plays selected from the NJTF HTII Holocaust Theater Catalog engenders participation, education, identification and empathy that only live theater exemplifies and delivers in such a profound way. All have experienced first hand how the use of theater in this manner and in education provides an artistic moral compass for future generations."