Missed the concert premiere on Sunday? Watch the saved video here!
FRIDAY, JUNE 12, NEW YORK, NY: This Sunday, June 14, Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, Sing for Hope, and Lang Lang International Music Foundation will come together to present “We Are Here: A Celebration of Resilience, Resistance, and Hope.” This special livestreamed concert event—which will be presented by a network of more than 125 organizations across the United States and world—commemorates the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 77th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, even as it speaks to the challenges of the current moment.
The three leading New York City-based institutions have enlisted an international network of more than 125 supporting museums and partner institutions – from 34 states and 10 foreign countries, including Australia, Belarus, Canada, France, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, and South Africa – to show the 90-minute afternoon event, which will be livestreamed and available to watch for free at www.wearehere.live.
Organizers today announced that New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo will deliver special remarks during the event.
Renowned actors, musicians, and civic leaders who will be featured in the event include: EGOT-winner Whoopi Goldberg; four-time Grammy Award and National Medal of Arts-winner, star soprano Renée Fleming; Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody; Grammy Hall of Famer and Tony-winner Billy Joel; world-renowned pianist Lang Lang; the iconic Dr. Ruth Westheimer; Emmy- and Tony-nominated actress Lauren Ambrose; multi-platinum, Tony-winning Broadway star Lea Salonga; multi-Grammy-winning opera star Joyce DiDonato; award-winning actress Mayim Bialik; acclaimed soprano and curator Julia Bullock; conductor and pianist Christian Reif; Broadway actor and Lucille Lortel-winner Steven Skybell; multi-Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard; internationally renowned baritone Lester Lynch; Broadway star Jelani Remy; award-winning comedienne Jackie Hoffman; Broadway veteran and international opera singer Elmore James; beloved klezmer singer Daniel Kahn; 2020 Grammy-winner John Brancy; pianist and NPR From The Top host Peter Dugan; Congregation Rodeph Sholom Cantor Rebecca Garfein; Yiddish singer Sasha Lurje; celebrated Yiddish theater performer Dani Marcus; Yiddish Fiddler star Rachel Zatcoff; Congregation Rodeph Sholom organist J. David Williams; New York City Opera and Yiddish theater performer Glenn Seven Allen; accordionist and composer Patrick Farrell; internationally recognized soprano Jennifer Zetlan; renowned operatic and new music interpreter Blythe Gaissert; pianist and conductor Gerald Steichen; pianist and musical director Thomas Bagwell; National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek; and acclaimed sopranos and Sing for Hope Co-Founders Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora. A special feature of the program will be the world premiere of a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Corigliano based on a text by Kitty O’Meara, to be performed bmey Ms. Fleming.
“Both the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the centuries-old pandemics of racism and antisemitism highlight the need for resistance and resilience,” said Sing for Hope Co-Founder Camille Zamora. Added Sing for Hope Co-Founder Monica Yunus, “As we seek to listen, learn from, and serve our communities in the days ahead, thoughtful organizational partnerships will be key. It is an honor to unite artists and stand together as allies with a global network that fosters resilience, resistance, and hope.
“We are all inspired by the example set in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The Partisan Song, which begins and ends this program, speaks to the fight for social justice and fundamental human rights,” said Bruce Ratner, Chairman of the Board at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
“One of the Museum’s goals is to produce high-quality programming and content with our partners on an ongoing basis around Jewish historical, cultural and educational themes, and their relevance to critical contemporary issues,” said Jack Kliger, President & CEO of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. “With this program we hope to make our contribution to the tradition of resilience, resistance, and hope.”
“In this time of rising antisemitism and global crisis, the themes of resistance, resilience, and hope are more important than ever, and the Partisan Song takes on even more resonance,” said National Yiddish Theatre Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek and Executive Director Dominick Balletta. “The song begins with the words ‘Never say this is the final road for you,’ and ends with the words ‘We Are Here.’ It is the song that binds together those who fight for justice.”
The program also will feature an interview by The Forward Editor-in-Chief Jodi Rudoren with Nancy Spielberg, Roberta Grossman, and Sam Kassow about their film Who Will Write Our History, which chronicles the story of Oneg Shabbat, the group that daringly preserved the history of the Warsaw Ghetto. The Forward is the event’s media sponsor.
The event will culminate with a montage of voices proclaiming “We are here,” including many of the actors, musicians, civic leaders, and Holocaust survivors. Also included in the montage are: Ann Axelrod; Rabbi Joseph Potasnik; Jacqueline Murekatete; Stacy Saiontz; Alyssa Greengrass Sommer; Yuh-Line Niou; Sarah Greenberg; Dganit Katz; Dani Dayan; Cyrus Yunus; members of the FDNY; Josh Mack; Mara Sonnenschein; Lisa Safier; Ronald Underberg; Arthur Spielman; Jamibeth Margolis; Paul Radensky; Sam Kassow; Motl Didner; Sabina Brukner; Hannah Borowik; Rita Lerner; Eva Haller; Vin Cenzo; Joann Fox; Rob Shuter; and, Giacinta Pace.
The organizers have enlisted more than 100 other organizations across North America and abroad to present the afternoon event. You can view the list of all participants here. Local viewing times include: 11 AM Pacific Time, 2 PM Eastern Time, 7 PM London, and 9 PM Israel.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising—in which 13,000 Jews died fighting Nazi oppression in April and May 1943—was the largest single act of resistance during the Holocaust. The Uprising was the inspiration for “Zog nit keyn mol” (Yiddish: “Never Say”), also known as the “Partisan Song,” which was written in 1943 by Hirsch Glick while he was in the Vilna Ghetto. The song, which exemplifies Jewish resistance to Nazi persecution and the triumph of humanity over hate, provided the initial inspiration for the June 14 concert event, and resonates today with themes of resistance, resilience, and hope.
About The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never forget. The Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The third largest Holocaust museum in the world and the second largest in North America, the Museum of Jewish Heritage anchors the southernmost tip of Manhattan, completing the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Museum of Jewish Heritage maintains a collection of more than 40,000 artifacts, photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies and contains classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition galleries, a resource center for educators, and a memorial art installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. The Museum is the home of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. While the Museum’s building is currently closed in accordance with COVID-19 safety measures, an array of programs and educational resources is being presented online. For more information, visit mjhnyc.org.
About the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene
Now celebrating its 105th season, Tony Award-nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) is the longest consecutively producing theatre in the U.S. and the world’s oldest continuously operating Yiddish theatre company. NYTF, which presented the award-winning Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, directed by Joel Grey, to sold out audiences before it moved to Off-Broadway uptown, is in residence at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek and Executive Director Dominick Balletta, NYTF is dedicated to creating a living legacy through the arts, connecting generations and bridging communities. NYTF aims to bring history to life by reviving and restoring lost and forgotten work, commissioning new work, and adapting pre-existing work for the 21st Century. Serving a diverse audience comprised of performing arts patrons, cultural enthusiasts, Yiddish-language aficionados, and the general public, the company presents plays, musicals, concerts, lectures, interactive educational workshops, and community-building activities in English and Yiddish, with English and Russian supertitles accompanying performances. NYTF provides access to a century-old cultural legacy and inspires the imaginations of the next generation to contribute to this valuable body of work. Learn more at www.nytf.org.
About the Lang Lang International Music Foundation
The Lang Lang International Music Foundation® believes that all children should have access to a music education, regardless of their background. LLIMF’s unique programs encourage music performance at all levels as a means of social and emotional development for today’s youth. By igniting a child’s passion for music, LLIMF helps children worldwide aim for a better future. http://langlangfoundation.org/