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PRESS RELEASE: Holocaust Education Week Spotlights Jews of Shanghai and Refugees from Nazi Persecution

A unique exhibit from Shanghai is one of the highlights of this year’s Holocaust Education Week program, presented by the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, a Committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. Taking place January 6-10, 2014, the series features a variety of perspectives on the Holocaust through eyewitness accounts, scholarly research and cultural productions, with events held at venues across Miami-Dade County.

Holocaust Education Week is sponsored by Naomi Wilzig in memory of Siggi B. Wilzig. All programs are free of charge, but advance reservations are required due to limited seating.

“Sanctuary in Shanghai: Rescue During the Holocaust”
From 1933 to 1941, Shanghai became a modern-day Noah’s Ark, accepting more than 18,000 Jews fleeing the Holocaust in Europe. Jewish refugees lived harmoniously with local citizens, and by the end of World War II, most of the Jews living in Shanghai had survived. This lesser-known part of Holocaust history will be told through “Sanctuary in Shanghai: Rescue During the Holocaust,” on display January 6-15 at FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios, 420 Lincoln Road, Third Floor, Miami Beach. On loan from the Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum, the exhibit includes the history of the rescued Jews of the Shanghai community, Jewish cultural life, video and eyewitness testimony, and artifacts. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The exhibition will debut with Opening Night on Monday, January 6, beginning at 7 p.m. and featuring a performance of classical Jewish music by the Amernet Quartet. 

In conjunction with the exhibition, two evening lectures about the Shanghai Jewish community and the Holocaust will be presented at FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios: 

  • The Jews of Shanghai: 1890-1945” – On Tuesday, January 7, beginning at 7 p.m., Fred Ezekiel of Miami will discuss his childhood as a Jew in Shanghai and the community’s efforts to assist Jews fleeing Nazi Europe. 
  • Shelter Found in Shanghai” – On Wednesday, January 8, beginning at 7 p.m., Evelyn Pike Rubin will discuss the story of survival of more than 18,000 refugees escaping Nazi terror in Japanese-occupied Shanghai during World War II.

Other Presentations
Additional Holocaust Education Week programs will be presented throughout Miami-Dade County, including:

  • Running from the Nazis: Escape from the Holocaust” – On Tuesday, January 7, Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff will share her personal story of escape from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in a lecture beginning at 7 p.m., at Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, 20400 Northeast 30th Avenue, Aventura.
  • A screening of The Last Korczak Boy – On Wednesday, January 8, beginning at 7 p.m. – Presented in Spanish with English subtitles, the film tells the compelling story of Itzchak Belfer, one of the children who resided at the Korczak Orphanage in Warsaw during the Holocaust. Now 90 years old, Belfer also shares his memories of the orphanage and Dr. Janusz Korczak at Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus, 20350 Northeast 26th Avenue, North Miami Beach. 
  • Poland in the Shadow of Auschwitz” – On Thursday, January 9, Katarzyna Suszkiewicz will explore the roots of Jewish life in Poland and the Holocaust. The program begins at 9:50 a.m. at the Miami-Dade College Homestead Campus, 500 College Terrace, Building F Room 222, Homestead.
  • “The Museum of History of Polish Jews, Warsaw” – Dr. Leon Weissberg discusses this new museum, opening in 2014 with an impressive display of 800 years of Jewish life in Poland.  This presentation will take place on Thursday, January 9, beginning at 2 p.m., at the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, 1933-45 Meridian Avenue, Miami Beach.
  • “First Person: Conversations with Holocaust Survivors Alex Gross and Alan Hall” – Concluding Holocaust Education Week, two eyewitnesses to the Holocaust will discuss their harrowing experiences under the Nazis in a presentation for ninth- and 10th-grade students at Miami Beach Senior High School.

For more information and reservations, contact the Holocaust Memorial at info@holocaustmmb.org or call 305.538.1663.

Holocaust Education Week is a community-wide program of the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach in cooperation with Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus, City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council, Jewish Community Relations Council of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Miami Jewish Film Festival/Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education, Florida International University, Urban Space Museum Miami Beach, Miami-Dade College, Miami-Dade Public Schools Department of Social Science, Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum, The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Jewish Studies, University of Miami and Pansino Group.