Composer of 'Iron and Coal,' to premiere at Strathmore

Jeremy Schonfeld, lyricist/composer of 'Iron and Coal,' to premiere at Strathmore Jeremy Schonfeld, lyricist/composer of 'Iron and Coal,' to premiere at Strathmore. COURTESY PHOTO  Even those individuals who were alive after the Holocaust had to come to terms with the loss of loved ones and community, lingering feelings of depression and anxiety, and survivors' guilt.

Gustav Schonfeld was one of those individuals. Later a physician and professor in the United States, he was only 10 when imprisoned at Auschwitz, the most-notorious Nazi concentration camp. He spent a year there before liberation, but by then had also survived another camp and the Warsaw Ghetto.


G’burg council member asks for briefing on MCPS’ Holocaust curriculum

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Ryan Spiegel, Gaithersburg City Council member and president of the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League, has requested “a detailed briefing” of the Montgomery County Public Schools’ Holocaust curriculum from school officials.

In light of recent anti-Semitic vandalism and other incidents at County schools and synagogues, Spiegel said he wants to review the curriculum to make sure all students understand what can happen when hate takes over.

“The real straw that broke the camel’s back was Sean Spicer’s comments,” Spiegel said, referring to the White House press secretary who recently incorrectly stated that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons” and gas his own people.


Hundreds show up for Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Refugees from Liberia and the Holocaust urged those gathered at Sunday’s Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration to listen and learn from their stories and to always remember.

“I am sure in a few years, there will be a Syrian child telling the same story as ours. We haven’t learned,” said Crannough Jones, whose family fled the brutal warlord Charles Taylor in 1989.

Two survivors of the Holocaust joined Jones at Washington Hebrew Congregation in Potomac in an afternoon of remembrance that included young people meeting with Holocaust survivors and a reading of the names of some of the those murdered by their surviving relatives.

“Displaced Persons: Struggles to Find a Home” was the theme of the commemoration, which was presented by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.


Religious leaders preview landmark "Denial"

Denial 2016 filmTimothy Spall, Rachel Weisz and Tom Wilkinson star in the movie "Denial."  COURTESY PHOTO  

BETHESDA – Local religious, government and community leaders sponsored a private screening of the film, “Denial,” Oct. 6 at the Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema movie theater to highlight increased anti-Jewish and anti-Israel incidents on college campuses.

The film is based on Emory University Professor Deborah Lipstadt’s book, “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier.”

It details events after she was sued for libel for calling British author and historian David Irving a denier for his speeches and writings claiming that the Holocaust never happened and there were no gas chambers at the Auschwitz concentration camp.


90-year-old lives history and teaches students

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Florence Binstock 1Florence Binstock greets her two daughters at the Springbrook High School luncheon honoring Binstock's many years of service.   PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH 

SILVER SPRING – For one local substitute teacher teaching history may just involve remembering significant events from her own life.

Florence Binstock Avigan, a 90-year-old school teacher, has several stories to tell about growing up during the Great Depression and her formative teenage years during World War II – not to mention her 49 years of substitute teaching for Montgomery County Public Schools.


Congregation celebrates Holocaust survivors

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ROCKVILLE – Seventy years after the first guilty verdicts were handed down at the Nuremberg trials, some 500 people gathered at B'Nai Israel Congregation in Rockville on Sunday to remember those murdered during the Holocaust.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington commemorated this year's Holocaust Remembrance Day, which began at sunset May 5th, by reviewing the legacy of the Nuremberg Trials.


Shaare Torah shows Holocaust documentary

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shaare torahGAITHERSBURG – More than 300 people gathered at Shaare Torah Congregation last Wednesday for a screening of “Blue Tattoo,” a documentary film chronicling the experiences of Dina Jacobson – mother of Connie Liss, the congregation’s executive board president – during and after the Holocaust. The title of the film is taken from a song by Ithaca, N.Y. folksinger Joe Crookston. After meeting Jacobson Crookston composed the song, which is written from Jacobson’s perspective as she explains the blue inmate number tattooed on her arm to her young daughter. The song plays throughout the documentary, which recounts Jacobson’s experiences at the Auschwitz concentration camp. The documentary also tells the story of Jacobson meeting her husband, a survivor of a different camp, after the war and their eventual settling in Elmira, N.Y., where Jacobson frequently spoke about her experiences. The screening marked Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Following the screening, congregation members had a Q-and-A session and prayers in memory of all of the victims of the Holocaust.

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