Above: KleinLife participants joined together for the virtual screening of Witness Theater: The Film.
“How did you survive?”
In commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day, KleinLife through collaboration with Menemsha Films held a special virtual showing of the award-winning Witness Theater: The Film. The compelling documentary follows students from the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School who interviewed 8 Holocaust Survivors and then brought their stories to life through a stage play. Each story uncovered the horror to live as Jews in Europe before and during World War II, but they were extremely important to hear. At the conclusion of the play, one student spoke, “We are their storytellers and it isn’t a job to take lightly. They are the heroes, the truth sayers, and the real storytellers. And I thank them for sharing.”
Over 40 seniors participated in the film’s viewing including members of Revive, the wellness program for Holocaust Survivors at KleinLife. After viewing the film, there was a short discussion afterward to reflect on the program.
“The film was very impactful,” said Vladimir, a Revive participant. “I’m glad that films like this exist especially as an educational opportunity for people who are not familiar with the Holocaust.”
Hana, another Revive participant, also expressed the importance of the film. “I was 9 years old and remember everything. It is very close to my heart because of my experience. It’s good that films like these exist so history doesn’t repeat itself.”
Mariya Keselman-Mekler, KleinLife’s director of Revive and creative art therapist, wanted to do something special for Holocaust Remembrance Day and organized the viewing. “The day is very important to our Holocaust Survivors,” said Keselman-Mekler. “We invited not only the Revive program participants, but also our KleinLife community to remember history together, ensure it is not repeated, and that the stories of our participants are heard, honored, and supported.”
Since 2018, there have been over 200 Holocaust Survivors participating in the Revive program, which gives them holistic tools to overcome their trauma. To learn more about Revive, visit kleinlife.org.