The April 18 concert was a wonderful experience -- see the review at winnipegjewishreview.com and on this site.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2015
Tales of the Holocaust Memorial Concert
Jane Enkin: songs Rabbi Karen Soria: readings Janet Pelletier-Goetze: piano
Saturday April 18 2015 7:30 pm Free admission
Temple Shalom 1077 Grant Street Winnipeg, MB
Songs of hope, songs of love, songs of defiance. Stories of courage, stories of strength, stories of survival. On Saturday, April 18, come to honour and remember through these hauntingly beautiful creative works.
Tales of the Holocaust is a concert of songs and readings in honour of survivors and in memory of those who perished -- in the ghettos, in the concentration camps, in hiding, in the forests as partisan fighters. The songs and stories are reflections of an inspiring resilience in the face of oppression and war.
Jane Enkin's rich and melodic voice and expressive singing lift old songs from dusty archives and breathe new life into forgotten musical treasures, including tangos, folk songs, lullabies and cabaret theatre songs.
“She was emotionally involved in every song she sang.”
“Enkin's versatility, both as a vocalist and an actress was evident throughout the concert.”
“The passion and emotion in which you sang were a universal language. You sang not just about your history but the history of humanity.”
“The incredible beauty of the melodies makes these heart-breaking songs accessible to everyone,” says singer Jane Enkin.
“Most of the songs will be in the original Yiddish,” she says. “I'll give brief introductions to explain the poetry, the history and the ideas of the songs, but hearing them in the original language is so powerful – the sounds are evocative, the poetry of the writing is rich, and there are potent layers of meaning in the words, especially the words and phrases derived from Hebrew scripture and liturgy.”
Many of the songs were written during the Holocaust – some by poets and composers living restricted lives in the ghetto; some, astonishingly, by people who found the strength to create within the camps.
“It seems unnatural when in a moment of high tragedy an actor on stage suddenly breaks into song. You would think: this does not happen in real life. But ‘real life’ has shown us otherwise,” wrote poet and partisan Shmerke Kaczerginski, who collected songs in displaced persons camps after the war. He and other writers and musicians created throughout the war.
“I sing in memory of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust, but also to find empathy and connection with artists in our own time in situations of war, displacement and oppression.,” says Enkin. “We need a reminder of the complexity of individual experience during war. Some of these songs are laments, some are cries of defiance – I find all of them inspiring.”
Rabbi Karen Soria performs reader's theatre with intensity and grace. She will present excerpts of From Darkness to Light – Surviving the Holocaust, by Naomi Rosh White. Called by a reviewer “the best kind of oral history,” the book features the stories of survivors from Poland.
“These are haunting stories,” says Rabbi Soria. “When we think of survivors, we think of the concentration camps, but the voices in this book remind us of all the incredible ways that Jews survived. We learn about Jews from many backgrounds – rich and poor, religious and secular, close or distant from their families. The details they tell make us understand again, or maybe for the first time, the impact of the Holocaust. Within these stories, we can feel the incredibly indomitable human spirit.”
As the author says in her introduction, “The book presents the images these eleven survivors have of themselves. It shows how ordinary people describe their extraordinary lives.”
Tales of the Holocaust is the closing event of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg's Holocaust Awareness Week, April 12 – 18, 2015. Services and memorial events will be held through the week.
Jane Enkin has contributed her moving repertoire of Holocaust songs to annual observances at the Manitoba Legislature, the UJPO/Sholem Aleichem Community Program, the Survivor's Group at the Gwen Secter Centre, and the book launch of Voices of Winnipeg Holocaust Survivors. She performed in the Mameloshen Festival and the Music 'N' Mavens Series. Her 2014 CD, Lider Fun Amol – Yiddish Songs We Love to Sing, is a lively collection of folk, theatre, jazz and klezmer favourites.
Rabbi Karen Soria has been the spiritual leader of Temple Shalom for 8 years. She served as chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces. She has a background in theatre, with a BA in Oral Interpretation, "the art of communicating to an audience a work of literary art in its intellectual, emotional, and aesthetic entirety."
Janet Pelletier-Goetze is a composer, arranger, singer, musician and teacher. She leads services at Temple Shalom and is a member of the synagogue's Friday Night Live band. She has a background in musical theatre.
Contact Jane Enkin: email@example.com (204) 772-5518
For more information about Jane Enkin, visit Jane Enkin Music and Story at janeenkinmusic.com and
Contact Temple Shalom: (204) 470-0846/(204) 470-1435 fax (204) 452-0997
Contact Jewish Federation of Winnipeg:
Rhonda Prepes Community Relations Assistant Jewish (204) 477-7424 firstname.lastname@example.org