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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

MJH & Nat’l Yiddish Theater to Hold Public Reading of Wiesel Book on the Holocaust

On Sunday, January 29, 2017, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust joins with the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene to honor the memory of Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, who died on July 2, 2016, by presenting a community reading of his landmark memoir NIGHT, which tells of his experience in German concentration camps with his father during the Holocaust. This reading is being held to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which falls on January 27.

The reading - a first of its kind for the Museum - will take place on January 29, 2017 at the Museum, 36 Battery Place in Lower Manhattan, in Edmond J. Safra Hall, beginning at 3:00 pm and will continue through the evening until the last page is read at approximately 8:00 pm.

“This event honors the legacy of Elie Wiesel and gives us the opportunity to bring his groundbreaking and eloquent account of the Holocaust to life for one night, through the voices of New Yorkers of all backgrounds,” says Michael S. Glickman, President and CEO of the Museum. “As New York’s Holocaust Museum, it is our responsibility to amplify Wiesel’s words in whatever way we can to continue his work of teaching the world about the dangers of indifference and the importance of fighting for justice.”

This gathering will bring together a wide array of artists, actors, community leaders, government officials, students, Holocaust survivors and survivors of other genocides, each of whom will read at least a page of Wiesel’s NIGHT. Elisha Wiesel, Elie’s son, will also participate as the community gathers to hear his father’s word read aloud. The readings will be done primarily in English, with some speaking in French and Yiddish.

Elisha Wiesel said: “At a time when this country is feeling so divided, when so much negativity is circulating about those who are different from ourselves – those who have different ethnicities, religions or even different political leanings – my father’s words are an important reminder of the dangers of the ‘us versus them’ mentality. My family and I are grateful to the Museum of Jewish Heritage for hosting this community reading of ‘Night’ at this very important moment in our history.”

“Elie Wiesel’s remarkable testimony as a survivor and his grace in reassuring all of us that we can heal, find redemption and protect ourselves through the incalculable darkness has soothed and inspired so many,” said Zalmen Mlotek, artistic director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. “It is essential that we hear his message and follow his example of civility and strength.” Christopher Massimine, executive producer of NYTF added: “Artists, through their art, reflect who we are; only a few can be said to reflect the conscience of mankind. Elie Wiesel was one such artist.”

The list of participants, still in formation, includes:
Government and NGO

• Hon. Dani Dayan, Consulate General of Israel in New York

• Hon. François Delattre, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

• Carmen Fariña, NYC Education Chancellor

• Joshua Laird, Commissioner, National Parks of NY Harbor

• Senator Joseph and Hadassah Lieberman

• Eugenie Mukeshimana, founder & executive director Genocide Survivors Support Network

• Jacqueline Murekatete, Founder of the Genocide Survivors Foundation

• Yuh-Line Niou, Assembly member-elect

• Consolee Nishimwe, Rwandan genocide survivor

• Menachem Rosensaft, Founding Chairman of the International Network of Children of Jewish Survivors

• Jean-Baptiste Rudatsikira, Director at the Genocide Survivors Foundation

Ilia Salita, CEO of Genesis Philanthropy Group

• Elliot Spitzer, Former Governor of New York

• Andres Spokoiny, Jewish Funders Network

• Scott Stringer, NYC Comptroller

• Hon. Brita Wagener, Consul General, German Consulate of New York