Oct 20, 2014

13th Annual Kristallnacht Film Forum to Support March of the Living and Honor Ruth Taubman

Commemorating the 76th anniversary of what is considered the beginning of the Holocaust, on November 9th, the thirteenth annual Kristallnacht Film Forum will once again showcase an innovative and compelling Holocaust-related feature. Presented by the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and the March of the Living, “Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story,” will be screened at 3:00 and 7:30 p.m. in Zinman Hall on the Federation campus at 9901 Donna Klein Blvd., Boca Raton. Michael Spett, who survived the Holocaust as a child through Sousa Mendes’ heroism and remembers him, will speak after each showing.

The film reveals what historians describe as “the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust.” Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux, independently defied the direct orders of his government and granted visas out of Occupied France to an estimated 30,000 refugees including approximately 10,000 Jews. (see additional information below)

“This film is an extraordinary testament to what one man’s courage could accomplish by standing up to genocide on his own,” said Lori Fineman, Film Forum Chair. “By keeping this story alive for future generations, we hope to memorialize and educate, toward preventing such genocides as the Holocaust from ever happening again.”

A Patrons Reception for donors of $180 or more to the March of the Living Fund will be held between screenings at 4:45 pm in the Entin Holocaust Pavilion. The reception will honor Ruth Taubman of Boca Raton (see bio below), a founding Platinum Benefactor of the Film Forum. Rabbi David Steinhardt, Honorary Chair of the Film Forum, will present the award.

Deborah Rudmann, local March of the Living Co-chair, said, “Ruth Taubman’s philanthropy spans an array of Jewish organizations that positively impact many lives locally, nationally and internationally, and we are honored to have her as our honoree. Her continuing generosity has helped ensure that no student will ever be denied the opportunity to participate in the March of the Living because of economic disadvantage.”

“The March takes today’s Jewish youth and thousands of their peers from around the globe from the concentration camps in Poland where our ancestors were sent to die, through the March from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, to the joys of Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day, in the homeland of our people,” said Phyllis Gutmann, local March of the Living Co-chair. “Lifelong Jewish identity is forged into the souls of participants of the March of the Living, and it is our responsibility to see that our local Marchers are not limited only to those who can afford it outright. By featuring quality Holocaust films and commemorating Kristallnacht, our Film Forum is a powerful vehicle to raise funds while educating the public.”

Individual film tickets are available in advance for a $10 donation or $8 with a valid student ID, or $18 at the door. Patrons will receive two film tickets with a $180 or higher donation. All proceeds support the March of the Living Fund, which enables local high school students to participate in this unique Holocaust education experience capped by travel to Poland and Israel.

The Program Book is closed due to printing obligations.

Online ticket purchasing is now CLOSED.
Tickets will only be available for purchase at the box office AFTER 2:00 PM for the 7:30 film screening.
The 3:00 film screening is SOLD OUT.

Donations made at jewishboca.org/kfftickets, 561.852.3126 or kff@bocafed.org.

DISOBEDIENCE: The Sousa Mendes Story

June 1940 - Paris is occupied. Millions of refugees fleeing the advancing Nazi troops rush to Bordeaux, France. A veritable sea of humanity comes seeking passage to England, Spain, Portugal, and, by these routes, to America.

An anxious crowd surrounds the Consulate of Portugal, an officially ‘neutral’ nation. The Portuguese Consul is a man named Aristides de Sousa Mendes. But Portugal’s Prime Minister Salazar has forbidden its diplomats to open Portugal’s borders to ‘undesirables’ --specifically Jews, refugees from occupied countries, and ‘stateless’ persons.

The Consul, plunged into a moral crisis, takes to his bed for three days. Should he disobey, and thus jeopardize his career and the safety of his family? When he emerges from his room his hair has turned white. But his face is calm as he announces his decision: he will issue visas to anyone who asks! His staff at the consulate prepares visas night and day, signing thousands of passports. Pursued by the secret police, he continues to aid refugees at the Spanish border. Estimates are that he granted visas to as many as 30,000 people - 10,000 of them Jews.

He is recalled to Lisbon, and punished for his disobedience. After the war, he dies in poverty and disgrace. This remarkable true story has been described by historians as “the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust.” As the film “DISOBEDIENCE: The Sousa Mendes Story” reveals, Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Consul of Bordeaux is indeed a true hero and humanitarian. For additional information, visit sousamendesfoundation.org.

Ruth Taubman, 2014 Kristallnacht Film Forum Honoree

A model of leadership and generosity in our community, Ruth Taubman moved here from Brooklyn with her husband Ed about 25 years ago. The couple immediately began supporting an array of causes through their involvement with the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. Among the beneficiaries of their generosity have been Donna Klein Jewish Academy, B’nai Torah Congregation, Israel Bonds, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the ADL, AIPAC and, of course, the March of the Living. After Ed’s passing, Ruth continued their good works.

Almost twenty years ago the Taubmans became the primary benefactors of what is now "The Ruth and Edward Taubman Early Childhood Center of B’nai Torah Congregation.

The March of the Living is among Ruth’s educational commitments. Ruth understands the profound impact of this experience on every student who studies and travels with this program, and her continuing generosity helps ensure that no student will ever be refused participating on the March because of economic disadvantage.

Ruth has two devoted adult children and three grandchildren, Eli, Gabe and Zoe who bring her great happiness.