Nov 7, 2019

18th Kristallnacht Film Forum to Commemorate, Honor Shirley & Allan Solomon and Survivors, Raise Funds for March of the Living

In commemoration of the 81st anniversary of the event considered the start of the Holocaust, the 18th Annual Kristallnacht Film Forum (KFF) will once again showcase a powerful Holocaust-related feature. Presented by the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and the March of the Living, the Forum will screen Witness Theater on Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm in Zinman Hall on the Federation campus. Following each screening, attendees will meet with local individuals who participated in the 2009 production of Witness Theater at the Federation.

Witness Theater: The Film is a documentary, in English, that follows the journeys of Holocaust survivors and high school students as they share stories of loss, struggle, and lives rebuilt, through the transformative experience and healing power of intergenerational relationships. Over the course of a school year, as the survivors entrust their life experiences to the students and the students gain sensitivity, they collaborate together in reenacting these invaluable stories by creating and presenting a powerful theatrical production for the community.

With tenderness and honesty, the film uses a mix of cinéma vérité, archival footage, interviews, animation and staged reenactments of survivor stories. Told in the present, the film imparts insights into the effect of the past on multiple generations of Jews, while also illustrating the power and importance of transmitting experience from one generation to the next, and bearing witness. 
 
“Witness Theater is a particularly apt KFF film selection, as it conveys the importance and power of bringing these generations together,” said Roneet Edrich, March of the Living Southern Region Director. “As well as an important commemoration, KFF is a vital annual effort to raise scholarship funds for local teens to participate in the life-changing March of the Living, and to enable our courageous Holocaust survivors to accompany them.” 
 
“Each year, the March of the Living, a program of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, takes high school juniors and seniors through months of preparation, capped by the largest annual gathering of Jewish teens in the world,” continued Edrich. “Our teens are accompanied by local educators, rabbis from all denominations and survivors as we travel through the camps, ghettos and communities of Poland. On Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) we march from Auschwitz to Birkenau. Then we move on to the joy of Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day) in our homeland, to celebrate the miracles of the modern state of Israel and its meaning for the continuity of the Jewish people.”
 

Starting at 3:00 pm, between the two screenings, a donor reception followed by a ceremony of remembrance and survival will pay tribute to this year’s KFF honorees, Shirley and Allan Solomon, as well as recognize many local Holocaust survivors, long term March of the Living participants and supporters. Donors of $180 or more to the KFF will be invited to this reception in the Entin Holocaust Pavilion, and will receive two tickets to the film.
 
“The benefits of the March are far-reaching. I have been extremely fortunate to participate in our community’s annual local teen as well as adult March of the Living trips,” said KFF Co-Chair Hal Klein. “Marching between the camps with 15,000 Jewish teens and adults from around the world is a deeply inspiring and emotional experience for all of us.”
 
“The March provides our youth with a profound recognition of what it means to be Jewish and a deep connection to Israel,” added KFF Co-Chair Zerlina Kaplan, who also marched with local students. “It inspires them to identify with Judaism and engage with the Jewish people. Contributing to the March supports the fight against deniers of the Holocaust and empowers our youth to defend Israel and fight antisemitism and bigotry.
 

“We are thrilled to have three-time Marchers Shirley and Allan Solomon as this year’s KFF honorees,” said Debbie Rudmann, local March of the Living Co-Chair. “Dedicated to educating our young people and to memories of those lost, among their many expansive community commitments, the Solomons have been instrumental supporters of and activists for the March of the Living since its inception. Longtime leaders in our Jewish community, they inspire us all with their dedication to the March, the Federation, the Levis JCC, B’nai Torah Congregation and more. We are deeply grateful to the Solomons and the other truly committed supporters with whom we are blessed.” 
 
“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,” added Phyllis Gutmann, local March of the Living Co-Chair. “Our KFF is a powerful vehicle to raise funds while educating the public. There is no greater gift we can provide teens than this life-changing Jewish experience, and no better investment we can make in our Jewish future.”
 
Individual film tickets are available in advance for a $10 donation and $8 with a valid student ID, or $18 at the door. 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.
 
Tickets may be purchased and donations made online at www.molsouth.org. More information is available at 561-852-3126 or KFF@bocafed.org.

The Jewish Federation campus is located at 9901 Donna Klein Boulevard, Boca Raton. A valid driver’s license is required for entry.