Lift Her Voice from the Darkness - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Lift Her Voice from the Darkness

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Tuesday, April 1, 2003

The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education presents Lift Her Voice from the Darkness

The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education of Hebrew Union College and the Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati are proud to present the original production,Lift Her Voice From the Darkness as part of Holocaust Awareness Weeks 2003: Women and the Holocaust. Throughout the weeks of April 27- May 11, the Cincinnati community will discover the fascinating, poignant stories of women during the Holocaust through art, music, lecture, film, and theater.

Lift Her Voice From the Darkness is a dramatic production portraying the stories of women of the Holocaust through dramatic readings of personal testimonies brought to life on stage. This series of performances, co-sponsored by the Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati, are open to school and general audiences. There are matinee performances on Wednesday, April 30 and Thursday, May 1 at 2 p.m. and evening performances on Monday, May 5 and Tuesday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati, 1127 Vine Street Downtown.
Dr. Anna Ornstein, Holocaust survivor, will be available on stage, after the performances, to interact with the actors and the audience for the matinee showings. Tickets for evening performances are $10 and tickets for matinee performances are $5. Schools can call the Ensemble Theater to bring the performance to their premises, or arrange for morning performances at the theater itself. A grant to help in transportation costs or school performances for low income areas has been provided through the generosity of Barbara Gould.

In addition, Welcoming the Sabbath Queen, a unique interfaith service led by women clergy will include selections of Lift Her Voice From the Darkness. This free special event will be held on Friday evening, May 9 at 5p.m. at the Scheuer Chapel at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, followed by a reception. Co-sponsors of this interfaith program are Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati, and the Indian Hills Episcopal-Presbyterian Church.

Women’s stories are told through first-person testimonies and diaries and their strength will be highlighted through this production. The writings used in Lift Her Voice From the Darkness have been chosen by a group of women from the Cincinnati area. Dr. Racelle Weiman, Director of The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, feels that the value of the project began months previous to finishing the production: “Fifty area women gathered to read women’s writings from the Holocaust. The process of contributing to the project gave empowerment to the voices of women of the Holocaust and the women of Cincinnati that are bringing these voices to the community’s attention.”

Lift Her Voice From the Darkness will use excerpts from the powerful writings of important authors such as Charlotte Delbo, Isabella Leitner, Ruth Elias, Olga Lengyel, and from the poetry of Nellie Sachs. This production will allow for the community to hear of these riveting stories through the talent of these women writers, whose message, many times, has been overlooked.

D. Lynn Meyers of the Ensemble Theater is adamant about the production’s message. “We will be bringing to life the words of women who, against all odds, survived and helped others to survive. This is a fine example of faith and strength defeating evil, and we are honored to be a partner in this important work,” Meyers said.

The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education is an education and community resource center located on the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. It offers workshops, professional training seminars, and graduate courses. Teaching Holocaust Studies from academic and theological perspectives, The Center promotes tolerance and social justice in a broad range of civic and cultural concerns. For more information, contact The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education by phone (513) 221-1875, ext. 355 or email or check the website at

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.