What began with local Holocaust survivor Henry Blumenstein sharing his story with local students has resulted in an Emmy nomination. The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati was notified last week that its film, Finding Family, produced in partnership with WKRC-TV is a finalist for a 2003-2004 Emmy Award for Community Service. This Emmy honors programming that advances the common good and provides an example of outstanding service to its community. The Award will be presented Thursday, October 21, at the Rainbow Room in New York City.
Finding Family is an original documentary based on the reunion of a local Holocaust survivor, Henry Blumenstein, and the descendants of the Dutch-Catholic family who saved his life during the Holocaust. The film follows Henry back to the Netherlands where the Dijkstra family hid him for more than three years as a child. In the schoolhouse that he could not attend as a child for fear of being discovered, Henry tells his personal story, which has become a collective legacy of both Henry and the Dijkstra family. The film also tracks Henry's emotional visit to the Auschwitz Death Camp in Poland with the granddaughter of the Dijkstra couple. Together they remember the fate of Henry's mother and grandmother, and what would have most certainly been his fate - if not for the Dijkstras.
News of the Emmy nomination was received with great enthusiasm and excitement at the Center. Dr. Racelle Weiman, Director of the Center, commented, "This brings honor to all of us involved with the film and our partners, but first and foremost to the righteous Gentiles who unselfishly risked their lives during the Holocaust and who, fifty years later, we still recognize as role models."
National Television Academy President Peter Price says that this year's nominees, including Finding Family, are "extremely impressive and reflect the dedication and continued concern that organizations have for bettering the communities they serve."
The on-site filming in Holland and Poland was made possible in part by the generosity of Xavier University President, Michael Graham, S.J.
The DVD of Finding Family, accompanied by the companion guide and exclusive interviews with the creators and behind-the-scenes footage, is available to schools and other non-profits for $6.00 plus $4.00 shipping and handling. All other individual sales are $12.00 plus $4.00 shipping and handling per DVD. Finding Family was released on DVD through contributions to a fund established at The Center in memory of Else Blumenstein.
The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is an educational and community resource center located on the Cincinnati campus, 3101 Clifton Avenue. It offers workshops, professional training seminars, graduate courses, and development of original curriculum. Teaching Holocaust Studies from academic and theological perspectives, The Center promotes tolerance and social justice in a broad range of civic and cultural concerns.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation's oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual and professional development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal service professionals, and offers graduate and post-graduate degree programs for scholars of all faiths. With campuses in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, New York and Jerusalem, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise renowned library, archive, and museum collections, biblical archaeology excavations, and academic publications.
For more information contact:
(513) 221-1875 ext. 355