The Dachau Album: An Interfaith Holocaust Project
Sunday, April 23, 2017
A true ‘ARTifact’ will be presented in New York City for the first time by the Arnold Unger Foundation for Remembrance, Inc. in association with the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture and Jewish Broadcasting Service (JBS). Together they will be hosting a presentation of The Dachau Album: An Interfaith Holocaust Project. This artifact, hidden for 70 years, acts as a Holocaust time capsule, intertwining the lives of two concentration camp survivors: Arnold Unger, a 15-year-old Jewish prisoner and Roman Catholic prisoner and master artist, Michal Porulski, whose 30-original hand drawn illustrations make this artifact an important legacy for today.
Avi Hoffman, renowned actor, Jewish culture activist, founder of the Yiddishkayt Initiative and President & Executive Director of the Arnold Unger Foundation for Remembrance, Inc., is the individual responsible for bringing this special project to New York City. Hoffman will be joined by Shari Unger, daughter of Arnold Unger and the Foundation’s CEO.
“The date of this special experience makes this important project even more significant,” said Hoffman. “We are hosting this event on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising and Divine Mercy Sunday – we are truly interconnecting the worlds of religion, art and reality, life and death, love, desperation, and the ultimate triumph of hope and the human spirit inherent in the Dachau Album.”
This special evening will consist of a private VIP reception for those who want to experience the original Album and supplemental artifacts in person. The VIP reception will be followed by a multi-media presentation and panel discussion, sponsored by the University of Miami’s Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies and The Manhattan Jewish Historical Initiative, on the subject #NeverAgainIsNow.
The panel, moderated by media entrepreneur, TV personality and educator Rabbi Mark Golub, will feature the following distinguished group of experts:
Moderator: Rabbi Mark S. Golub is an American rabbi, media entrepreneur, personality and educator. He created the first Russian language television channel produced in America, RTN (The Russian Television Network of America) and the first "PBS-Style" Jewish Broadcast Service. Golub is the rabbi of two small congregations in Connecticut, Chavurah Aytz Chayim (Stamford, CT) and Chavurah Deevray Torah (Greenwich, CT), but is most well known as the host of L'Chayim, an interview talk show he created in 1979 in which he discusses "issues of importance to the community" with prominent Jewish figures.
Rev. Brian E. McWeeney is the Director of the Offices of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Ecclesial Movements and Ministries, and Community Outreach for the Archdiocese of New York. In this role, Fr. McWeeney interacts and conducts dialogues with leaders of all faiths in New York City, as well as organizations dedicated to the work of the Catholic Church. Prior to this assignment, Father McWeeney was the pastor of four churches in the Archdiocese of New York. He began his studies at Cathedral Preparatory High School, received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, and was ordained to the priesthood in May of 1973. He also holds a Master’s degree in Education and Pastoral Counseling from Iona College and a Doctorate in Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Steven A. Ludsin served as a charter member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, a presidential appointment, and was a member of the original President's Commission on the Holocaust during the Carter Administration. He was the only child of a survivor on both original panels. He also served as a member of the New York Holocaust Memorial Commission, which created the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. He is founder of the Remembrance of the Holocaust Foundation. He is an adjunct instructor at the George H. Heyman, Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising, at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies of New York University. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the Fordham University School of Law.
Dr. Yael Danieli is a clinical psychologist in private practice, a victimologist, traumatologist, and the Director of the Group Project for Holocaust Survivors and their Children, which she co-founded in 1975 in the New York City area. She has lectured and published worldwide in numerous books and journals, translated into at least 17 languages on optimal care and training for this and other victim/survivor populations, and received several awards for her work, the most recent of which is the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). In 2008 she was appointed Advisor on Victims of Terrorism for the office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and helped organize the first Symposium on Supporting Victims of Terrorism at the UN.
Dr. Debbie Almontaser is the founder and CEO of Bridging Cultures Group Inc. She is also founding and former principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy. A 25-year veteran of the New York City Public School System, she has taught, trained teachers, and served as a multicultural specialist and diversity adviser. Dr. Almontaser is also the Board President of the Muslim Community Network. She frequently lectures on Arab culture, Islam, cultural diversity, interfaith coalition building and youth leadership. Debbie sits on the Public Advocate Tish James’ Jewish, Muslim and Sikh Task Force to Combat Hate. Dr. Almontaser has been profiled in the New York Times, TIME Magazine, Newsweek, NY 1 and the Daily News. Recently, Dr. Almontaser was a featured speaker at the 2016 National Democratic Convention.
About Arnold Unger Foundation for Remembrance
Arnold Unger Foundation for Remembrance, Inc. is a not for profit organization dedicated to greater awareness and education of the interfaith and multi-cultural aspects of the Holocaust. Inspired by the Dachau Album, their mission is to enlighten the world of the destruction caused by religious, social and political intolerance. Founding sponsors: Beatrice Cummings Mayer and The Nathan Cummings Foundation. www.dachaualbum.org
About Jewish Broadcasting Service
To provide a free Jewish educational television network that fosters Jewish understanding, strengthens Jewish identity, and inspires Jewish commitment among both involved and unengaged Jews, as well as interested non-Jews.
About Shari Unger
The legacy of the Dachau Album has been bestowed upon Shari, the second of Arnold Unger’s four children, to deliver this keepsake to the world on his behalf. Since his suicide on Thanksgiving Day in 1972, Shari has assumed the responsibility too painful for her father to accept. From his early captivity in Poland to his eventual liberation from the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany, Arnold’s impressive intellect and endearing nature led him to be chosen by the American Officers governing the Dachau DP Camp as their office boy and translator, leading to the creation of the album for him personally. Upon his immigration to America, he achieved much success as an aerospace engineer and member of the design team for the Apollo Lunar Module.
About Avi Hoffman
Avi Hoffman was recently inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame, was nominated for a NY Drama Desk Award for his Yiddish language portrayal of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman and was invited to the Vatican to introduce Pope Francis to the Dachau Album: An Interfaith Holocaust Project. He is the founder of the Yiddishkayt Initiative, is the producing artistic director of the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre (www.josephpappyiddishtheatre.org) and is known for his award-winning PBS one-man shows Too Jewish, Too Jewish, Too! and Still Jewish After All These Years (Performer of the Year '95 - NY Press Magazine; L.A. OVATION award - Best Actor In a
Musical 2001; NY Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle award nominations). On TV, he was featured as Sid Raskin in the Starz TV series Magic City, as well as on Netflix’ Bloodline, A&E’s The Glades and on the NBC series Law and Order. He starred in the motion picture – The Imported Bridegroom and was seen in the PBS documentary They Came For Good: A History of the Jews in the US. Avi has performed all over the world and has numerous acting and directing credits and has received multiple awards and nominations.
About University of Miami Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies
The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami is a UM-wide Center. It provides an objective, in-depth exploration of the issues and trends which have affected the Jewish people over the last 100 years. For more information, please visit www.miami.edu/miller-center.
About the Manhattan Jewish Historical Initiative
Through the Manhattan Jewish Historical Initiative, the story of the Jewish community can be marketed to the world, serving as a means by which the life, institutions, and cultural activities of the New York Jewish community can be defined, and marketed for the purpose of giving due recognition to its great achievements, and its role in fostering the Jewish religion, Jewish cultural life and thinking, and Tikkun Olam, in its contribution to the greater multicultural community it has lived with in Manhattan, NYC, America, Israel and the world.