Message From Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman
April 28, 2017 2 Lyar 5777
This past week, Providence's Jewish community gathered to commemorate Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. The day was chosen to recognize the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in April 1943, when Jews took up arms and fought their Nazi oppressors. While the Warsaw Ghetto's resistance is seared into our memories, the Lodz ghetto - in Poland's industrial heartland - provides a different perspective; a glimpse of Polish Jewry in all of its diversity, from Orthodox families to Bundist laborers to Zionist supporters and every category in between.
The renowned photographer, Henryk Ross, was among those confined to the Lodz ghetto in 1940, and was put to work by the Nazi regime as a bureaucratic photographer for the Jewish Administration's Statistics department. Ross took official photographs for Jewish identification cards, as well as images used as propaganda that promoted the ghetto's efficiency. Unofficially - and at great risk - Ross documented the brutal realities of life under Nazi rule, culminating in the deportation of thousands to death camps at Chelmno and Auschwitz. Hoping to preserve a historical record, Ross buried his negatives in 1944 and then returned for them after Lodz's liberation. He discovered that more than half of the original 6,000 survived.
Boston's Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) has mounted an ambitious exhibition of more than 200 of Ross's powerful photographs, comprising a moving, intimate visual record of the Lodz ghetto and the Holocaust. The images are accompanied by artifacts, including Ross's own identity card, and ghetto notices. Please join us for a day trip to Boston's MFA on Thursday, June 8th, so that we can experience the exhibit as a community. The bus will leave from Temple Beth-El at 8:30 a.m. and return by approximately 3:30 p.m. The ticket price of $28 includes transportation and the museum entrance fee.
Please RSVP to the Temple office as space is limited.
We look forward to sharing and discussing this powerful exhibit together.