An Israeli play explaining the Holocaust through the eyes of a dog born in a Jewish family in 1933 Berlin has become a tool to raise awareness about what happened in those tragic years. The play has been staged in several locations across the world, with the support of local Israeli embassies and consulates.
In January, the play was included in the event honoring International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Houston organized by the Consulate General of Israel to the Southwest, the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and the ADL Southwest.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is observed on January 27, the date on which the Auschwitz extermination camp was liberated from the Nazis in 1945. International Holocaust Remembrance Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 2005. The decision was initiated by the Director of the UN Department at the Israeli Foreign Ministry at the time. Dr. Ron Adam. Israel's embassies around the world together with local partners mark this day with a series of events including cultural activities.
In Houston, the ceremony opened with remarks by the Holocaust Museum of Houston Board Chair Barbara J. Herz, Israel’s Consul General Livia Link Raviv, and Renee Wizig- Barrios, the president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. The program also included remarks from Mark Toubin, the ADL Southwest Regional Director.
The performance of "The Jewish Dog" was followed by a speech from the Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner, who shared the importance of remembering the tragedy of the Holocaust and how if the lessons aren't shared with the next generation we are bound to experience hatred and bigotry against the Jewish community again. He highlighted that hatred is like wind, it is constantly blowing and it touches everything in its path.
“What may begin as a violence against one group will eventually touch us all,” he said.
“The Jewish Dog", which is directed by the Israeli award winning director, Yonatan Esterkin, is based on the Israeli book by Asher Kravitz. It is a one man show starred by Roy Abramsohn, which tells the story of ‘Cyrus’, a dog born into a Jewish Family in Berlin in 1933. It depicts the story of those hard years – the Nazi ascendency, the anti-Jewish laws, the deportations, the war, the concentration camps, the Jewish rebellion and the ‘illegal Aliyah’ to Israel; all through the eyes of the family dog. The story is at times moving, but also funny. It is presented from a unique and fresh point of view, which allows a new perspective on this important subject. After the performance, the event included a Q & A discussion with the director.
This event was attended by elected officials, leaders and members of the Jewish and Israeli communities in Houston and many other guests.
In February, “The Jewish Dog” also premiered at The Skirball Center in Los Angeles, supported by the Consulate General of Israel in the city.
In 2021, the play had been also staged to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Slovenia. The event was held at the Jewish Cultural Center of the country.