Busy Heddy

CHILD HOLOCAUST survivor Rena Quint, who frequently talks to visiting groups at Yad Vashem, and also hosts groups in her own home under the auspices of Shabbat of a Lifetime and other organizations.

August 8, 2019 11:23
3 minute read.
Rena Quint

Rena Quint points out bullet holes on the wall of what once was the Piotrkow Central Synagogue and now serves as a library. (. (photo credit: Courtesy)

■  IT’S A busy season for Jerusalem-based artist Heddy Abramowitz, who will be participating in different group exhibitions during the fall. The first of these, under the title of “Relative/Relations,” will be in New York at the Dr. Bernard Heller Museum of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, with the opening scheduled for Thursday, September 12. Abramowitz will not travel to the Big Apple for the occasion, but will celebrate with friends in Jerusalem. The exhibition will be on view till June 30, 2020.
Just two days later, on September 14, in New Jersey’s Center for Contemporary Art, Abramowitz will participate in another group exhibition, where she and other invited artists will be part of the Bascha Mon New Land Series, which is all about immigration to a new life. Bascha Mon invited 70 artists to create flags for the New Land.
Here again, Abramowitz will remain in her Nahlaot studio, as she prepares for the Fourth Edition of the Jerusalem Biennale for contemporary Jewish art, which will run October 10 to November 28. She will show works in the “Shalom Bayit” (Harmony in the Home) exhibit with artists from Studio of Her Own, on whose steering committee she has served since its inception. Studio of her Own is dedicated to promoting the art of religious Jewish women both in Israel and abroad.

■CHILD HOLOCAUST survivor Rena Quint, who frequently talks to visiting groups at Yad Vashem, and also hosts groups in her own home under the auspices of Shabbat of a Lifetime and other organizations, last Shabbat hosted some of the mothers of lone soldiers who were in Israel as part of the MOMentum program for mothers of lone soldiers. Some of the mothers brought along their soldier offspring.
Quint usually goes around the table asking each of her guests to say something about themselves. The mothers were tremendously proud of the soldiers, and the soldiers in turn expressed their appreciation for the fact that their parents had not stood in their way when they said they wanted to join the IDF.
As far as Quint is concerned, it was an extremely uplifting experience. Most of her many grandchildren have served in the army, so she is well acquainted with the mixed emotions encountered by parents and grandparents – pride on the one hand and concern on the other.
As a Holocaust survivor, she is naturally concerned as to how the Holocaust will be remembered once there are no more survivors to tell their stories. She has been amazed over the years to learn that many of the people in the groups that she speaks to or hosts in her home have never previously met a Holocaust survivor, and there have also been people who, before coming to Israel, had never heard of the Holocaust.

■ FOR DECADES, it was a given that lovers of klezmer music would make it their business to be in Safed in August for the annual Klezmer Festival, which in this, its 32nd consecutive year will be held from August 12 to 14 . One of the added attractions is the opportunity to participate in international master classes free of charge.
There are different musical events in all the alleyways, and there’s a Carlebach stage on the porch of the first floor of the mall, where there will be a Carlebach kumzitz under the stars.
 For those who want to take a break from the music, there’s also a hassidic story festival.
But now, Jerusalem wants to get in on the act. It’s not as if we haven’t heard klezmer in Jerusalem before. There have been klezmer concerts, and of course there’s klezmer music at every hassidic wedding. But a six-day festival just to outdo Safed is another story.
The Jerusalem International Klezmer Festival runs August 14 to 19, and in terms of venues is far less compact than Safed, where everything is within walking distance. In Jerusalem, the venues include the Har Nof Community Center, the amphitheater on the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University, the Meitarim community center, the Bible Lands Museum, the Henry Crown Auditorium at the Jerusalem Theater, the Pisgat Ze’ev Community Center, the First Station in the German Colony, the Lev Ha’ir Community Center and the Har Homa Community Center.
On the one hand, considering the problems of getting from one end of the city to the other these days, it’s good strategy to organize venues in different areas of the city. On the other, it makes life difficult for someone living in Gilo or Talpiot who wants to hear Dudu Fisher perform on Mount Scopus.
One of the best-known Jerusalem-based klezmer bands, headed by Avrum Burstein, will be playing on August 14 in Har Nof.

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