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81st Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

April 19, 2 pm3:15 pm.
Free
Riverside Park Memorial

Each April 19th, the Congress for Jewish Culture, along with Friends of the Bund, Jewish Labor Committee and Workers Circle, has organized a gathering of musicians, academics, and survivors and their families at Der Shteyn (the stone) in the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial Plaza. This notably significant annual event marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the single greatest instance of Jewish armed resistance to the Holocaust, with an academy remembering the victims and fighters of history’s greatest crime.

This year’s annual event will feature an impressive array of artists to remember the victims of the Nazi war on European Jewry and commemorate their resistance. 2024 marks the 81st anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, when Jewish resistance fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto—many in their teens and twenties—launched a sustained guerrilla battle in response to a planned Nazi mass deportation to the death camps. They fought without any attainable hope of victory, but with the goal that they would not die in silence. Heroically, they managed to hold off the German army from April 19th to May 16th. It was the largest single revolt by Jews during the Holocaust. 13,000 were killed (some 6,000 among them were burnt alive or died from smoke inhalation). Of the remaining 50,000 Jewish residents, almost all were captured and shipped to concentration camps or killing centers. The Uprising did succeed in delaying the Germans timeline of deportations, and it inspired other resistance movements across the German-occupied areas.

This annual gathering commemorates all who resisted, all who fought, all who died, and all who survived. It follows a tradition established in 1947 by Jewish partisans, ghetto fighters and Holocaust survivors of meeting at the site earmarked by the City of New York for a memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It has become an annual gathering of Bundists and members of the secular, progressive Yiddish cultural community, as well as children and grandchildren of the original attendees.

The upcoming program in Riverside Park, including music and readings, will feature Lili Kshensky Baxter (renowned teacher of the history & application of nonviolence; Director Emerita of the Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education), Joanne Borts (appeared in Broadway’s Tony-winning Best Musical Once as well as Fiddler on the Roof starring Topol), Sarah Gordon (lead singer for “Yiddish Princess” and daughter of Yiddish singer Adrienne Cooper), Fegele Jacobs (Yiddish singer), Marcel Kshensky (educator & son of Holocaust survivors), Shifee Losacco (Yiddish singer & fundraiser), Julia Mintz (Writer & Director of the recent acclaimed documentary Four Winters; A Story of Jewish Partisan Resistance and Bravery in WW2), Zalmen Mlotek (Artistic Director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene), Daniella Rabbani (actress; Off-Broadway: The Golden Land; film & TV: “Scenes from a Marriage,” God Friended Me,” Ocean’s Eight), and Esti Zanoni (student at the Workers Circle Shule).

This year’s event will be sponsored by the Congress for Jewish Culture and Friends of the Bund with the participation of the Jewish Labor Committee, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the Workers Circle, and YIVO. Founded in 1948, the Congress for Jewish Culture (Executive Director, Shane Baker) is a secular organization based in New York City dedicated to its longstanding commitment to enriching Yiddish culture worldwide.

The event takes place under the open skies, rain or shine, and is free and open to the public.

Location:

Riverside Park & 101st St.
Manhattan, NY United States