Lest We Forget
A program of Yiddish Music of the Holocaust,
the culture that it nearly destroyed,
and of hope and determination to make
the world a better place
"Play me a song in Yiddish,
So everyone can see that I'm still alive and can still sing,
Stronger and better than before."
--Yiddish song from the Holocaust
Lest We Forget is a program of Yiddish music that shows the vibrancy of the culture of the Jews
of Eastern Europe who were nearly eradicated in the Holocaust. It was developed by the Wholesale
Klezmer Band for a high school symposium on the Holocaust, racism and genocide. It includes music written
by Holocaust martyrs and survivors and post-Holocaust music written in response to genocide
and oppression. This program educates Jewish and general audiences about Jewish history, values,
and resistance to oppression.
Our music emphasizes these lessons from the Holocaust:
The Wholesale Klezmer Band works with school personnel to help develop study materials and
program notes, including lyrics to all the songs in transliteration and translation. Our program, while dealing
with tragic and horrible events, is positive in that it emphasizes anger, hope and action, rather than self-pity.
Students in our audiences have intently followed the program notes during the performance
and expressed their appreciation afterwards to band members and teachers.
- that as a people who has experienced genocide, we must do all in our power to prevent
genocide, no matter who the victims may be. The Torah commands us, "You shall not stand idly by
the blood of your neighbor." In this small world, we are all neighbors.
- the Jewish teaching from the Talmud that says, "You are not required to complete the
task, neither are you permitted to refrain from undertaking it." To make the world a better place
we must start the task ourselves without despairing that we can not accomplish it in our lifetime.
- that the messianic age of peace and justice will not come to the world through prayer alone.
According to the Jewish teaching called tikkun olom,
we are partners with God in repairing this world, and only by our participation in
tikkun olom will the messianic age ever come.
Whether you are a Jew still waiting for the Messiah to come, a Christian waiting for the second coming,
or a non-believer, the message rings true: if we want to have a world at peace, we must work
for peace ourselves.
The Wholesale Klezmer Band has been selected by the Massachusetts Cultural Council for its Event
& Residency and Touring Rosters making school and community concerts eligible for subsidies. You
can find out how to bring this and other concerts and workshops by the Wholesale Klezmer Band to
your school or organization by contacting:
The Wholesale Klezmer Band
Colrain, MA 01340
See also: School Programs
Table of contents for
Wholesale Klezmer Band
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