PROGRAM ENCOURAGES DISCUSSION ON TOLERANCE, PERSEVERANCE
The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, in partnership with the Dallas ISD and Hold Onto Your Music, sponsored the first-ever City-Wide Read and Performance this fall for approximately 12,500 DISD fifth graders, as well as students from several Jewish schools.
“This story is a stunning testament to the power of music to lift the human spirit and to grant the soul endurance, patience, and peace.”
MARY PAT HIGGINS
Students read the book, “The Children of Willesden Lane,” a true story of Lisa Jura a young girl who escaped Nazi-annexed Austria on the famed Kindertransport. Grammy-nominated classical pianist Mona Golabek, daughter of Lisa Jura, co-authored the book.
Jura, was a 14-year-old Jewish musical prodigy when her family sent her from her home in Vienna to England on the Kindertransport after the Nazi annexation of Austria. While in England, separated from her family, Jura came to live as a refugee at the Willesden Lane Orphanage, where her dream to become a concert pianist was realized. She passed her love and talent of music on to her children.
“This story is a stunning testament to the power of music to lift the human spirit and to grant the soul endurance, patience, and peace,” said Dallas Holocaust Museum President and CEO Mary Pat Higgins. “It’s especially timely in Dallas now, as we want to encourage active classroom discussion on anti-discrimination and tolerance.”
The City-Wide Read and Performance for all Dallas ISD fifth graders and several Dallas Jewish school students included:
- Personal copy of “The Children of Willesden Lane” (including Spanish Readers Digest) for each student
- Attendance at a performance by Golabek at the Music Hall at Fair Park on Nov. 14, 15, or 16
- Transportation to and from the venue
- Professional development for teachers and librarians on teaching Holocaust history and “The Children of Willesden Lane”
- Bilingual teacher resources and curriculum for English language arts, reading, performing arts, social studies, library, and media studies
Golabek’s performances combined classical piano, digital displays of historical photographs, and a one-person theatrical presentation to create a dynamic presentation of Jura’s life.
The City-Wide Read and Performance is an important and monumental project for the Museum staff which raised funds, conducted teacher and librarian training, and coordinated the upcoming performances at the Music Hall at Fair Park with Golabek.
“The universality of this story reaches across all geographic, religious, and ethnic divides and powerfully speaks to students,” said Vicente R. Reyes, Dallas ISD’s assistant superintendent of teaching and learning. “Through classroom curriculum, reading the book and attending a live performance, students will experience history, music, theater, and a deeper understanding of acceptance, respect, and most importantly, the resiliency of the human spirit.”
The City-Wide Read and Performance was funded by the Dallas Holocaust Museum, Dallas ISD, an anonymous donor, the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, Schultz family, the Center for Jewish Education, Humanities Texas, Aaron family, Funk family, Hogue family, Risch family, Folsom family, the Fruhman Foundation, Goldman family, Goldberg family, Levine family, Bauer family, Brown family, Greif family, Hold Onto Your Music, MashPlant, and Nepris.
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