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Night of Shattered Glass: Remembrance & Resilience, 80 Years After Kristallnacht

GREENFIELD — This November marks 80 years since Kristallnacht, the Night of Shattered Glass, when Nazi military forces and German civilians violently attacked Jewish-owned buildings throughout Nazi Germany.

On Nov. 11, from 2-8 p.m., Temple Israel will present programming to mark this anniversary and reflect upon memory, suffering, resilience, and identity. The day will be divided into three distinct programs: a premiere screening of “Who Will Write Our History,” a new documentary film, directed by Roberta Grossman, that tells the story of a group of spiritual resistors in the Warsaw Ghetto who risked their lives so that the truth would survive, even if they did not; a text study and celebration of the life of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro, led by Rabbi Andrea Cohen Kiener; and “The Jar of Tears: A Memorial for the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto” storytelling performance about Rabbi Shapiro’s time in the Ghetto by Maggid David Arfa.

The event will begin at 2 p.m. with a celebratory introduction and text study on the work of Rabbi Shapiro led by Rabbi Andrea Cohen Kiener and Maggid David Arfa. Rabbi Andrea, rabbi of Temple Israel, is a translator of Rabbi Kalonymus’ book, Bnai Machshavah Tovah, a guide for working adults who seek to practice intentionality in their daily lives.

Maggid David Arfa leads the High Ledges Shabbat services, is a professional storyteller, and is also full-time chaplain at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital. He will present “The Jar of Tears” at 3:30 p.m. The Jar of Tears is a full-length storytelling performance based on the life and words of Rabbi Shapiro, who wrote sermons while confined in the ghetto and developed a creative theology of weeping. He buried his sermons in a milk jug, and though the Rabbi did not survive the war, his sermons did.

The documentary “Who Will Write Our History” will be screened at 6 p.m. The film tells the story of historian Emanuel Ringelblum and the secret archives he collected that provide eyewitness accounts of the Warsaw Ghetto. The film mixes the writings of the Oyneg Shabes archive with new interviews, rarely seen footage and stunning dramatizations. The screening will be followed by reflections and Mourner’s Kaddish, the Jewish prayer recited in memory of the dead.

For more information, visit, contact or (413) 773-5884.


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