Past Events: 2003-2009

Link to Current:

Documentary DVD of Fred Reif's life, including Nazi Germany, travel on the St. Louis; as well as decision-making and anti-bullying teacher resources

Contact Deb

Past Events: 2006


Go to Current Events:

Fred Reif's documentary DVD with teacher resources is now for sale!

Contact Deb



Concert Information April 1st, 2006

Announcement and Performer Bios


April 6, 2005 Panel:

Download Word







6:00 – 8:00PM

6:00 Gathering and Refreshments

6:30 Discussion and Question/Answer Session

Panel Member, Emily Moser's Poland trip:

Discussion will be facilitated by Debbie Jacknin, 9th Grade Religious School Teacher and founder of the Holocaust Project:  Born to Remember




an interfaith community program


by Dr. Fred Reif, former Child Passenger on Ocean Liner with 900 other Jewish Refugees:

Holocaust, from Destruction to Renewal

Memorial Service & Learning Program

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4 * 7:30 pm

Temple Ohav Shalom

8400 Thompson Run Road, Allison Park
(412) 369-0900

For more information please contact Debbie Maier Jacknin at (412) 427-5500 or

Concert in '04:

We are pleased to announce the Holocaust Project: Born to Remember's second annual benefit concert:

Born to Remember
Banned, Persecuted and Exiled
A Program of Works by Composers Deemed “Degenerate” By the Third Reich
Sunday, November 7, 2004   

Music Director – Nancy Rubenstein-Messham
Performers and Participants:
Dr. Fredrick Reif
Violist Paul Silver of the Pittsburgh Symphony
Vocalists - Miss Pennsylvania 2003, Candace Otto, Christian Friends of the Holocaust Project Choir, Katherine Heron, Jacklyn Jacknin, and Dr. Albert Smith
Pianists - Nancy Rubenstein-Messham, and Jon Cannon
Clarinet – Jane (Roberts Kitson) Gimigliano
Flute – Rachel Messham
Violin - Stephanie Hack Swoveland
Dancers - Amanda Hackman, Linda Jeub, Moriah Mason, and Joao Sousa
Jazz quintet featuring, Dr. John Wilson, Eric DeFade, Max Leake, Brian Stahurski, and Thomas Wendt
Emcee - Ken L. Hirsch
Photographer - Linda Jeub
Videographers - David Ferry and Jack Mulvain

Culture and art in Germany were alive and well in 1933 with Germans enjoying the novelty of new forms of music and art. Jewish composers and musicians were among those who thrived. Then came the dark years. The impact that Nazi tyranny and suppression had on the world is immeasurable. Most people are aware of the genocide, knowing that the Third Reich strived to wipe out the Jewish people, as well as gypsies, physically and mentally handicapped, homosexuals and others. Fewer are aware of the efforts of the Nazis to control culture and to eliminate all Jewish culture or influence on culture.

In 1927 the National Socialist Society for German Culture was formed to halt the "corruption of art" and to inform people about the relationship between “race and art.” As Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933, he saw himself creating a new Germany, which included ridding Germany of “non-Aryan” influences. Two of the first victims of the Nazi regime were art and music.

The Nazis adopted the term “entartete” (degenerate) to defame different races, opposing political views, modern art, and various forms of music: jazz, spirituals, atonal, twelve-tone, ethnic, or any other “modern” forms.

The Nazis blamed almost every one of their problems on the Jews or the communists; the words "Jewish," ”degenerate," and "Bolshevik" were interchangeable.

Music written by Jews or of a Jewish theme was removed from concert halls and from the airwaves. Careers were abruptly halted, dreams were shattered, and talent was wasted. Felix Mendelssohn, a practicing Christian, had been highly regarded for years by the Germans; yet his music was banned because of his Jewish lineage.

Persecution extended beyond those who had Jewish blood in their veins. It included musicians who were simply not willing to compromise their principles or stop composing modern forms or who were affiliated professionally or personally with Jews.

Musicians deemed “degenerate” were banned and persecuted. As the Nazi years continued, many musicians and composers were killed; others fled for their lives to other parts of the world. Those who managed to escape often lived in poverty and obscurity.

In some cases, composers who emigrated were able to continue their careers, particularly those who came to the United States. The musical migration generated by the Third Reich enriched the American music scene and brought to it a new awareness and many new voices. As Walter Cook, chairman of the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University once said, “Hitler shakes the tree and I collect the apples."


Concert Photos


Concert in '03:

Silenced Voices Rekindled 
A Musical tribute to Composers Who Perished in the Holocaust

Pittsburgh Symphony members, Paul Silver, violist; Jeremy Black, Dennis O'Boyle, violinist; and Michael Lipman, cellist.
Candle Lighting: Survivor - Dr. Fred Reif & Miss Pennsylvania 2003 - Candace Otto
Emcee:  Lynn Cullen - WPTT talk show host  
Narrator: Bob Watt - WTAE channel 4 news
Vocalists: Candace Otto, Jacklyn Jacknin, Brett Laughlin, Kris Rust - Choral Director at Franklin Regional Senior High School, Liz Brahim, Donna Clark, Sue Swackhamer, and Katherine Heron    
Flutist:  Melissa Antolec                    Cellist:  Carrie Bortz
Pianist: Nancy Rubenstein-Messham    

Purchase Video/DVD:

We are also very pleased to let you know that a DVD and Video are being made from the concert.

Initially, we are offering the DVD. Please contact me at 412-427-5500 or if you would like a copy of the DVD.

Why Purchase?

The Holocaust Project:  Born to Remember is a nonprofit agency with two main goals:
     First, we must insure that the memories and lessons of those who have survived the Holocaust will be preserved.  Many of the survivors are now quite elderly.  Their stories have a truly amazing power to change the lives of people of all ages, particularly children.
     Second, we will use the power of the survivors' and rescuers' stories to teach about the Holocaust and suggest that lessons from the past can positively influence the decisions made today.

We are achieving our goals through workshops, assembly programs, and the creation of an interactive CD.

The Holocaust Project has taken its message into schools, churches and synagogues.  Responses to these programs have affirmed the importance of our message:

“I have seen a lot of programs set up to teach how to stand up to bullies, how to treat other people, and how to be anti-drug.  But I've never seen a program…that does it as effectively as this program.  It does make a change.  They are not the same students.” - George Skornickel, Teacher and Gifted Education Coordinator at Highlands Middle School

“We really appreciated that Dr. Fred Reif came in and answered our questions about the Holocaust.  It taught us that we should do the right thing even if it is hard to do.  People back then really struggled with their lives. We should appreciate everything that we have, and do, and we are not in as bad of a situation as most people are.  It really made us think about what we should do in the future to help others and not just help ourselves.  Thank you so much for coming in and really helping us understand what happened.  You made a difference in our lives.”  -- Shadyside academy student

Ads and checks, made payable to Holocaust Project, should be sent to:
Debbie Jacknin
48 Newgate Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15202

We are a nonprofit agency and donations are tax deductible.
We appreciate your help raising money for these important endeavors.

Please contact me at 412-427-5500 or if you have any questions, comments or know of a group who would benefit from our presentations.

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