On Saturday, April 13th, Dr. Alan Goldspiel was honored to be the Music Director and one of the performers for the 2018 Holocaust Remembrance held at Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham. The concert and worship service was presented by the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center, Birmingham Jewish Federation, Knesseth Israel Congregation, Temple Beth-El, Temple Emanu-El, and Violins of Hope.
The Holocaust Remembrance was presented in two parts:
- Yom HaShoah Commemoration music featuring the Violins of Hope
- Survivor’s Sabbath Service featuring speaker Assi Bielski Weinstein
The Yom HaShoah Commemoration concert included traditional works and original compositions by Goldspiel, Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Montevallo, and showcased two of the instruments from the Violins of Hope
The instrumental performers included Pei-Ju Wu of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra; violinist Jeanette Hightower – executive director of the Mason Music Foundation; and Classical Guitarist, Alan Goldspiel. Together these musicians performed an arrangement of the Theme from Schindler’s List. Goldspiel performed his Yom HaShoah for solo guitar and was then joined by Ms. Wu for a movement from his work for guitar and violin, A Slippery Slope.
The vocalists for the concert commemoration included Rabbi Moshe Rube of Knesseth Israel Congregation; Sarah Metzger, music and youth director at Beth-El; and Cantor Michael Horwitz, chaplain at UAB Hospital.
During this section of the program there were also remarks by Rabbi Douglas Kohn of Temple Emanu-El and Rabbi Barry Leff of Temple Beth-El.
Below is a sample of the music that was performed at the concert:
Holocaust Remembrance – Forshpeis
The second part of the event was the Survivor’s Sabbath Service which honored those lost in the Holocaust as well as its survivors. Some of whom were in attendance. During the service survivors and their families were asked to stand so they could be honored by all in attendance. The congregation was then asked to call out the names of their loved ones that they had lost in the Holocaust and candles were lit in remembrance.
Joyce Spielberger, executive director of the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center was quoted as saying “We remember the Holocaust in memory of those who perished and in honor of those who survived. Their stories remind us to reject hate, stand firm, and speak out for human rights and social justice.”
Goldspiel reiterated that, “for me, it still feels necessary to remember and remind”.
If you would like to watch a webcast of the event it can be found by going to Temple Emanu-El’s website here and searching the archives for the April 13th Shabbat service. Unfortunately, the mics that were intended for the musicians did not work during the webcast, so a majority of the music was unheard by online viewers.
For more information regarding the Violins of Hope click here.
For more information regarding Temple Emanu-El click here.