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‘Reconciliation’ to be theme of annual Shoa film program
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‘Reconciliation’ to be theme of annual Shoa film program

Anne Aghion, shown during the making of her documentary My Neighbor, My Killer, will be a panelist at the March 8 Holocaust and genocide film program.
Anne Aghion, shown during the making of her documentary My Neighbor, My Killer, will be a panelist at the March 8 Holocaust and genocide film program.

The annual Holocaust and genocide film program sponsored by a consortium of Monmouth County agencies will focus on reconciliation and recovery.

The Monday, March 8, event at the Ruth Hyman JCC’s Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal will feature documentaries about the Rwandan genocide and a meeting between the children of Holocaust victims and children of perpetrators.

“This is the sixth year we are doing this, and I strongly believe that teaching about Holocaust and genocide through the visual medium of film is a powerful and creative approach to a difficult subject,” said program chair Toby Shylit Mack, chair of the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County. “Film draws you into its world and surrounds you with a multilevel experience.”

The event will also honor Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno with the Woman of Valor Award. Albert Zager, president of the Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Education Center at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, will receive the Community Service Award.

“We choose honorees we have worked with and we know have contributed to the knowledge of Holocaust and genocide awareness and education,” said Mack, herself the daughter of Holocaust survivors.

In addition to the CRC, the JCC of Greater Monmouth County, and the Brookdale center, the program is sponsored by the Monmouth University Jewish Culture Program, the NJ Commission on Holocaust Education, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Tolerance.

On the program will be My Neighbor, My Killer, an award-winning documentary on the Rwandan “gacaca law,” which brings together Tutsis and Hutus — victims and survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 genocide — in mandated tribunals designed to enable the country to “forgive and move on with the rebuilding of a nation.”

The filmmaker, Anne Aghion, who spent more than nine years documenting reconciliatory meetings between Hutus and Tutsis, will be among the panelists for a post-screening discussion. Joining her will be Jane Denny, director of education at the Brookdale center; a survivor of the Rwandan genocide; and psychiatrist Dr. Deena Harris, a daughter of Holocaust survivors.

Scenes from The Children of the Third Reich, which documents meetings of children of Holocaust survivors and children of Nazis, will also be shown.

It was during one of these meetings that Harris met Martin Bormann Jr., the son of the infamous Nazi leader, who has devoted his life to world peace initiatives and reconciliation.

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