Hope After Hate: E-Media Professor Shares Father’s Holocaust Survival Story

Moniek’s Legacy captures the journey of a Holocaust survivor with lessons to inspire action against hatred and bigotry.

For decades Holocaust survivors have shared stories about the horrors they experienced during World War II in educational, historical and personal presentations. As the years pass, survivors rely more on their children and grandchildren to recount their narratives and ensure this history is not forgotten.

Hagit Limor and her father, Menachem “Moniek” Limor.

Hagit Limor and her father, Menachem “Moniek” Limor.

Inspired by her own father’s experience, CCM E-Media Professor Hagit Limor set out to create Moniek’s Legacy, a multimedia tool that captures the journey of a Holocaust survivor with lessons to inspire action against future acts of hatred. With support from the CCM Harmony Fund, Limor and 15 students in her fall 2019 Media Topics class will travel to Poland and Germany in October to work on the project.

“For years, I’ve watched as my father lost the words to a story that only grew in relevance,” says Limor. “Eventually he could no longer share his wisdom with students as he had for decades before. I want to create a mechanism for relating these lessons to outlive not only my father, but his daughter as well.”

WCPO-TV will air a special broadcast about the project titled “Hope After Hate” at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 17, 2019.

Moniek’s Legacy will create an immersive virtual reality experience, bringing viewers inside the survival story of Limor’s father through chapters such as Invasion, The Ghetto, Cattle Car Death Train, The Concentration Camp and Liberation. Each chapter will create a platform for civil discussion, challenging participants to consider their actions when confronted with acts of hatred and bigotry. Limor is working with UC’s Center for Simulations and Virtual Environments Research (UCSIM) to create a 360-degree virtual reality experience for Moniek’s Legacy.

Sponsored by the Cincinnati Museum’s Holocaust and Humanity Center, Moniek’s Legacy will serve as an online resource for educators to inspire engaging, civil discussions in classrooms and community groups. Cincinnati’s Jewish Innovation Fund awarded Limor a $25,000 grant to support the project in August 2017, and she has since raised more than $70,000 in additional funding.

The attic where Menachem Limor hid until he was discovered by Nazis during WWII.

The attic where Menachem Limor hid until he was discovered by Nazis during WWII.

CCM’s Harmony Fund awarded a generous grant to offset travel expenses for the 15 students who will participate in the study abroad trip for Moniek’s Legacy. They will travel from Cincinnati to Warsaw, Poland, then to Czestochowa, Poland, and to Frankfurt, Germany, to research and film the project from October 4 to 13, 2019.

The class is open to all UC students. It includes students from CCM’s Acting and E-Media programs as well as students who study history, political science, international affairs, journalism and other disciplines. Each student can teach and learn from their peers, giving them an engaging cross-collegiate experience.

In March, Limor and Jodi Elowitz, Director of Education at the Holocaust and Humanity Center, traveled to Europe on a scouting trip to plan for the study abroad class. They retraced her father’s journey of horror and survival through multiple stops in Poland and Germany. They saw where Limor’s father hid from Nazis in the attic of a Polish ghetto, the Treblinka extermination camp where her grandmother and uncle were murdered and the concentration work camp where her father was taken when he was 12 years old.

Moniek’s Legacy will be filmed on-site at various locations during the study abroad trip. After Limor and the students return to Cincinnati, they will work on editing the footage and putting in the production elements. Limor says that it will most likely take a year to complete Moniek’s Legacy. When the project is completed the Cincinnati Museum’s Holocaust and Humantiy Center will use Moniek’s Legacy in its educational outreach. In the meantime, Limor is working with CCM Acting Professor Susan Felder to write a script for an interactive play about the project.

My personal motivation for this project has to do with my students and son, and the world into which they are growing. There is so much disappointment with some of the hatred and bigotry in media, politics and the world stage right now. This project seeks to fight hatred wherever it exists. It is not political at all. It is about humans caring for other humans.

Tune In: Watch WCPO’s “Hope After Hate” Special

Limor will talk about Moniek’s Legacy in a 30-minute special broadcast on WCPO-TV at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 17, 2019. The “Hope After Hate” special will feature Moniek’s Legacy, the study abroad class and the CCM Harmony Fund.

When: 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 17, 2019

Where: WCPO-TV Channel 9 or download the free WCPO 9 On Your Side mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

About the CCM Harmony Fund

Founded in 2002, the CCM Harmony Fund supports artistic works that fight hate and prejudice through the performing arts by bringing together audiences of different backgrounds around controversial topics and situations with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations. This special fund was created as both an acknowledgement of the continuing existence of hate and prejudice within our world and, more importantly, the ability of the arts to help us better understand and transcend these emotions. The goal of any Harmony Fund project is to inspire imaginative thinking, encourage conversations, present contrasting attitudes and help us examine our own viewpoints. The Harmony Fund supports the students and faculty at CCM to explore these issues and encourage them to find a voice. Past Harmony Fund-supported performances include The Laramie Project, Tan Dun’s Water Passion After St. Matthew, Dadaab Theatre Project, Sphinx Virtuosi Orchestra, Falsettos and more.

Support the CCM Harmony Fund by giving online

Featured Image: Monument in the Czestochowa Warta train station by Paweł “pbm” Szubert

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CCM Alumnus Flaherty’s Score for ‘Rocky’ Heads to Broadway

A scene in the ring from the musical "Rocky."

A scene in the ring from the musical “Rocky.”

After more than a year of packed houses in Hamburg, Germany, Rocky: The Musical will soon open on Broadway, with a score composed by Stephen Flaherty (Composition, 1982), and his lyricist writing partner Lynn Ahrens. Tickets are already on sale for previews starting Feb. 11, 2014, at the Winter Garden Theatre and for an official opening on March 13.

Flaherty and Ahrens wrote 20 new songs for the show and retained three popular oldies: “Eye of the Tiger,” “Gonna Fly Now” and “Take You Back.” Because the story is set in Philadelphia in 1975, “the score combines a lot of sounds of the period — funk, soul, pop, rock and folk,” Flaherty says. “We look back to that time, but it is really a contemporary score.”

Rocky: Das Musical opened in Germany in November 2012, produced by Stage Entertainment, as well as Sylvester Stallone, creator, writer and star of the 1976 Rocky movie, which received 10 Oscar nominations. Germans loved the show. The front page of Hamburg’s daily newspaper declared, “Big Emotions, Big Theater.” And the city’s biggest tabloid announced, “‘Rocky’ Knocks Hamburg Out!”

Of course, both producers had hoped to move the show to Broadway eventually and did so even though the German production is still packing houses to rave reviews more than a year later.

“It has been an amazing adventure,” Flaherty says. “Our international cast in Germany comes from 12 different countries, and our band features some of the best players I’ve ever worked with. I’m having the time of my life. Thank God for the ‘Basic German For Dummies’ app!”

The Tony-winning writing team of composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens.

The Tony-winning writing team of composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens.

Flaherty and Ahrens have been writing popular musicals for 30 years, including two shows that won Tonys for best scores — Once on This Island in 1991 and Ragtime in 1998. The book for the latter was written by Terrance McNally, who won a Tony for his creation and who also wrote the book for Rocky.

In addition, Flaherty received a 2001 Drama Desk nomination for outstanding music for Seussical, which was originally scored for Broadway, later revised for a national tour, then revised again for junior-theater productions. For years, it has been one of the top three most-licensed properties in Music Theatre International’s licensing catalog.

You can learn more about Stephen Flaherty courtesy of UC Magazine.

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CCM Slideshows: The Threepenny Opera

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CCM proudly presents The Threepenny Opera, running tonight, March 1, through Sunday, March 10, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production contains mature subject matter.

Learn more The Threepenny Opera here.

“[Stage Director Robin] Guarino fearlessly goes back to the musical satire’s socio-political roots in 1920s Berlin,” Jackie Demaline writes in her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Everything about The Threepenny Opera carries out Guarino’s vision, as the cast prowl scenic designer John Arnone’s industrial set of catwalks, with the small orchestra (in costume) perched at the top. Musical director Roger Grodsky as always asks much and gets all from singers and musicians.”

Read Demaline’s full review here.

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A New Sneak Peek at the Scenic Design of ‘The Threepenny Opera’

Assistant to the Scenic Designer Alexandra Kuntz provides these previews of 'The Threepenny Opera.'

Assistant to the Scenic Designer Alexandra Kuntz provides these previews of ‘The Threepenny Opera.’

CCM’s acclaimed Mainstage Series resumes this week with Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s epic musical The Threepenny Opera. Today, we are happy to provide a preview of the show’s set, courtesy of Alexandra Kuntz, a sophomore in CCM’s Scenic Design program and Assistant to Guest Scenic Designer John Arnone on this production.

Learn more about this dynamic new production, which features set designs by Tony Award-winner John Arnone.

“Set in the mid-19th century, Macheath (otherwise known as ‘Mack the Knife’) runs the town with his rag tag band of ruffians and gets what he wants,” Kuntz explains. “His latest want just happens to be Polly Peachum, daughter of the Beggar’s Lord of London (Johnathan Jeremiah Peachum), who doesn’t take too kindly to Mack the Knife’s interest in his daughter. Doing anything to keep them apart, Peachum uses broads, bribes and blackmails to get Mack out of the picture, while Macheath’s life hangs in the balance.”

This production contains mature subject matter.

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The Epic Theatre of CCM’s ‘The Threepenny Opera’

Sophomore Hannah Zazzaro as Sukey Tawdry and junior Max Clayton as Macheath. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Sophomore Hannah Zazzaro as Sukey Tawdry and junior Max Clayton as Macheath. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM’s year-long Kurt Weill Festival resumes this month with a dynamic new production of the iconic musical The Threepenny Opera. Composed by Kurt Weill with book and lyrics by dramatist Bertolt Brecht (adapted into English by Marc Blitzstein), The Threepenny Opera weaves the riveting tale of notorious bandit and womanizer Macheath (“Mack the Knife”) and his seedy companions in London’s underworld. Weill’s innovative score invented a new form of musical theatre, leading the way for such shows as Chicago and Cabaret.

CCM’s Mainstage Series production of this jazz-infused musical is directed by Robin Guarino, with musical direction by Roger Grodsky, choreography by Patti James and scenic designs by Tony Award-winning guest artist John Arnone. The Threepenny Opera runs Thursday, Feb. 28, through Sunday, March 10, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now. This production contains mature subject matter.

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‘The News Record’ Covers CCM’s Fall Dance Concert

CCM's Fall 2012 Dance Concert. Photography by Lauren Purkey.

CCM’s Fall 2012 Dance Concert. Photography by Lauren Purkey.

Natalya Daoud and Lauren Purkey cover CCM’s Fall Dance Concert for the News Record, the thrice-weekly independent student news organization at the University of Cincinnati.

You can view Daoud’s coverage of the concert here and enjoy a slideshow of Purkey’s photography from the production here.

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CCM’s Fall Dance Concert Spotlights Guest Choreographers Nov. 30 – Dec. 2

Experience the royal wedding of Prince Charming and Princess Aurora at CCM's Fall Dance Concert. Photography by Rene Micheo.

Experience the royal wedding of Prince Charming and Princess Aurora at CCM’s Fall Dance Concert. Photography by Rene Micheo.

The CCM Ballet Ensemble will present its Fall Concert Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater. The concert will be a mixture of new works and restaged classics, featuring the efforts of two guest choreographers (including one recent alumnus) and a restaging by CCM’s renowned faculty.

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UC Fulbright Winners Earn Prestigious Professional Opportunities in Europe

Jennifer Williams, Fulbright Scholar

Jennifer Williams, Fulbright Scholar

Three University of Cincinnati students and spring graduates – and one faculty member – are heading abroad in the coming academic year to pursue prestigious opportunities for professional development via teaching and work. As previously reported, this group includes recent CCM alumna Jennifer Williams.

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