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 Students Simon Barrad, Natalie Douglass and Julia Seeholzer Receive Fulbright Grants

We are overjoyed to report that three of the University of Cincinnati’s five Fulbright Grant Recipients for 2014-15 are CCM students!

Congratulations to Simon Barrad, Natalie Douglass and Julia Seeholzer for this tremendous honor!

CCM student Simon Barrad.Simon Barrad is a recipient of the 2015-16 Fulbright Arts Grant to Finland. Barrad is musical arts masters candidate in CCM’s voice studies program. While in Finland, he will study, teach, and perform at the Metropolia University and Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and plans to use Finnish and American song as a bridge for cultural exchange. Barrad was inspired to apply for the Fulbright to Finland because of his interest in Finnish art song and because his grandfather’s family lives there. While a student at UC, Barrad has been a soloist at the Cincinnati Opera, sang the title role in Owen Wingrave for CCM Mainstage Opera, and has performed in various recitals and religious services. This week, he will be performing as Guglielmo in CCM’s Mainstage Production of Così fan tutte! Barrad earned a BM in Vocal Performance from CSU Long Beach. After completing his Fulbright grant, Barrad plans to return to the US to continue gaining performance experience.

CCM student Natalie Douglass.Natalie Douglass is a recipient of the 2015-16 Fulbright Research Grant to Hungary. Douglass will graduate with her doctorate in Horn Performance from CCM this May. While in Hungary, Douglass will earn her Kodály Music Pedagogy diploma at the Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, which she plans to use as postdoctoral research for her dissertation topic, aural teaching techniques for the French horn. While a student at UC, Douglass performed in Oman, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland and was the opening lecture at the International Horn Society Symposium in London. Douglass earned a MM in French Horn Performance and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After completing her Fulbright grant, Douglass plans to use Kodály methods to improve the way brass performance is taught to young performers.

CCM student Julia Seeholzer.Julia Seeholzer is a recipient of the 2015-16 Fulbright Arts Grant to Poland. Seeholzer is a masters candidate in CCM’s composition program. While in Poland, Julia will study at the Fryderyk Chopin University and plans to compose a cantata for the Musica Sacra choir. Julia was inspired to travel to Poland because of the country’s traditional and modern choral repertoire, which informs her own work. While a student at UC, Seeholzer served as the Secretary of the Society of Composers Club, Director of the Huls’ Angels Chamber Choir, Student Coordinator for the Midwest Composer Symposium, and as a mentor to undergraduate composition students.  Seeholzer earned a B.M. in Music Composition from Berklee College of Music. After completing her Fulbright grant, Seeholzer plans to return to the US to pursue a DMA.

Stay tuned to The Village News to learn even more about Barrad, Douglass and Seeholzer!

CCM students interested in applying for Fulbright grants or other similarly prestigious scholarships and awards can find resources and assistance for doing so in UC’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards.

Get to know all of UC’s 2014-15 Fulbright Award Recipients by visiting uc.edu/nca/award-winners.

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