Farnsworth, Adas Yoshuron Synagogue present book talk for Holocaust Remembrance Day – Knox County VillageSoup

ROCKLAND – On Wednesday, April 27, the Farnsworth Art Museum, in partnership with the Adas Yoshuron Synagogue, presents a book talk with author Rachael Cerrotti of “We Share The Same Sky: A Memoir of Memory & Migration.” The talk features an introduction by Farnsworth Interim Chief Curator Jane Bianco. Bianco is curator of the exhibition “Leonard Baskin: I Hold The Cracked Mirror Up to Man,” on display in the Farnsworth’s Crosman Gallery through Jan. 15, 2023. The program, in recognition of Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), takes place from 6 to 7 pm both in person in the Farnsworth Auditorium and live-streamed via Zoom. A book signing immediately follows the in-person event.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum and synagogue present an author’s personal family story of courage and survival. In 2009, Cerrotti, a college student pursuing a career in photojournalism, asked her grandmother, Hana, if she could record her story. Rachael knew that her grandmother was a Holocaust survivor and the only one in her family alive at the end of the war. Rachael also knew that she survived because of the kindness of strangers. It was not a secret. Hana spoke about her history publicly and regularly. But, Rachael wanted to document it as only a granddaughter could. So, that’s what they did: Hana talked and Rachael wrote.

Upon Hana’s passing in 2010, Rachael discovered an incredible archive of her life. There were preserved albums and hundreds of photographs dating back to the 1920s. There were letters waiting to be translated, journals, diaries, deportation and immigration papers as well as creative writings from various stages of Hana’s life.

Rachael digitized and organized it all, plucking it from the past and placing it into her present. Then, she began retracing her grandmother’s story, following her through Central Europe, Scandinavia, and across the United States.

“We Share The Same Sky” weaves together the stories of these two young women – Hana as a refugee who remains one step ahead of the Nazis at every turn, and Rachael, whose insatiable curiosity to touch the past guides her into the lives of countless strangers, bringing her love and tragic loss. Throughout the course of her 20s, Hana’s history becomes a guidebook for Rachael in how to live a life empowered by grief.

Cerrotti is an award-winning author, photographer, educator and audio producer. Her work explores the intergenerational impact of war and the inheritance of memory. She is currently the Inaugural Storyteller in Residence for USC Shoah Foundation where she produces and hosts “The Memory Generation” podcast.

In 2019, Rachael released her first podcast – “We Share The Same Sky.” It was the first-ever narrative podcast based on a Holocaust survivor’s testimony and tells the story of her decade-long journey to retrace her grandmother’s war story. “We Share The Same Sky” was listed as one of the best podcasts of the year by HuffPost, a Reader’s Pick by Vulture Magazine and as a “Show We Love” by Apple Podcasts; it is now being taught in high school classrooms around the world. Her critically-acclaimed debut memoir, also titled “We Share The Same Sky,” was released in August 2021. It received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and was listed as one of the best books of the month by Apple Books. Rachael’s work has been published and featured by NPR, PRI’s The World, GBH, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, People Magazine, BBC, The Times of Israel and various other publications.

In 2017, Rachael was the subject of an award-winning multimedia series produced by WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, titled “Beyond Sides of History.” Her stories have been used in curricula developed by and for Discovery Education, USC Shoah Foundation, Echoes & Reflections, Facing History & Ourselves, Jewish Women’s Archive and others. She has worked and consulted with museums such as The Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Florida Holocaust Museum. She speaks to communities worldwide and teaches students that range in age from elementary school to adult education. Rachael holds a degree in Communications from Temple University and is an alumna of The Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has completed educator’s seminars with Yad Vashem and Facing History & Ourselves.

This program is free of charge. For more information, or to register for either the in-person or the streamed event, visit farnsworthmuseum.org.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button