קדיש - Yad Vashem



קדיש - Yad Vashem
‫הנני כאן‬
I am here
Kaddish was commissioned by the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College, Keene, NH, in honor of its
25th anniversary. The work debuted at the Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College on May 3, 2008, with a world premiere following
in Minneapolis, MN, on November 15th, 2008, given by VocalEssence, under Philip Brunelle. On November 23rd, 2010, a full symphonic
version was premiered by the Houston Symphony and Houston Symphony Chorus in partnership with Holocaust Museum Houston. The
same month, Kaddish was performed on the campuses of the University of New Hampshire (November 14th, as part of Echoes of the
Holocaust) and Florida Atlantic University (November 6th, as part of the Lessons and Legacies of the Holocaust Conference).
Mary Mattson Kenworthy and Albert Kenworthy and sons, USA
Anonymous, USA
Joan and Stanford Alexander, USA
Norma and Lester Cohen, USA
Richard & Jan Cohen, USA
Frieda and Melvin Dow, USA
Martin and Kelli Cohen Fein, USA
Bernie Feld, USA
Martha and Don Freedman, USA
Globespeed, Zamir Group, Israel
Rabbi Dan Gordon, USA
Doreen and Frank Herzog, USA
Linda and John Hoeschler, USA
John and Jean Hoffman, USA
Leaetta Hough and Bob Muschewske, USA
Mireille and Harvey Katz, USA
Ann and Stephen Kaufman, USA
Velva G. and H. Fred Levine, USA
Charlie and Dede MacVeagh, USA
In loving memory of his Family by William Morgan (Yossel
Margulies) together with his wife, Shirley, their Children and
Grandchildren, USA
Jim and Judy Putnam, USA
Hilda and Herschel Rich, USA
Lawrence Siegel, USA
Ruth Siegel, USA
Soref-Breslauer Texas Foundation, USA
Helen and Andrew Spector, USA
Shirley Toomim, USA
In loving honor of Naomi Warren by her Children, Grandchildren
and Great Grandchildren, USA
Sandra and Leon Weiner, USA
Cyvia and Melvin Wolff, USA
I Am Here
Music and libretto
by Dr. Lawrence Siegel
A special concert performed by
the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA
conducted by Gil Shohat
Thursday, 8 September 2011 at 19:30
in Warsaw Ghetto Square, Yad Vashem
Har Hazikaron, Jerusalem
In the presence of
The President of the State of Israel
Mr. Shimon Peres
Avner Shalev
Note by the composer
Chairman of the
Yad Vashem Directorate
KADDISH is an evening-length cycle of fifteen original songs for chorus,
soloists, and chamber ensemble. Its intention is to make a common ground
with those who survived the Holocaust by giving its audience the empathic
capacity to feel some shadow of what the survivors felt and feel, and
to carry in our hearts and on our backs those who perished.
Dear Friends,
“Here I am! I am here, I survived, and look who is with me!”
Thus does Naomi Warren, a survivor of Auschwitz, Ravensbrück and Bergen-Belsen, bear witness, in one
of the passages of testimony, gathered and woven together by the composer Lawrence Siegel in his musical
work, Kaddish.
Kaddish’s testimonies acquire additional meaning, as they are intoned for the first time at Yad Vashem,
on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem. This institution was established to perpetuate the memory
of the victims of the Holocaust, to serve as a home for the survivors and their families, and to provide a
framework for the educational, research and artistic activity of those attentive to the moral imperative of
remembrance. Lawrence Siegel is certainly attentive to that imperative, as well as to the survivors’ voices
of testimony, and the timbre of tunes and melodies emanating from their culture and experience. Siegel’s
artistic oeuvre has brought forth the work that we hear tonight, a work created to commemorate.
We deeply appreciate the presence of the President of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, who once again personifies
and leads our nation’s commitment to authentic Holocaust remembrance. We commend Benjamin
Warren, Naomi Warren’s son, who initiated the production of this concert at Yad Vashem , and Jan and
Richard Cohen, whose vision was fundamental to the creation of Kaddish. We extend thanks to the
organizations and individuals whose generosity has enabled us to gather here this evening. Our experience
here is enhanced by the stirring presence of Holocaust survivors, who are likely to discern, among the
sounds and words of this Kaddish, echoes of their own stories and remarkable achievements. I would
also like to express appreciation for the devoted, ever-professional efforts of my Yad Vashem colleagues,
who have once again illustrated their dedication to effective commemoration as well as their impressive
proficiency. Thus we carry on Yad Vashem’s tradition of meaningful cultural events that fuse authentic
Holocaust remembrance with superior artistic expression.
I wish you all a meaningful experience, which is sure to leave us inspired and enriched.
Avner Shalev
Chairman, Yad Vashem Directorate
The libretto for KADDISH is fashioned largely
from testimonies of survivors, primarily firsthand
interviews which I conducted over several years.
Also included are several testimonies from interviews contained in the Fortunoff Video Archive for
Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University, and used
with their permission. Because of the verbatim use
of testimony, the messages are an authentic and
accurate reading of the feelings and thoughts of
some of the survivors of the Holocaust.
The fifteen movements of KADDISH are
grouped into three sections. The piece begins
with reflections on life in central Europe before
the Holocaust. These suggest a diverse range of
social experiences: urban and rural, rich and
poor, secular and religious, while at the same
time reflecting a common cultural identity in the
Jewish fabric of their everyday lives. The survivors I spoke with had in common the insular experience of living among neighbors — Polish and
Ukrainian, mostly — who interacted with them
in many ways on a daily basis, but at the same
time hated them from their earliest years and
were violent against them and fundamentally
excluded them from their lives. Also noteworthy
was a love of education, which has been a con-
stant in Jewish life since its biblical beginnings.
The second part of KADDISH tells personal
stories of actual events which took place during
the Holocaust. It includes only a few of the vast
number of unimaginably horrible stories from
the ghettos, trains, and camps. There is a reflection on the unique, hardened-in-the-fire quality
of the survivors who emerged from the
Holocaust. This section of the work concludes
with a link to the ongoing theme of Jewish
otherness, including texts taken the Jewish Bible.
The third and closing section of KADDISH
begins with “Litany,” a kind of roll call of a very
small number of the dead — a list which nonetheless goes on for some time. There follows a
setting of the words of the Mourners’ Kaddish
itself, sung for these and all victims of genocide.
The piece concludes with some reflections on
what it has all come to for survivors. One of the
most powerful themes is how so much of their
subsequent lives were based on their feelings
about those who had died: their parents, brothers
and sisters, and their children, along with the
strangers with whom they were thrown into the
most barbaric abyss imaginable. They have felt an
imperative to survive and to start new families
that is stunning in its fierceness. When Naomi
sings “I am here. I survived, and look who is
with me!”, she is telling us that it is because she
has children who have grown up healthy, wellsupported, and happy that she, and we, the Jewish
people, have for the moment triumphed. These
children were born to save us from the destruction of the Holocaust. They were born to carry on
the lives of those who died, in some way.
These final words of KADDISH serve as an emblem of the resilience and determination of the
survivors to carry on their lives and in some way
the lives of those who perished, by living fully,
in families, by raising children. To this day, for a
Jew, these simple things can never be taken for
granted. Thus routine, ordinariness, the simple
ability to have a normal life, to raise children, is
finally the great blessing of the survivors.
When the chorus joins Naomi and sings “I am
here!”, they are meant to be heard as the great
company of souls, singing back to us. It is small
consolation to imagine this great company
joining us in harmony as we cherish them and
remember them. But it is something that perhaps helps us carry their lives on our backs as we
try in our various ways to repair the world.
Lawrence Siegel
Lawrence Siegel brings to the writing of Kaddish
nearly thirty years of experience in creating
and directing music and music theater projects
using texts from oral histories, interviews,
and community dialogues.
As the Artistic Director of Tricinium, he brings his “Verbatim Project” to
communities, schools, and organizations around the world. He has written
a great deal of vocal music, including the comic oratorio “Do They Just Sing
All Day?” for the American Boychoir and several sets of songs, along with
chamber music, orchestral and musical theater projects. His music has won
awards from the McKnight Foundation, the New England Foundation for
the Arts, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the New Hampshire State Council
on the Arts, and many others. He has been a fellow in composition at the
Tanglewood Music Center, and three times at The MacDowell Colony. In
addition to composing his own concert music, Dr. Siegel has co-written
musical theater work with Paul Hodes, Dan Hurlin, Andrew Periale, and
Valeria Vasilevski and many other collaborative projects. He has been
composer-in-residence at the Eugene O’Neill Puppetry Conference since
1999 and is also a nationally known performer of traditional music. He has
lived primarily in Westmoreland, New Hampshire since 1986.
Gil Shohat
Pianist, Composer
and Conductor
Shohat is the composer of nine symphonies,
lectures a year, in Israel and abroad, using all his
Award (1997). He has received grants from the
twelve concertos, four operas, and dozens of
skills to bring new and young audiences back to
American-Israel Cultural Foundation (1990-
chamber pieces, the majority of which have
the concert hall.
1998), the Bracha Foundation (2001), the Rich
enjoyed Israeli and international premieres.
His pieces include some of Israel’s greatest
commercial successes such as Operas Alpha
and Omega (2001) and The Dreaming Child
(2010). In addition, Shohat is the Classical Music
Advisor of the Israel Festival - Jerusalem, the
Chief Advisor of the Red Sea International
Both at home and abroad,
audiences and critics alike regard
the youthful Gil Shohat as one
of the leading Israeli musicians
of his generation. This year, the
prestigious Forbes Magazine,
together with all three of Israel’s
major newspapers (Yedioth
Aharonoth, Ma’ariv and Ha’aretz)
declared Shohat to be the most
important and influential
personality in classical music
in Israel. In June 2009, the French
government named him a Knight
in the prestigious Order of Arts
and Letters.
Music Festival, the founder and Artistic
Director of the Elysium Ensemble, the Artistic
Director of the Sounds of Youth Festival in
Holon, Music Director of the Ein Hod Maestro
Festival, Chief Music Director of the Kiryat
Motzkin Theater, the Artistic Director of the
Chopin Series of the FCCH in Beijing, China,
and a permanent guest conductor at the Emilia
Romagna Festival in Italy and the Vermont
Mozart Festival in the United States. In the
past, Shohat has served as the Artistic Director
and the Chief Conductor of the Israel Chamber
Orchestra and the Composer in Residence of
the Israel Symphony Orchestra, Rishon LeZion.
He is an active concert pianist and the Artistic
Director of fourteen concert-lecture series in
Israel. Shohat gives more than 100 concerts and
Orchestras that have performed Shohat’s
music or collaborated with him as a pianist
or conductor include the Berlin Symphony,
the Rome Opera Orchestra, the Pomereggio
Musicale Orchestra of Milan, the Cologne
Radio Orchestra, the Bochum Symphony,
the St. Petersburg Hermitage Orchestra, the
Dohnany Orchestra of Budapest, the Bucharest
Philharmonic, the Ensemble Orchestral
de Paris, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the
Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, the Vermont
Mozart Festival Orchestra, and all major Israeli
orchestras - including the Israel Philharmonic
Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra
Rishon LeZion, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra,
the Raanana Symphonette, the Jerusalem
Symphony Orchestra, and the Israel Chamber
Shohat has won numerous prizes and accolades,
including the Israel Conservatory Prize (1989),
the Rubin Israel Music Academy Prize (1993),
the Italian Government Grant for Advanced
Studies (1995-1996), and the British Council
Foundation (2001, 2005, 2007), and the Rabinovich
Tel Aviv Foundation for the Arts (2001-2007). He
was awarded first prize for composition from the
Arthur Rubinstein International Society, making
his composition the obligatory piano piece for
contestants in the International Arthur Rubinstein
Piano Competition (1998). He is a laureate of
Israel’s Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild
Foundation (2001). He received the Tel Aviv Prize
for the Performing Arts – Rosenbloom Prize (2002)
and Israel Theater Prizes for “The most significant
event of the year” for his opera Alpha and Omega
(2001), and composer of the year (2004). He
won the Prime Minister’s Prize for composition
(2003). His sponsors include The Safra Group in
Switzerland, Motorola Israel, Mr. Murray Pepper
(Los Angeles), Mrs. Susan Rose (New York City),
and the prestigious Soli Deo Gloria Foundation in
Chicago. Gil Shohat has been a chosen artist of the
Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation (IcExcellence)
since 2004. Shohat’s pro bono work includes charity
recitals for organizations such as Latet and ESRA,
as well as service on the board of the Israel Lottery’s
Arts Council (Mif’al Ha-Payis).
The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA
The 74rd Season, 2011 to 2012
The Jerusalem
Symphony Orchestra, IBA
The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA was
founded in the 1940s as the national radio orchestra and was known as the “Kol Israel Orchestra”.
In the 1970s, the orchestra was expanded and
became the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra,
Israel Broadcasting Authority. As a radio
symphony orchestra, the majority of the concerts
which the orchestra holds at its resident hall – the
Henry Crown Auditorium – are recorded and
broadcasted over IBA’s Kol Ha’musika station.
The current Music Director of the JSO is Maestro
Frédéric Chaslin. The orchestra has had seven
musical directors hitherto: Mendi Rodan, Lukas
Foss, Gary Bertini, Lawrence Foster and David
Shallon. At the end of the 2009-2010 Season
Maestro Leon Botstein stepped down after seven
years of service as Music Director. Maestro
Botstein presently continues his work with the
JSO as a Laureate Conductor.
The orchestra maintains a varied repertoire
which ranges from the Baroque and the
Classical periods through the Romantic period,
extending to contemporary composers, many
of whom have received their Israeli premières
with the JSO. The orchestra was the first Israeli
Orchestra to perform the works of renowned
composers such as Sofia Gubaidolina, Henry
Dutilleux, Alfred Schnittke and others. Since its
inception the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra
has consistently encouraged Israeli composers by
commissioning and performing their works.
Over the decades, some of the music world’s
legendary musicians have performed with the
JSO, with memorable performances by Arthur
Rubinstein, Igor Markevitch, Otto Klemperer,
Henryk Szeryng, Isaac Stern, Yo Yo Ma, Ida
Hendel, Tabea Zimmermann, Radu Lupu and
Yefim Bronfman.
One of the most notable premières performed
by the orchestra was that of The Seven Gates
of Jerusalem by Polish composer Krzystof
Penderecki, conducted by Maestro Lorin Maazel,
which was commissioned as the conclusion for
the Jerusalem 3000 celebrations in 1999. This was
a joint venture with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra.
The work was performed again by the two
orchestras in Munich in April 2000 to celebrate
the 50th anniversary of the Bavarian Radio. The
JSO often conducts tours in Europe and in the
United States, and has played in some of the most
prestigious venues, including the Musikvereine in
Vienna, the Philharmonie in Cologne, Carnegie
Hall in New York and the closing event of the
annual Bachfest in Leipzig.
The orchestra is supported by the Israeli
Broadcasting Authority, the Ministry of Culture
& Sport and the Jerusalem City municipality.
Musical Administration:
Gary Bertini, Lukas Foss, David Shallon (1950-2000), Leon Botstein,
Frédéric Chaslin - Music Director and Principal Conductor
Jenny Hünigen, concertmaster
Geana Gandelman,
Yuri Glukhovsky, assistant
Marina Schwartz *
Vitali Remenuik
Motti Bilgorai
Ester Golderman
Olga Fabricant
Eduard Kosovich
Michael Schvartzman
Bea Sharon-Chrishan
Diana Tsaliovich
Yevgeny Voskoboynikov
Yonah Zur
Violin II
Victor Salomon***
Elina Yanovitsky***
Raphael Rivkin
Mark Bardenstein
Adrian Bugichi
Alla Skurkovich
Eleonora Spichko
Michael Tsinkin
Jeanna Gontarenko
Richard Assayas***
Amos Boasson***
Michael Damian**
Miriam Fingert
Vaclav Ioffe
Moshe Lifshitz
Mark Lotkin
Alexander Shoichat
Alexander Tumarison
Ina-Esther Joost Ben Sassoon***
Irit Assayas***
Oleg Stolpner**
Boris Mihanovski
Emilia Kazewman Rivkin
Lilya Kvartich-Flaksman
Yaghi Malka Peled
Tzalel Mendelson
Double Bass
Sergei Gralnick***
Eitan Reich**
Slava Kozodoi
Vladimir Rivkin
woodwind, brass
and percussion
Noam Buchman***
Rami Tal**
Vladimir Silva
Vladimir Silva
Gershon Dembinsky***
Victor Berlin**
Sigal Hechtlinger
Bass clarinet
Sigal Hechtlinger
Richard Paley***
Alexander Fine**
Barbara Schmutzler
Contra Bassoon
Barbara Schmutzler
Eyal Vilner***
Anat Parnas
Barak Yavin
Hagay Shalom
Dmitry Levitas***
Richard Berlin
Eyal Weinberger
Tal Ben Rei
Niv Ofer
Yigal Kaminka ***
Roland Engel
Trombone Bass
English Horn
Dima Malky
Shai Nisan
Yaakov Hardan***
Yoav Lifshitz***
Merav Askayo***
Almog Turner
* Deputy Principal
** Assistant Principal
*** Principal
**** Sabbatical
Yair Stern - General Director
Board of Directors
Nurit Yardeni-Levi, Chair
Uri Dromi
Eyal Frohlinger
Ruth Hacohen
Avi Hanani
David Harman
Noam Buchman, Observer
Gideon Paz, Musical Adviser
Producer and Musicians’
Carmen Lehaner
Marketing and Sales
Hagit Yisraeli
Sarit Gete
Leah Frenkel
Olga Stolpner
Music Coordinator and
Program Editor
Eran Sachs
Stage Manager
Haim Oz
Staff Coordinator
Esty Lax
Irit Levi-Campus
Public Relations
Etty Eshed
Betty Schweitzer
Maria Jette
Adriana Zabala
Maria Jette sang the soprano solo in the world
premiere performance of Lawrence Siegel’s Kaddish
in October 2008 with VocalEssence. She has
appeared with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,
New York Chamber Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber
Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra; the Symphonies
of Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Grand Rapids,
Kansas City, Charlotte, Santa Rosa and Buffalo; the
Handel Choir of Baltimore, Choral Arts Society
of Philadelphia, and Los Angeles Master Chorale;
and with original instrument ensembles Angelica
Cantanti, Portland Baroque Orchestra and The Lyra
Baroque Orchestra. She has been a regular guest at
the Oregon Bach, Victoria Bach and San Luis Obispo
Mozart Festivals, the Oregon Festival of American
Music, and on Public Radio International’s A Prairie
Home Companion. Her 45+ operatic roles range from
Monteverdi’s Poppea and Handel’s Cleopatra through
Mozart’s Pamina, Countess and Fiordiligi. She has
performed her own production of Seuss/Kapilow’s
Green Eggs & Ham for more than 50,000 kids, with
symphonies and music festivals around the USA.
In addition to Kaddish, her lengthy list of premieres
includes song cycles by British composers Geoffrey
Bush, John Gardner and Ian Kellam, and choral
works with extended soprano solos by Judith Weir
and John Gardner; and chamber works, songs
and cycles by Dominick Argento, Randall Davidson,
David Evan Thomas, Steve Heitzeg, David John
Olsen, Russell Platt, Nancy Grundahl and Janika
Vandervelde. Ms. Jette’s discography includes
two recordings on the Centaur label: a selection
of Benjamin Britten’s Folksongs of the British Isles
and Mélodies of Gabriel Fauré, both with harpist
Judith Kogan; and two recordings of oratorios by
the 19th C composer Simon Mayr, La Passione and
Atalia, performed and recorded (for Guild Records)
with the Georgian Chamber Orchestra (Ingolstadt,
Germany) under the direction of Franz Hauk.
Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala enjoys a vibrant
career that includes opera, song repertoire, new
works, concert, and oratorio, performing extensively
throughout the United States and internationally.
Ms. Zabala has recently been seen on the stages of
Seattle Opera, Minnesota Opera, Wolf Trap Opera,
Syracuse Opera, Arizona Opera, Lyric Opera of San
Antonio, Opera Carolina, and Opera Saratoga. She
has also been a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra,
Jacksonville Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, Virginia
Symphony, Madison Symphony, New York Festival
of Song, and at the Caramoor International Music
Festival with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has
appeared in recital in the Barns at Wolf Trap, the
Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage, Dallas Museum
of Art, Ventford Hall in Lenox, MA, and in Weill
Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Valencia, Spain, her Carnegie Hall debut in concert
with pianist/composer Gregg Kallor, premiering
Exhilaration, Kallor’s settings of nine Emily
Dickinson poems, her critically acclaimed portrayal
of the Barbarian Girl in the American Premiere
of Phillip Glass’ Waiting for the Barbarians with
the Austin Lyric Opera, and appearing with the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Bryn Terfel in
Elijah. She made her Canadian debut with Opera
Lyra Ottawa as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro,
sang the title role in La Cenerentola with the
Atlanta Opera, returned to Opera Carolina as
Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and celebrated the
release and critical success of the compact disc
Exhilaration: Dickinson and Yeats Songs.
Recent highlights include Ms. Zabala’s European
debut under Maestro Lorin Maazel as Mercedes
in Carmen at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in
Thomas Cooley
James Bohn
The American tenor Thomas Cooley is quickly establishing a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic —
and beyond — as a singer of great versatility, expressiveness, and virtuosity. Highlights of the 2011-2012
season include Beethoven Symphony No. 9 at the
Oregon Bach Festival/Rilling, with the Kansas City
Symphony/Stern and with Eiji Oue in Osaka, Japan;
Stravinsky Les Noces with the St. Louis Symphony/
Robertson; Bach St. Matthew Passion with the Atlanta Symphony/Spano; Haydn Seasons with the St. Paul
Chamber Orchestra/McGegan; Bach Mass in B Minor and Handel Messiah with Philharmonia Baroque
Orchestra/McGegan; Mozart Coronation Mass with
Handel and Haydn/Christophers (recorded for Coro
Allegro); and Handel Solomon/Montgomery in the
Netherlands. Recent seasons also included the Berlioz
Requiem at Carnegie Hall/Spano, Beethoven Missa
Solemnis with the Atlanta Symphony/Runnicles; his
debut with the Cleveland Orchestra; Mendelssohn’s
Lobgesang with the National Arts Center Orchestra/
Rizzi; Haydn Creation with the Indianapolis Symphony/Boyd and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra/
McGegan, Berlioz Le Nuits d’Ete and L’Enfance du
Christ with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Acis in
Handel’s Acis and Galatea with Music of the Baroque;
concerts with the International Bach-Academie Stuttgart; Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in Singapore and
Germany, as well as Handel’s Tamerlano “Bajazet” at
the International Handel Festival Göttingen, and Mozart’s Kronungsmesse, Honneger’s Le Roi David and
the Mozart Requiem in Amsterdam. Mr. Cooley was
a member of the ensemble at the Staatstheater am
Gärtnerplatz for four years, where he sang Ferrando
in Così Fan Tutte, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, the title role
in Idomeneo, and Almaviva in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di
Siviglia. Mr. Cooley’s recordings include Mathan in
Handel’s Athalia with Peter Neumann and the Kölner
Kammerchor (MDG) and the premiere recording of
Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus (Deutsche Grammophon)
as well as Mozart’s Requiem with the Windsbacher
Knabenchor (Sony) and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor
with Handel and Haydn Society and Harry Christophers (Coro Allegro).
Throughout his career, James Bohn has been in steady
demand as soloist in an array of venues, from the
opera and concert stage to commercials and cabaret.
He has appeared with the Palm Beach Symphony,
Boca Raton Pops Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber
Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, New Texas
Festival Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra,
and the London Chamber Orchestra. He has created
numerous operatic roles for the Minnesota Opera
Company. For over 25 years Mr. Bohn has delighted
audiences in his appearances with Minnesota-based
VocalEssence under the baton of Philip Brunelle,
with whom he recorded the baritone solos in the
World Premiere Performance of Lawrence Siegel’s
Kaddish. He also has recorded featured roles in
Benjamin Britten’s Paul Bunyan, in Aaron Copland’s
The Tender Land on the Virgin Classics label, and
in Witness: a volume of Spirituals and Gospels, for
Collins Classics. Mr. Bohn created the title role in
PDQ Bach’s “operatique” version of Oedipus Tex,
and performed the British premiere of Leonard
Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles at the Aldeburgh
Festival in England with Steuart Bedford and Roger
Vignoles at the piano. He has been a featured guest
and regular performer on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie
Home Companion radio program, and has recorded
commercials for such companies as Nike, Marshall
Field’s, Microsoft, and Subway Sandwiches. In an
interesting artistic twist, Mr. Bohn was engaged
this past season as National Anthem Singer for the
Minnesota Wild, of the National Hockey League.
Prior to embarking on his artistic career, Mr. Bohn
served his country as an infantryman in the Viet
Nam conflict. Mr. Bohn is also an accomplished
designer and carpenter, and practices these talents
as proprietor of SingularDesign, a residential
remodeling firm.
The New
Israeli Vocal
Conductor & Music Director: Yuval Ben Ozer
Director: Tali Chitaiad
Singers’ Coordinator: Era Givoni
Founded in 1993 by its Music Director Yuval
Ben Ozer, the New Israeli Vocal Ensemble has
established itself as the leading choral group in
Israel in a very short time. The Ensemble is made
up of professional singers and it has appeared in the
most prestigious concert halls and festivals in Israel,
Europe and the Far East, winning the acclaim of
audiences, critics and professional musicians alike.
The ensemble’s repertoire covers a broad range from
medieval to modern and avant-garde music, and it
also includes sound tracks for films.
NIVE frequently joins forces with other music
groups for the performance of operas and oratorios
and other large-scale pieces. Thus, it frequently
appears with Israel’s leading orchestras like the
Philharmonic and the Israel Camerata Jerusalem
and it has worked with world-renowned choir
conductors including Frieder Bernius, John Poole,
Andrew Parrot, Hermann Max and others.
NIVE has performed three premieres at the
Israel Festival in Jerusalem and won first prizes
in international competitions for choirs in Malta
(1998), in Tolosa, Spain (2000) and in Belgium
(2001). It has also participated in festivals in
Germany, France and Luxemburg, Korea, Sardinia,
Normandy and Ljubljana. The Ensemble is
supported by the Music Department of the Culture
Administration at the Ministry of Culture & Sport.
Shahar Choir
Conductor and Music Director: Gila Brill
Founded in 1994 by Gila Brill, the choir has
performed in Israel’s best venues for vocal music,
such as the Abu Gosh Vocal Music Festival, the
Jerusalem Theater, the Mormon University, Tzavta
and the Felicia Blumenthal Music Center. The
choir operates via the Rehovot Culture Fund and
is supported by the Rehovot Municipality and the
Music Department of the Culture Administration
at the Ministry of Culture & Sport.
Yuval Ben Ozer
Conductor &
Music Director
One of Israel’s leading choral conductors, Yuval
Ben Ozer is the Music Director of the New Israeli
Vocal Ensemble, the Kibbutz Artzi Choir, and
the Zimriya International Choral Festival. He is
the founder and former Music Director of the
Philharmonia Singers.
As guest conductor, Ben Ozer has appeared in
France, Italy, Germany and Argentina as well as
with all the major orchestras in Israel. He has
collaborated as chorus master with celebrated
conductors, such as Daniel Barenboim, James
Levine, Kurt Masur, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Zubin
Mehta and Antonio Pappano.
Yuval Ben Ozer is a much sought-after lecturer
and directs workshops for top management
of major business organizations, as part of his
unique “Maestro Program for Leadership and
Team Work.”
Gila Brill
Conductor & Music Director
Gila Brill is a graduate of the Tel-Aviv Rubin
Music Academy, where she studied choral
conducting with Avner Itai. She also studied
singing and later on completed her studies
with Aharon Harlap and Frieder Bernius.
After graduating, she founded Shahar Choir.
Throughout the years she has worked with
children’s choirs, was engaged in vocal coaching
and teacher training, and is one of the founders
of the Israel Choral Organization, Hallel. Gila
is also the conductor of Mevaseret Zion’s Choir
(since 2000), and of the children’s choir of Ness
Ziona’s Conservatory (since 2010).
He is a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of
Music and Dance, and Indiana University School
of Music, Bloomington.
Naomi Warren
Summary of Kaddish
I. The World Before
II. The Holocaust
III. Tikkun Olam
Kaddish begins with reflections on life in
central Europe before the Holocaust and
introduces some of the individual survivors
whose stories make up this work. Urban and
rural, rich and poor, secular and religious,
their social experiences are diverse but reflect a
common Jewish cultural identity. This section
illuminates details of the daily lives of Jewish
families: the intersection of religion and food,
the love of learning, and the perennial hostility
of Polish and Ukrainian neighbors.
The second section of Kaddish tells personal
stories of events that took place during the
Holocaust: just a few of the vast number of
stories from the ghettos, the trains, the camps.
The movements in this section evoke the
enduring power of the past — in a child who
carries the name of an aunt who was killed as
a child, in the contemplations of a presentday survivor in a California garden, and in
memories of the horrific moments of arrival at
the death camps. The finale of this movement
combines fragments of Biblical verse, survivors’
comments and other writing to engage with the
ongoing theme of Jewish otherness.
The final section of Kaddish begins with the
Litany: a spoken-word composition whose text
consists of the names and barest details of the
lives of a very small portion of the perished.
This is followed by a setting of the words of the
Mourners’ Kaddish itself, sung for these and all
victims of genocide. The piece concludes with
a hymn in testament to the healing power of
daily life, framed with a chorus adapted from
the sayings of the mystic Rabbi Nachman of
Breslov. Finally, the words of Naomi Warren,
survivor from Houston, Texas - “I am here!
I survived, and look who is with me!” - close
Kaddish, serving as an emblem of the resilience
and determination of the survivors to carry on
their lives and, in some way, the lives of those
who perished.
Survivor of Auschwitz,
Ravensbrück and Bergen-Belsen
“Here I am! I am here,
I survived, and look who is with me!”
I. The World Before
1. Where We Came From
Oifn Pripichick, brent a fierl,
Und in stub ist hays.
Und der rebbe lerent klayne kinderlach,
Die Aleph base,
Und der rebbe lerent klayne kinderlach
Die Aleph base.
In the fireplace, burns a little fire
And the room is hot
And the rabbi teaches little children the alphabet
Yisgadal, v’yiskadash, sh’me rabba.
B’olma deevra chiruseh v’yamlich malchusay.
B’cha-yay-chon uv’yomaychon, uv’chayay d’chol
bays yisrael,
ba-agala uvizman koreev,
v’imrue amen.
May God’s great name be made great and holy,
in the world created according to God’s will.
May God’s rule be established
in your lifetimes and in your days
and in the lifetimes of all the House of Israel,
speedily, and in a short time, and say, Amen.
My birth name was Yossele Margulies.
I was born in Poland, in a little village,
the fourth of seven children.
Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Baritone, Tenor:
My name is Gladys Jacobson, Celina Fein,
Walter Kase, Aaron Etlinger
Rovna, Warsaw, Lodz, Gorlize
my name my name my name...
My name is Rita Kann, My birth name was Siegel;
same spelling.
I was born in Vienna, Austria.
my name my name my name...
my name my name my name...
(A conceptual description follows)
We hear the names of some of those who gave
testimonies to Kaddish, and their birth places.
As if in echo, the chorus whispers names of some
from those same places from the Yad Vashem
database of the perished.
The little town where I was born was under three,
four different countries. My father was born under
Austria, I was born under Poland, and where I was
born is considered today the Ukraine.
I won’t say we were rich people. We had our
we had a cow, we had a horse, we had corn
we had: for the summer we planted food, we had
some for the winter.
Mezzo soprano:
My name is Naomi Warren,
From Wolkowisk.
my name my name my name...
2. Like Cherries in the Winter
Maybe I did not have certain things,
Like cherries in the winter...
My father was a learned man.
We celebrated all the holidays.
My mother cookedThe aroma of the wonderful baking of challah,
And everything;
It was a very nice life.
The life before:
We had a small farm.
I was poor, hungry, and hated.
My mother would go to the city about Wednesday.
She would take some butter and some chickens
and some honey,
And sell it all,
And then buy some supplies,
For Saturday, for the family.
She would come home Thursday,
And then Friday she would mix it, and bake it, and
so on.
We could be on the horse and wagon,
And it rained, or snowed
Or sleet or whatever
came a certain time
my father would stop the horse,
get off the wagon
face east:
Shama! Yisroel!
Adonoi Eluhenu,
Adonoi Ehud.
Hear, Oh Israel
The Lord, our God,
The Lord is One.
We had prayers for everything
And I learned that Messiah will come
Only when we deserve it.
This is what we were trained for.
And I was a good student.
3. My Father Bought Me A Horse
When I was three years old, my father bought
me a horse and he told me:
the horse is yours so long as you study.
I was sent to Cheder at the age of three.
And we were studying the Aleph bet:
Kumetz aleph bu, Kumetz bais bu,
Kumetz gimmel gu and so on and so on and so on.
The important part my father told me:
If you caught up with the boys and you don’t
the horse goes back to the farm.
Now my father explains to me:
While the material things they can take away
from you,
what goes into your head will stay with you until
your grave.
Nobody can take away from you.
And it is my responsibility as a Jewish father,
to put as much knowledge into your head as
What you do with it is gonna be your business.
4. Hate Me Till Tuesday
At that little town where I was born, I had to
speak three languages:
Yiddish at home, Polish in school, Ukraine in the
At that little town where I was born,
The Jews were getting along,
But the Poles and Ukraines:
As they were born and as childhood, I don’t know
why and how,
They were told that the Jews killed Jesus.
And when it comes Passover, we drink the
blood of Jesus,
Because we used to make borscht.
On the way home from school I used to get
beaten up almost every day.
Seven year old boy: I killed Christ?
I came home bloodied up, my clothes torn.
One day my mother took a rolling pin and
hit me in the back:
You better learn how to defend yourself.
Your father cannot be with you all the time.
So I learned to take a calf or a heifer,
and putting my fingers into the nostrils
and twisting the neck of the animal to bring
it down,
to strengthen my muscles.
At that little town where I was born,
I had little gentile friends,
Who were my friends
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and
Sunday they went to the church and Sunday
afternoon they would beat the hell out of me.
And hate me till Tuesday.
And Tuesday they would again become my
Often you saw- and I saw it with my own eyesThat some young Polish guys would catch a Jew
who had a beard and was dressed in a religious
They would just beat him on the street.
And you often heard mothers telling their
Eat! Or the Jew will catch you!
When we were on a train and some family was
sitting next to us we heard this,
the mother to say to the children:
Behave! Or the Jew will catch you!
At that little town where I was born,
This is the atmosphere: before Hitler came!
5. Mutter Erd
Mutter Erd viel-getrotene, sunn-gewaschene,
Tunkele Schklafin un herrin
Bin ich, Geliebter.
Vun mir, der Niederiger un der Betribter
Wachst du arois a mechtiger Stamm.
Un wie die eibige Steren, un wie vun Sun die
Kreis ich in langen un blinden Schweigen
In deine Worzlen, in deine Zweigen,
Un halb in Wach un halb in Drimmel
Such ich durch dir dem hoichen Himmel.
Beloved one, I am the much trodden,
sun-washed mother Earth, dark slave and
mistress. Out of me, the dark and afflicted
one, you grow a mighty stem. And like the eternal
stars I circle in long, blind silence through
your roots and in your branches - and half
awake and half in slumber I seek the sky
through you.
(words by Anna Margolin, translation by S.J.
from Modern Yiddish Poetry)
II: The Holocaust
6. My Daughter’s Name
Baritone solo:
I had a little sister, five years younger than myself.
Her name was Raysha.
My daughter’s name is Raysha…
I get like this because I see my parentsI’ve told this story a thousand times.
The Germans, they made an announcement:
Everybody over the age of 65, everybody under the
age of 14,
Should go to the left side of the field,
Everybody else to the right side.
My father really saved my life.
He found two bricks- ordinary building bricksHe had me stand on the two bricks,
Which made me look a little bit taller.
My little sister was 8 years old.
A German officer came, he tore her away from my
And he pushed her to the left side of the field.
My mother said to my father,
We need to go with Raysha.
I started crying
That I don’t want to go to that side.
That I want to live, that I want my parents
with me.
And my parents stayed with me.
My little sister went to the left side of the field.
Eventually, when they had all the children and the
elderly assembled.
They killed them right in front of us.
I’ve asked myself,
I’ve asked myself many times.
I have many times strong feelings about it,
thinkingThat I took my parents away from my little sister.
To see my parents faces
When they watched my little sister being killed…
And it’s becoming kind of more lingering
As I get older.
I keep on thinking, of myself: What would I do if
these were my children?
I had a little sister, five years younger than myself.
Her name was Raysha.
My daughter’s name is Raysha…
7. Arrival at Auschwitz
Male Chorus:
I remember the opening of the doors,
It was loud and fast and the whole tone had
Get out!
Form lines!
And the smell…
Prisoners coming up and yelling
Get out!
Form lines!
Form lines!
Get in line!
And we all got in line.
I remember seeing my mother
Looking for my grandmother.
The women were on one side
Lines of five, in columns,
The men were on the left side
Lines of five, in columns,
The German soldiers and their sub-machine guns,
Dogs on the perimeter,
This tremendous smell…
The fences,
There were some watchtowers on them,
I was able to look beyond the fences to see more
prisoners, walking about,
Then somewhere along the line, I saw chimneys.
And all this time we were walking,
We were making advance,
We were in the line,
We were in columns and we were going.
I remember my father telling me:
Give your age 16.
That’s all.
And the next thing I know we are the next five,
We are my father and my brother and myself,
And two other people.
I give my age as 16, and they tell me to stand
over to the side.
My father and my brother
Went to the other side.
They just walked away,
Said goodbye.
8. Himmler’s Aria: Decent Fellows
Tenor (x2):
Among ourselves it should be mentioned quite
and yet we will never speak of it publicly.
I mean the evacuation of the Jews,
the extermination of the Jewish race.
Most of you must know what it means when one
hundred corpses are lying side by side,
or five hundred or one thousand.
To have stuck it out and at the same time,
apart from exceptions caused by human weakness,
to have remained decent fellows:
that is what has made us hard.
9. What a Beautiful Place You Have
What a beautiful place you have here.
It’s like a paradise…
Topics for Discussion, Chapter 30
The New Age - 1815-1935:
Is Russian irreligion, or German anti-Semitism, a
greater threat to Jewish life today?
One day we come home,
Not my children in the house.
Not his mother, not his sister,
Not his sister’s children.
They took them all, and put them on the train to
To the gas chamber.
Five year my daughter,
A year I have my son.
They were gone.
Ukrainen was in the house, and he say:
This is not yours.
And I don’t go in there.
What a beautiful place you have here.
What have been the contributions of the Jews to
German life?
Are they a reason for, or an argument against, the
present outburst?
We knew what our end will be.
We saw our lot.
So my father and a whole group started to build a
hiding place.
When we saw the aktion is coming,
We hid in that place.
There were 60 people in that place.
We stay there five days.
The Nazis saw, there were more,
Some Jews are hidden.
They started looking with dogs.
We were there five days.
And there were small children there, so they
started crying.
My cousin’s little boy was 18 months.
So he screamed.
You know, he’s a baby,
How can you talk to one?
So he puts his hand and he choked him to death.
Is there a price for one’s own and other’s life,
Which cannot, which must not
Ever be paid?
Soprano, Mezzo-soprano:
We were like slaves, you know. It was like a
What a beautiful place you have here.
10. A Burden You Cannot Share
It’s a burden you cannot share
It can’t be told.
If you would want to listen to it,
I’ll tell you some
And from what I tell you,
You tell me you heard it,
You understood it, You accept it,
You have no more questions to ask,
I know you haven’t understood.
But, if you tell me you didn’t understand,
You challenge me,
I’ll tell you more.
And if I tell you more,
It’s gonna need more questions, you understand?
You understand?
You understand.
And the reason it can’t be done is a question of
It isn’t that you sit there, and get yourself an hour,
And you want me to spill it out!
It can’t be done.
It’s gotta be continuous,
And I don’t know how long.
11. Is My Voice Too Loud?
I am a Jew;
Is my voice too loud?
Always I am worrying,
Looking over my shoulder:
Did I do that right?
Did I make him angry?
Can I have my due?
Did I make it happen?
Is this God’s will?
What’s up with God?
Is my voice too loud?
I am a Jew;
Add Chorus:
Is my voice too loud?
Naked I came from my mother’s womb.
And naked shall I return there.
God’s hand has made me,
And God’s hand destroys me,
I was at ease,
And God tore me apart,
I cry to you God,
And you do not answer.
Add Chorus:
Is my voice too loud?
By the waters of Babylon,
On the steppes of Ukraine,
I have cried,
I have cried.
But not for one moment
Do I think of what happened to me,
I can only see
The faces of the people that died in front of me.
Is my voice too loud?
You think, not of the tragedy,
That they died,
You think of the tragedy,
How they died,
What they suffered before they died.
Is my voice too loud?
I wanted only a simple life.
Which can never be taken for granted.
We are the chosen,
Chosen to suffer,
God gives us wisdom,
And wisdom is mocked,
God gives us riches,
And riches are poison,
God gives us spirit,
And spirit is flame!
And spirit is ashes.
Is my voice too loud?
I am a Jew;
Is my voice too loud?
Is my voice too loud?
Is my voice too loud?
I am a Jew.
Is my voice too loud?
III. Tikkun Olam
12. Litany
A conceptual description follows:
Everyone on stage has a piece of paper on which
is listed (e.g.): Anna Glaser; Born, 1895; Prcice,
Czechoslovakia; Died, 1942; Auschwitz.
Each individual performer - singer or
instrumentalist, has a page full of names and a
pronunciation guide.
The conductor’s score consists of a plan to call first
on one person, then a few in a row, then a few at a
time, then overlap, building into a cacophony. This
will go on a noticeably long time - shaping an ebb
and flow in which clarity of utterance emerges and
then recedes, and then the noise slowly dies away.
13. Kaddish Prayer
Yisgadal, v’yiskadash, sh’me rabba.
B’olma deevra chiruseh v’yamlich malchusay.
B’cha-yay-chon uv’yomaychon, uv’chayay d’chol
bays yisrael,
ba-agala uvizman koreev,
v’imrue amen.
Y’hay sh’may rabbah m’vorach,
l’olam ul’olmay olmaya.
Yisbarach v’yishtabach v’yispa’ar v’yisro-mam
v’yis-hadar v’yisa-leh v’yisha-lal,
sh’may d’kudisha b’reech-hu.
L’ela min kol birchasa v’shirasa, tush-b’chasa
da’amiron b’olmah v’imrue amen.
Y’he sh’loma rabbah min sh’maya,
v’chayim olenu v’al kol yisrael,
v’imrue amen.
Oseh shalom bimromav,
hu ya-aseh shalom,
olenu v’al kol yisrael, v’imrue amen.
May God’s great Name be made great and holy,
in the world created according to God’s will.
May God’s rule be established
in your lifetimes and in your days
and in the lifetimes of all the House of Israel,
speedily, and in a short time, and say, Amen.
May the great Name be blessed
in all worlds, forever and ever.
Blessed, lauded,
glorified, exalted, extolled,
beautified, raised up, and praised
be the name of the Holy Blessed One.
Far beyond all blessing and song,
praise and consolation
that are said in the world, and say Amen.
May there be a great peace from the heavens,
with life and goodness for us and all Israel,
and say Amen.
May The One who makes peace in the heavens,
make peace for us
and for all Israel,
and say: Amen.
14. Nothing is as Whole as a Heart
which has been Broken
I have a wonderful family.
(Chorus adapted from the words of Rabbi Nachman
of Breslav)
I have a wonderful family.
Wonderful, wonderful,
Nothing is as whole as a heart which has been
All time is made up of healing of the world.
Return to your ships, which are your broken
Return to your ships, which will be rebuilt.
Enter into your day by day living,
Into your life as it is here.
With all these things, I still believe,
There is a reason for everything.
Nothing is as whole...
It was a lesson that must be forgotten,
It hurt me more to hate than to love.
I had to reach into my heart, my mind,
I had a long life ahead of me...
Nothing is as whole...
Enter into your day by day living,
Into your life as it is here.
All the things I’ve witnessed, I am blessed to
be here,
I’m very blessed with my family,
My wonderful, wonderful family!
Nothing is as whole...
15. So Here I Am
So here I am.
I went back to Poland in 2003.
Add Chorus:
So here I am,
And I brought with me my wonderful, wonderful,
And when we came to Cracow,
And then from Cracow we went to Auschwitz,
All the way, I absolutely wept.
Add Chorus:
So here I am.
And we came to the gate, where it says
“Arbeit Macht Frei.”
(It’s still there.)
And to the posts of the Germans, they were still
standing there.
And I just went through the gate.
And my whole family was outside the gate.
I thought to myself, My goodness!
I am here!
I survived,
And look who is with me!
I AM HERE! (repeat)
All Soloists, Chorus 2: (as Chorus 1 continues)
And you wanted to kill me,
And you wanted to get rid of me,
But I survived.
So here I am.
Here I am,
Here I am,
I am here!
I survived,
And look who is with me.
Look who is with me.
Look who is with me.
The End
The words and music to Kaddish are copyright
2008 by Lawrence Siegel.
All rights, including publication are reserved to
the author. Permission to quote from the Libretto
(the words) is contingent upon crediting: text
Copyright 2008 by Lawrence Siegel. Used by
permission of the author.
Kaddish - I Am Here
Music and libretto by Dr. Lawrence Siegel
Mr. Shimon Peres
President of the State of Israel
Mr. Avner Shalev
Chairman of the Yad Vashem
Presentation to Jan and Richard Cohen
Performed by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA
Conductor - Gil Shohat
Maria Jette - soprano
Adriana Zabala - mezzo-soprano
Thomas Cooley - tenor
James Bohn - baritone
The New Israeli Vocal Ensemble
Conductor and Music Director: Yuval Ben Ozer
Shahar Choir
Conductor and Music Director: Gila Brill

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