You are here

Upcoming Events

Night of Shattered Glass: An Afternoon of Reflections, 80 Years Since Kristallnacht
Sunday, November 11, 2018 - 2:00pm
Temple Israel

Event Details

On November 9 and 10 1938, Nazi military forces and German civilians attacked Jewish homes, hospitals, businesses, schools and synagogues, destroying tens of thousands of buildings and arresting 30,000 Jewish men. We remember this as Kristallnacht -- Night of Shattered Glass, a reference to the shards of broken glass that littered the streets. These events are part of the collective trauma endured by the Jewish people in the 20th century.

80 years later, Temple Israel presents an afternoon of reflections on memory, suffering, resilience, and identity. We will come together to tell stories of these times, through the lens of all that has happened since and the moment we live in today. Join us for an illuminating and challenging study on trauma, healing, justice, and empathy.

Open to all! Suggested donation $10-40. Major funding provided by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.


  • 2:00-3:15 p.m Introduction to the life and theology of Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman Shapiro, Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto. Text study led by Rabbi Andrea Cohen Kiener and Maggid David Arfa.
  • 3:15-3:30 p.m. Break and snacks
  • 3:30-5:30 The Jar of Tears: A Memorial for the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto. A storytelling performance by Maggid David Arfa followed by audience reflection on Rabbi Shapiro's "theology of weeping."
  • 5:30-6:00 Light supper
  • 6:00-8:00 Screening of Who Will Write Our History? Followed by reflections, closing with Mourner's Kaddish


Introduction and Text Study

Temple Israel's Rabbi Andrea Cohen Kiener will introduce the afternoon and lead a study on the work of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro, Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto, who perished in the Trawniki work camp. Rabbi Andrea is the rabbi of Temple Israel, and a translator of Rabbi Kalonymus' book entitled Bnai Machshavah Tovah, a guide for working adults who seek to practice intentionality in their daily lives.

The Jar of Tears: A Memorial for the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto. Storytelling Performance by Maggid David Arfa

The Jar of Tears is a full length storytelling performance based on the life and words of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro. Rabbi Shapiro wrote sermons while confined in the ghetto and slowly developed a creative theology of weeping. He buried his sermons in a milk jug, and though the Rabbi did not survive the war, his sermons did. These sermons portray his depth and unflinching honesty as he strove with all his heart to remain connected with the Ribono Shel Olam, the Master of the World. This performance shares a series of personal letters addressed to the Master of the World, imagined by Maggid David and taken from Rabbi Shapiro's words. They provide a portrait of his life, the pain he endured, and how he managed to stay human even though his whole life and community had shattered.

Maggid David writes: "Rabbi Shapiro expands the notion of resistance for me, expanding the circle way beyond physical revolt. I see his work as active, fierce resistance of the strongest kind. Using the power of his pen; of his speech, he named his deepest truths. This became the shield that prevented destruction from within, for him and for his community whom he spiritually nourished." The Jar of Tears won the Cohen Center's Hildebrandt Award for its artistic excellence, technical mastery and depth of vision.

Who Will Write Our History? Film Screening

In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders decided to fight back. Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, this clandestine group vowed to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda not with guns or fists but with pen and paper. Now, for the first time, their story is told as a feature documentary. Based on Sam Kassow's historical research, Who Will Write our History is written, produced and directed by Roberta Grossman and executive produced by Nancy Spielberg. Who Will Write Our History mixes the writings of the Oyneg Shabes archive with new interviews, rarely seen footage and stunning dramatizations to transport us inside the Ghetto and the lives of these courageous resistance fighters. They defied their murderous enemy with the ultimate weapon - the truth - and risked everything so that their archive would survive the war, even if they did not.