'Legacy' Educates and Inspires Jewish Academy
The award-winning play by Shauna Kanter is being performed at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts.
Legacy, an Evelyn Orbach production in association with VOICETheatre currently on stage at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts, has been much more than a riveting few hours of theater for local students.
During the past several weeks leading up to seeing Thursday's performance of the drama by Shauna Kanter, approximately 200 students from six local high schools have enjoyed workshops that discussed the history of the Holocaust, how the lessons learned connect to their own lives and how exclusion of, or discrimination against, any group or person can have painful consequences.
Frankel Jewish Academy is one of the schools participating in the Legacy Project, along with students from Detroit’s Renaissance High School, Mumford High School, Western International High School and Cass Technical High School, along with students from Canton High School in Canton.
FJA seniors Helene Glickman, David Weinfeld and Samantha Zwick were among the 60 or so Frankel students who attended the performance Thursday morning, and all three participated in the workshops leading up to it.
When asked what she thought of the production, Glickman said, "I thought it was great for people who don't know much about the Holocaust, and of that time in Germany, to be educated about it on a personal level by seeing the experiences of a family instead of learning about it from a textbook.
"I hope something like the Holocaust could never happen again," she continued. "I feel that similar things are happening today, like in Africa. But I think that, especially in our country, with people being able to express their opinions and with our media, I don't think people are as afraid to stand up for themselves and express their opinions as they once were."
Weinfeld said he was happy to see students from public school gain a greater understanding of Jewish history and culture.
"Students from the other schools who participated, like Cass Tech or Renaissance, might not know as much about it as we do, and it’s good that they can learn a lot from the show," Weinfeld said. "It's become almost a cliché to say that we have to remember, but as long as the message about the Holocaust — and any other atrocities that happen in the world — are pushed out to people who may not be knowledgeable on the subject, it's a good thing."
Zwick added, "I think having this time for everyone to learn from this play is important. Kids who aren't Jewish learned about what the Jews in Germany went through."
The students see many parallels in the Legacy story to life today.
If you read what was written about our school (in the program), it talks more about how we got over grudges with each other. As Jewish students, we've always been taught about the Holocaust, so we were able to spend some of our time digging not just into that, but into our own personal experiences and our histories with each other," Weinfeld said.
Tickets cost $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for students and are available at the box office by calling 248-661-1900 or by visiting theberman.org.
The following performance times are scheduled:
- Saturday — 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
- Sunday — 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Tuesday — 10 a.m.
To see a photo gallery from dress rehearsal last week, click here: 'Legacy' Opens at Berman Center Over the Weekend.