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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 9, 2014 PAGE 7A 'Butterfly' journeys back to its source By Jan Richter Jewish Exponent Feature PRAGUE--When the ap- plause faded, the 32 young actors remained on stage in silence. Some of them hugged. They looked at each other, their faces filled with amazement and disbelief-- the circle was complete. The Philadelphia-based troupe had brought the words of Terezfn's children back to where they came from. They had just given the first performance of"I Never Saw Another Butterfly" at the former concentration camp where the characters they portrayed had been held captive during the Holocaust. "This is where the kids that we are commemorat- ing performed. People were suddenly hit by the meaning of what was happening, and it resulted in an amazing breakdown," 13 -year-old actor Maya Schmeidler said after the April 18 show. "I was watching people up there that I know, believing they were being exterminat- ed," said Gary Weissbrot, 64, whose nephewwas in the cast. "I'm not a spiritual person, but I think they did the memory of these children proud so that they will live on." The cast of mostly teenage actors from Philadelphia's Wolf Performing Arts Center spent the day in Terezfn, an 18th-century garrison town of around 3,000 inhabitants located northwest of Prague, the Czech Republic's capital. In 1,i, the Nazis tia'rned' the town into a ghetto- camp for Jews from occupied Czechoslovakia and other European countries. Around 150,000 Jews passed through the town's gates during World War II; most were later killed in Auschwitz and other exter- mination camps. "The first thing I felt when I stood there was an incredible heaviness and fear," remarked Jessica Calderon, 15, after visiting the town's Ghetto Museum. "There is a line in the play that says, 'I have known fear,' and now, I have truly known fear, too. Walk- ing through that gate was unbelievable. I could imagine much more clearly what the children of Terezfn felt." The play, "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," by Celeste Raspanti, is based on a collec- tion of poems and drawings of the same name produced by Londa Salamon Photography/http://www.londaphotography.com Members of the Philadelphia-based "Butterfly Project" perform in Terezin, the very place where the characters they portrayed had been imprisoned during the Holocaust. the children who lived there during the war. Also known by its German name Theresienstadt, the camp was heralded by Nazi propaganda as a"model settle- ment" in an effort to deceive the world into believing that Jews were being treated hu- manely. Inmates were encour- aged to be creative and even gave concerts. Children drew and painted, wrote stories and poems. But all learning activi- ties were strictly prohibited and only took place in utmost secrecy. Only about 10 percent of the estimated 15,000 chil- dren who lived there survived. The Philadelphia actors staged their production in the Attic Theater under the roof of the Magdeburg Barracks oi{e' of the ghetto's largest buildings. It served as the seat of the Nazi-appointed self-government of the camp, and also included a venue for lectures, concerts and other cultural events. It was there where the children's opera Brundibgtr premiered in Sep- tember 1943. "It's hard to imagine that this was where all those things happened and we are here now. A lot of us here are Jewish, so it could have been us. It's crazy," said 16-year-old Julia Govberg. About 60 percent of the cast members are Jewish. The Ho- locaust affected the family of at least one actor, Schmeidler, whose grandfather perished in Auschwitz. She said this fam- ily history might have given her a special insight into what the play was about--until the group chose to go on this trip. "After Terezfn, any advan- tage that I might have had act- ing-wise and knowledge-wise was gone because everybody was so keen learning every- thing there was to know," the 13-year-old said. "The Butterfly Project" be- gan two- and-a-half years ago when Wolf Performing Arts Center founder and director Bobbi Wolf first thought of staging the play. The actors went on to give more than 50 performances of"I Never Saw Another Butterfly" at various venues around the Delaware Valley, including the city's prestigious Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, be- fore bringing the play to the Czech Republic. But they first had to raise some $50,000 to pay for the trip. About half of the cast came on scholarships. Wolf said a local foundation donated a large amount but the majority came from indi- vidual donors who gave any- where from $10 to $4,000. The children did their share, too. "They pledged a certain amount of money and earned it, whether it was shoveling snow, which we had plenty of this year, or babysitting or dog walking," Wolf said. "Every child raised money towards the fund." They arrived in Prague on April 14, spending much of the week rehearsing and discover- ing the charms of the historic Czech capital. A highlight was sharing a Passover seder with Raja Englinderov& a vivacious 85-year-old who survived three-and-a-half years in the Terezfn camp and is the play's protagonist. "She is now a real person to us, which is really cool," said 19-year-old Emma Franzel, one of the actors portraying Englinderov& Franzel noted that the survivor also told them "little tidbits about her life" that they didn't know before. The actors had many ques- tions for Englinderov& from her views on Holocaust denial to her life in Prague after the war. "I was surprised by how much these young people knew about the Holocaust," Englinderov said. One girl wanted to know if Englinderovi still remem- bered the children whose names are mentioned in the play. "Some of them I do. But children were coming and Butterfly on page 15A Sudoku (see paie 14 for solution SUDOKU you could save 28%" Call 1-800-970-4376 fo see how much you coJ[d som an car instance, , ........... ...... , ...... esuronce Answers from 05/02/2014 2 4 9 4 8 3 5 7 2 5 1 6 4 1 5 3 1 6 4 8 2 7 9 7 2 9 5 Fill in the blank squares in the grid, making sure that every row, COlUmn and 3-by-3 box'includes all digits f through 9, " Central Florida Synagogues Orlando Weekday Morning Minyan (Conservative/Egalitarian), services Monday-Friday 7:45 a.m. (9 a.m. - national holidays); 2nd floor Chapel - Jewish Academy of Orlando; 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland. For information call 407-298-4650. Celebration Jewish Congregation (R), services and holiday sched- ules shown at www.JewishCelebration.org; 407-566-9792. Chabad Lubavitch of North Orlando (O), 39 Skyline Drive; Suite 1017, Lake Mary, 407-878-3011, www.jewishorlando.com; services: second Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m.; every Saturday at 10 a.m. Chabad of South Orlando (O), 7504 Universal Blvd., Orlando, 407-354-3660; www.jewishorlando.com; Shabbat services: Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.; services, Monday and Thursday, 8a.m. Chabad of the Space & Treasure Coasts (O), 1190 Highway A1A, Satellite Beach, 321-777-2770. Congregation Ahavas Yisrael/Chabad (O), 708 Lake Howell Rd., Maitland, 407-644-2500; www.chabadorlando.org; services: Sunday, 9 a.m.; Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.; Shabbat services: Friday, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.; Family service, 4th Friday of the month. Congregation Bet Chaim (R), 426 Lakeport Cove, Casselberry, 407-830-7211; www.betchaim.org; Shabbat services: Friday, 8 p.m.; 2nd Saturday of the month, 10:30 a.m. Congregation Beth Am (C), 3899 Sand Lake Road, L0ngwood, 407-862-3505; www.congbetham.org; Shabbat services: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. Congregation Beth E1 (C), 2185 MeadowlaneAve., West Melbourne, 321-779-0740; Shabbat services, 1st & 3rd Friday, 8 p.m.; 2nd & 4th Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. Congregation BethEmeth (R),2205 Blue Sapphire Circle, Orlando, 407-855-0772; Shabbat service: monthly, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Israel (Rec), Collins Resource Center, Suite 303, 9401S.R. 200, Ocala,352-237-8277; bethisraelocala.org; Shabbat service, second Friday of the month, 8 p.m. Congregation Beth Sholom (R-C), 315 North 13th St., Leesburg, 352-326-3692; www.bethsholomflorida.org; schedule of services on website. Congregation Beth Shalom (Progressive Conservative), Orange City congregation holds services at 1308 E.Normandy Blvd., Deltona; 386-804-8283; www.mybethshalom.com; Shabbat services: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. Congregation B'nai Torah (C), 403 N. Nova Rd., Ormond Beach, 32174, 386-672-1174; www.mybnaitorah.com; Shabbat services: Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. Congregation Chabad Lubavitch of Greater Daytona (0), 1079 W. Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach, 386-672-9300; Shabbat services Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. Congregation of Reform Judaism (R), 928 Malone Dr., Orlando, 407-645-0444; www.crjorlando.org: Shabbat services, 7 p.m. tst Friday; 8 p.m., 2nd and 3rd Fridays; 6 p.m., 4th and 5th Fridays; Saturday: 10 a.m. : Congregation Mateh Chaim (R), P,O. Box 060847, Palm Bay, 32906, 321-768-6722. Congregation Ohev Shalom (C), 613 Concourse Parkway South, Maitland, 407-298-4650; www.ohevshalom.org; Shabbat service, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.; Junior Congregation., 10:00 a.m. Congregation Or Chayim (Rec), Leesburg, 352-326-8745; egrae@ hotmail.com; services last Friday of each month at 3:30 p.m. at vari- ous private residences. Congregation Shalom Aleichem (R), 3501 Oak Pointe Blvd., Kis- simmee, 407-935-0064;www.shalomaleichem.com; Shabbat service, 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month, 8 p.m. Congregation Sinai (C/R), 303 N. S.R. 27, Minneola; 352-243- 5353; congregationsinai@cfl.rr.com; services: every Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Healing Service, first Friday of the month, 7 p.m. Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation/Ohalei Rivka (C), 11200 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd., Orlando, 407-239-5444; Shabbat service, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. Temple Beth El (R), 579 N. Nova Rd., Ormond Beach, 386-677-2484. Temple Beth Shalom (R), P.O. Box 031233, Winter Haven, 813- 324-2882. Temple Beth Shalom (C), 40 Wellington Drive, Palm Coast, 386- 445-3006; Shabbat service, Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. Temple Beth Sholom (C), 5995 N. wickham Rd. Melbourne, 321-254-6333; www.mytbs.org; Shabbat services: Friday, 5:50 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. Minyan, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10:00 a.m. Temple Beth Shalom (R), 1109 N.E. 8thAve., Ocala, 352-629-3587; Shabbat services: Friday, 8 p.m.; Torah study: Saturday, 10:00 a.m. Temple B'nai Darom (R), 49Banyan Course, Ocala, 352-624-0380; Friday Services 8 p.m. Temple Israel (C), 50 S. Moss Rd., Winter Springs, 407-647-3055; www.tiflorida.org; Shabbat services: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday 9:00 a.m. Temple Israel (R), 7350 Lake Andrew Drive, Melbourne, 321- 631-9494. Temple Israel (C), 1400 S. Peninsula Ave., Daytona Beach, 386- 252-3097; Shabbat service, 8 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. Temple Israel of DeLand (R), 1001 E. New York Ave., DeLand, 386-736-1646; Friday Shabbat service, 7 p.m. Temple L'Chayim (R), 4420 South Rd. 27, Ste. 4, Clermont, 352- 978-6357; temple.l.chayim@cfl.rr.com. Temple Shalom (formerly New Jewish Congregation) (R), 13563 Country Road 101, Oxford, 352-748-1800;www.newjewishcongrega- tion.org; Shabbat services: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; last Saturday of the month, 9:30 a.m. Temple Shalom of Deltona (R/C), 1785 Elkcam Blvd., Deltona, 386-789-2202; Shabbat service; 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. Temple Shir Shalom of Oviedo (R) Services held in the EPiCenter at University Carillon United Methodist Church, 1395 Campus View Court, Oviedo, 407-366-3556, www.templeshirshalom.org; Shabbat services: three Fridays each month, 7:30 p.m. Traditional Congregation of Mount Dora (T) Mount Dora, 352- 735-4774; www.tcomd.org; services: second and fourth Fridays and Saturday of the month. (R) Reform (C) Conservative (O) Orthodox (Re) Recouctionist