The Anne Frank Center USA Proudly Presents "Fragments: Jewish Life in Central and Eastern Europe - 1981 to 2007"

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In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, The Anne Frank Center USA will exhibit "Fragments: Jewish Life in Central and Eastern Europe 1981-2007" by photographer and musician Yale Strom from September 10-November 28, 2014.

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Havdalah in Budapest, Hungary, 1985. By Yale Strom.

Few events in recent history have been as momentous and consequential as the fall of the Berlin Wall. This autumn, which marks the 25th anniversary of this event, The Anne Frank Center USA is proud to host Fragments: Jewish Life in Central and Eastern Europe 1981-2007 by photographer and musician Yale Strom.

Fragments is an exhibit of 36 photographs and sheet music that explore the Post-War traditions of Central and Eastern Europe’s remaining Jewish communities. The project began over thirty years ago, when Strom visited Eastern Europe and saw Jews living in small towns and villages reminiscent of the pre-War “shtetl” made famous by Chagall’s paintings and Roman Vishniac’s iconic photographs. In these communities, he found the remnants of orthodox or Hasidic worlds, alongside Jews who were still devoted communists and some who just wanted better lives for their children and grandchildren.

Today, some of these locations do not have a single Jew living in them. And yet in larger towns, Jewish life and culture thrives. Where there was once barely a minyan in Warsaw, there are now several. Where once there was one respected Jewish Day School in Budapest, there are now several with both Jewish and non-Jewish students. And where once Jewish music could only be heard in a Jewish club in Krakow, now there is an international Jewish musical festival that attracts people from all over the globe.

It is this world – vibrant, varied, and ever-changing – that Strom captures in Fragments. The exhibit focuses on nine countries – Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, East Germany, the former Soviet Union (Moldova and Ukraine today), the former Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Belarus, and the Ukraine (after the Wall came down) – and depicts images from both before and after the Wall came down. A musician, Strom also pays special attention to the role of klezmer music, with several photographs dedicated to the subject. Original sheet music – “lost” melodies the artist learned on his journeys – will also be displayed alongside the photographs.

In conjunction with the exhibit, a film by Yale Strom, "Carpati: 50 Miles, 50 Years," about a Jewish community living in a small town in the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine, will be shown on Tuesday, October 7 from 6:30-8:30.

Another event - a performance of Eastern European music by Yale Strom, Elizabeth Schwartz and Peter Stan - will take place on Thursday, October 16 from 6:30-8:30. The show will combine klezmer with Roma, jazz, classical, Balkan and Sephardic motifs.

This exhibit is made possible by The New York Department of Cultural Affairs, The Puffin Foundation, and The Anne Frank Center USA, and is sponsored by The Hungarian Consulate and the Polish Cultural Institute.

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Ashley Nelson
The Anne Frank Center USA
+1 212-431-7993 Ext: 307
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