Dallas Holocaust Museum Partners with Dallas ISD for First-Ever City-Wide Read and Performance

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Multi-disciplinary program encourages positive classroom discussion on tolerance, perseverance and responsibility.

Dallas Holocaust Museum
This story is a stunning testament to the power of music to lift the human spirit and to grant the soul endurance, patience and peace.

The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, in partnership with the Dallas Independent School District (ISD) and Hold On To Your Music, is sponsoring the first-ever City-Wide Read and Performance this fall for approximately 12,500 fifth graders, as well as students from several of the city’s Jewish schools. Students will read The Children of Willesden Lane, a true story of inspiration and perseverance in a time of war, and attend a musical performance by the author, Grammy-nominated classical pianist Mona Golabek.

The Children of Willesden Lane tells the story of Golabek’s mother, Lisa Jura, a 14-year-old Jewish musical prodigy whose family sent her from her home in Vienna to England on the Kindertransport after the Nazi annexation of Austria. While in England, separated from her family, Lisa made her way to the Willesden Lane orphanage, where her dream to become a concert pianist was realized.

“This story is a stunning testament to the power of music to lift the human spirit and to grant the soul endurance, patience and peace,” said Dallas Holocaust Museum President and CEO Mary Pat Higgins. “It’s especially timely in Dallas now, as we want to encourage positive classroom discussion on anti-discrimination and tolerance.”

The City-Wide Read and Performance for all Dallas ISD fifth graders and several Dallas Jewish schools includes:

  •     Personal copy of The Children of Willesden Lane (including Spanish Readers Digest)
  •     Attendance at a performance by Golabek at the Music Hall at Fair Park on November 14, 15 or 16
  •     Transportation to and from the venue
  •     Professional development for teachers and librarians on teaching Holocaust history and The Children of Willesden Lane
  •     Bilingual teacher resources and curriculum for English Language Arts, Reading, Performing Arts, Social Studies, Library and Media Studies

“The universality of this story reaches across all geographic, religious and ethnic divides and powerfully speaks to students,” said Vicente R. Reyes, Dallas ISD’s assistant superintendent of teaching and learning. “Through classroom curriculum, reading the book and attending a live performance, students will experience history, music, theater and a deeper understanding of acceptance, respect and most importantly, the resiliency of the human spirit.”

The City-Wide Read and Performance is funded by: the Dallas Holocaust Museum, Dallas ISD, an anonymous donor, the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, Leslie and Howard Schultz, Carol and Steve Aaron, the Funk family, Ynette and Jim Hogue, Helen and Frank Risch, the Leo and Rhea Fay Fruhman Foundation/Beverly and Joe Goldman, Sherry and Ken Goldberg, Ann and Nate Levine, Candy and Ike Brown, the Center for Jewish Education, Humanities Texas, the Folsom family, the Bauer family, the Greif family and Fairmont Dallas.

The Dallas Holocaust Museum’s mission is to teach the history of the Holocaust and advance human rights to combat prejudice, hatred and indifference. The Museum’s education programs have had a profound effect on people of all ages. In 2015, almost 80,000 visitors toured the Museum and many have written, emailed or posted notes that their lives have been transformed by the experience. Through its exhibits and programs, visitors learn about the discrimination, deep-rooted hatred and the attempted annihilation of the Jews and the systematic persecution of others. The Museum is located at 211 N. Record Street, Dallas, Texas 75202. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please visit dallasholocaustmuseum.org or call (214) 741-7500.

The Dallas Independent School District is continually preparing its more than 159,000 students for college or a career. The district offers a competitive mix of innovative programs, choice programs and instructional initiatives that support the increased academic achievement and socio-emotional development of its students. To learn more, visit http://www.dallasisd.org.

Mona Golabek was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of Lisa Jura, a concert pianist, and Michel Golabek. Her mother Lisa was born in Austria, and was one of 10,000 Jewish children brought to England before World War II as part of the Kindertransport, a mission to rescue children threatened by the Nazis. Although Mona's mother was rescued, her maternal grandparents died at Auschwitz. She has appeared in concert with major orchestras and conductors around the world and in recitals at the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center, and the Royal Festival Hall. She has one Grammy nomination and she was the subject of the PBS documentaries More Than the Music, winner of the Grand Prize in the 1985 WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival. Concerto for Mona by William Kraft was dedicated to her.

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