Selfhelp Community Services, in association with Menemsha Films, presents

Witness Theater: The Film

We welcome you to take a look behind the scenes into a year-long therapeutic journey. You will see stories of loss, struggle and lives rebuilt and the healing power of intergenerational relationships.

Witness Theater: The Film is based upon Selfhelp’s Witness Theater program, an intergenerational program which brings together Holocaust survivors and high school students weekly with a goal to elicit, expose and memorialize the stories of the Holocaust. Through this process, the students become witnesses to history and storytellers of the Holocaust.

 In just the last year, we have witnessed 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, according to the ADL, which represents the third-highest year on record since the 1970s.  At the same time, a Claims Conference study found that almost half of Americans cannot name a single concentration camp or ghetto, just one of many findings that point to a lack of Holocaust awareness and education in the US.

These staggering realities come at a time when this last generation of Holocaust survivors, and first hand witnesses to history, are aging into their 80s and 90s. This reality is why, with major support from UJA-Federation of NY, Selfhelp Community Services has been committed to sharing the stories of survivors through the Witness Theater program, and has now captured the program’s inner message and profound impact through the production of Witness Theater: The Film.   Filmmaker Oren Rudavsky, distributor Menemsha Films, and a number of individual and organizational supporters including UJA-Federation of NY, have joined in this feature length documentary that serves as a behind the scenes look at a nearly yearlong relationship between students and survivors.