Resisting the international resurgence of antisemitism, this educational and artistic project is designed to reach young adults, engage communities, and build understanding in creative ways.
Most students are deprived of the opportunity to creatively process information about the Holocaust, racism, ethnic cleansing, and other identity-based atrocities. The Sh'ma Project brings these difficult -- but necessary -- conversations to high schools, universities, museums, places of worship, film festivals, and artistic organizations.
To fully embody the content presented by The Sh'ma Project, its message is presented as a three-part system:
Sh'ma: A Story of Survival is an innovative and powerful narrative dance film. It tells the story of director/choreographer Suki John's mother as she journeys from school days to Jewish ghetto, deportation to concentration camp, refugee to American citizen. Originally a live choreodrama performed in the former Yugoslavia and New York City, Sh'ma is now a beautifully-produced dance film that evokes kinesthetic empathy in ways that words cannot. Produced with 4 cameras, 15 extraordinary performers, original music and design, Sh'ma highlights resilience, connection, and hope. The film is available in 70-minute and 30-minute formats.
Educators are invited to enroll student groups in specially designed Upstander Workshops before and after viewing Sh'ma. Upstander Workshops empower students to create personal responses across learning styles. Through movement, writing, and dialogue, young people find thoughtful, safe, and collaborative methods to contextualize history and inform the present.
Our mobile group of facilitators will be trained and available to visit your community digitally or in person by mid-2024.
To deepen the meaning, breadth, and impact of The Sh'ma Project, students and educators are equipped with the free educational resource, The Holocaust: Remembrance, Respect, Resilience. This digital anthology was written by a team of international scholars, co-edited by Dr. Suki John and fellow 2nd-generation survivor, Dr. Michael Polgar (Penn State University Sociology Professor). Holocaust OER