Shoah-themed jazz opera, educator workshop to be presented at Rutgers

Shoah-themed jazz opera, educator workshop to be presented at Rutgers

ACCLAIMED JAZZ pianist Ted Rosenthal will present “Letters to Erich: A Musical Performance and Talk” — about his jazz opera “Dear Erich,” which he based on the letters his grandmother sent while trapped in Nazi Germany — on Tuesday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. at Nicholas Music Center in New Brunswick.

Joining him in the program will be mezzo-soprano Sishel Claverie and baritone Peter Kendall Clark, who will perform numbers from Rosenthal’s new work. He will discuss the backstory of the opera, which draws on more than 200 letters between Rosenthal’s grandmother in Germany and his father, Erich, who was able to emigrate.

The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, visit

The next day, Wednesday, March 4, Rosenthal will be among those presenting “Using Personal Letters to Teach About the Holocaust,” a free professional development workshop for middle and high school teachers, also at the Nicholas Center.

It will explore the use of letters as primary documents for teaching about family separation, Holocaust history, immigration, and anti-Semitism. Others who will conduct the workshop are Debórah Dwork, the inaugural Rose Professor of Holocaust History and founding director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, and Colleen Tambuscio, the center’s pedagogical consultant.

Advance registration is required; for requirements, visit

Presented by Rutgers University’s Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life and its Herbert and Leonard Littman Families Holocaust Resource Center, the events are cosponsored by an Arts and Culture Community Grant of the Association for Jewish Studies, the Mason Gross School of the Arts, the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, and the New Brunswick Jazz Project.

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