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HERE I AM... AND LOOK WHO IS WITH ME   LITANY/KADDISH PRAYER   KADDISH   MONADNOCK TALES   ALL GO FORWARD AND BACK!
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HERE I AM... AND LOOK WHO IS WITH ME

A Study Guide for Lawrence Siegel's KADDISH

Using the words and music of Lawrence Siegel's composition, KADDISH, students will respond to the call of Holocaust survivor voices. Middle-school and high-school students (grades 6-12) will celebrate, through fine and performing arts, the dignity of human life. They will face the responsibility to challenge hatred and complacency in our own time and place.

CD-ROM CONTENTS

Each CD-ROM contains a detailed lesson plan, along with supporting materials for that lesson (handouts, audio files, score, libretto) and background information on the Kaddish Project.

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For more information about Kaddish visit the Kaddish Project web site or contact the publisher: Larilea 128 Paine Rd. Westmoreland, NH 03467 603-355-8353
larry@tricinium.com.

kaddish

OBJECTIVES

At the end of the program students will know:

  1. That the Holocaust actually happened.
  2. That genocide is still happening.
  3. That those who were killed were individuals with families, lives, and stories.
  4. That we are the keepers of these stories.
  5. That the Holocaust is not only about hate and death, but also about resilience and healing.
  6. That a question we face is, "With the knowledge of the Holocaust, how can one heal?"
  7. That we all have a responsibility to make a difference.

LESSON PLANS

1. The Disappearance of Shtetl Culture: An Integrated Project
Focus: Cultural Studies, Art, Music   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
This project is designed as an integrated assignment, lasting between 3 & 5 days of preparation and culminating in a series of exhibitions. Students are to be split up into groups of three or four in order to accomplish the work. The assistance of other teachers in the disciplines covered may be utilized. Students may be given class time as well as homework to accomplish their tasks. In addition to an exhibition at the end of their research period, they will be required to present a paper to which each of them will have contributed, detailing the work they have done as well as what they discovered.

2. "To Dislodge Them from the Very Ground of Coherence."
Focus: Visual Art   Grades: High School (9-12)
"Like Cherries in the Winter", establishes the image of a familiar world. The chorus begins by establishing and acknowledging that it wasn't a luxurious world (“maybe I didn't have certain things...”), but it was a familiar world. Students feel great empathy for the Holocaust story of familiar worlds destroyed by thugs, of families torn apart, of the loneliness and despair that children must have experienced. This empathy is rooted in their own sense of comfortable worlds that they inhabit (or long for) at home. The purpose of this exercise is to create a non-verbal experience of home, of place. To allow the imagination to re-create a home that might be lost. Students are asked to imagine a special place or room from someone the age of 10-12 who lived before they were born. The imagining is designed to move them out of the literal.

3. Place in This World: A Vocal Music Response to "Like Cherries in The Winter" and "Hate Me Till Tuesday"
Focus: Vocal Music   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
"Kaddish is a way of making common cause with the survivors and with those who perished. My music adds to the power of their words. For survivors, life since the Holocaust has been about carrying on the lives that were lost. Survivors say, “I choose to carry these people on my back” - and this is what the piece itself also means to do". - Lawrence Siegel, KADDISH composer

4. Time Past, Time Present
Focus: Dance, Movement (kinetic learning)   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
Students will create an original piece of choreography: It will utilize the lyrics from "Like Cherries In the Winter". By examining the power of memory and perspective students will gain a sense of connection to the characters and to themselves through time.

5. The Journey of Shtetl Food: A Poem
Focus: Creative Writing, Cultural Studies   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
Students will gain an appreciation for an essential element of "The World Before" for Eastern European Jews: food. They will explore their own experiences in a creating a dish and use this tangible experience as the basis for putting themselves in the position of a pre-Holocaust Jewish cook.

6. Bringing Shtetl Villagers to Life
Focus: Drama   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
In an effort to understand and bring to life those who lived during the Holocaust, students will work in groups to dramatize the characters that inhabit "Like Cherries in the Winter". Starting with a basic text, students will flesh out the details that are unspoken and create full characters. They will then look forward to present-day families and the ways in which the daily joys, struggles, and routines are different and similar.

7. Seeing the Old World with the Eyes of a Modern Artist
Focus: Visual Art   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
Look at examples of the art of the modern artist Marc Chagall. Chagall was a Russian Jew who grew up in a part of the world that was very similar to the location of the events portrayed in "The World Before". This is the area we now call Belarus. You can find many examples of Chagall's art work in art book on modern art and in books just about him. You can also find his work on the web sites of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY and at many other museums by just doing a search of his name on a computer.

8. The Dilemmas of “Othering”
Focus: Dance, Movement (kinetic learning)   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
In an effort to work to understand the confusing contrast between acceptance and shunning that Jews experienced, we will examine parts of the text of "Hate Me Till Tuesday" and work on movement metaphors that stimulate conversations surrounding the ideas of bullying, who does what when and why? Also, who does nothing? Why?

9. Cause and Consequence in Diamante Poetry
Focus: Creative Writing   Grades: High School (9-12)
Using personal experiences and "My Daughter's Name", students will create a diamante poem that identifies and explores the causes, as well as the short and long term consequences of deeds and words. A poem that will appear in a diamond shape when completed.

10. The Details of Memory
Focus: Visual Art   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
Intolerance, racial, religious, and ethnic prejudices are at the root of problems that have plagued humanity from the beginning of time. And yet people truly do not want to live in a world continuously afflicted by these evils. So what is to be done? How should each person act so that we can decrease the evil in the world and help heal the wounds it has caused? The first way to help make things better is to understand how things got the way they are. Since we are considering are the effects of acts of inhumanity carried out during the Holocaust, for this project you will need to collect numerous examples of visual evidence of these acts.

11. Epitaphs
Focus: Cultural Studies, Creative Writing   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
After reading selections from Spoon River Anthology, we will apply a similar technique to our appreciation of "Litany" from Kaddish. We will also make use of old photos of Holocaust victims of all ages and lists of their names.

12. Speculative Fiction: A World Without Mourning
Focus: Creative Writing   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
Speculative fiction includes genres that answer the question, “What if?” Science fiction, fantasy, horror, distopian literature, and supernatural fiction are all types of speculative fiction. They often present visions of the future or alternative realities that function as a commentary on contemporary culture. Victims of the Holocaust were denied proper burial and the ability to follow death and mourning rituals fundamental to their faith. The purpose of this lesson is for students to consider how fundamental death ritual and mourning are to the human experience. To deprive people of their ability to participate in these rituals is a major step toward denying them their humanity.

13. Four Seasons of Grief Influenced by the Mourner's Kaddish: A Play
Focus: Creative writing, (Drama, for lesson extension)   Grades: High School (9-12)
This lesson explores the Jewish prayer the Mourner's Kaddish. The Mourner's Kaddish is a prayer of mourning that makes no mention of death, but rather praises God, affirming life in the face of death. This prayer is recited daily for a year after a loved one's death. Students will explore how the recitation of this prayer could affect mourners across the course of a year. Student familiarity with plays and theater will make this lesson more successful.

14. Exploring Wholeness through the Biography Poem
Focus: Creative Writing   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
Using "Nothing Is As Whole As a Heart Which Has Been Broken", students will explore the concept of wholeness by composing a biographical poem which may be complemented by the creation of individual mandalas.

15. Exploring Wholeness through the Mandala: A Follow-up to the Biography Poem
Focus: Creative writing, Art   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
Using "Nothing Is As Whole As a Heart Which Has Been Broken", students will explore the concept of wholeness by composing a biographical poem (see lesson plan, "Exploring Wholeness Through the Biography Poem") to be complemented by the creation of individual mandalas. Mandala is an ancient Sanskrit word, which loosely translated means "circle", a universal and simple shape which has no beginning and no end and which may be found everywhere. The mandala represents a wholeness that radiates from a center.

16. Letter Poem from the Broken to That Which has Broken It
Focus: Creative Writing   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
This lesson provides students with a way of exploring in depth of the Hasidic saying, "Nothing is as whole as heart which has been broken". Students will creatively express the role of being broken in the human condition and how that can be conveyed in art. Recognition of the brokenness around and within us fosters empathy for the suffering of others.

17. Exploring Wholeness and Healing through Drama
Focus: Drama   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
Students will interpret "Nothing Is As Whole As A Heart Which Has Been Broken" by creating a theater piece using music and movement, sounds and words that accompany a narrative reading of the lyrics.

18. A Message of Hope
Focus: Vocal Music   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
"Kaddish is a way of making common cause with the survivors and with those who perished. My music adds to the power of their words. For survivors, life since the Holocaust has been about carrying on the lives that were lost. Survivors say, “I choose to carry these people on my back” - and this is what the piece itself also means to do". - Lawrence Siegel, KADDISH composer
Students will learn songs that continue to keep the themes and messages from KADDISH. This lesson will be used with the KADDISH movement "Nothing Is As Whole As A Heart Which Has Been Broken".

19. Broken to Whole... Whole to Broken
Focus: Dance, Movement (kinetic learning)   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
Students will interpret "Nothing Is As Whole As A Heart Which Has Been Broken" through movement study surrounding the concept of wholeness.

20. The Allegorist: Rabbi Nachman, Kafka, and You
Focus: Creative Writing, English Literature   Grades: High School (9-12)
For teachers who are able to inspire their students to stretch, here is an ambitious plan.
Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav (1772 - 1810) is a central figure in Hasidic movement of Eastern European Judaism. Nachman's tales not only influenced members of the Hasidic movement and non-Hasidic Jewish spiritual seekers, but also many secular writers who are acknowledged as part of the contemporary literary canon, these include Franz Kafka, Jorge Louis Borges, and Italo Calvino. Familiarity with the tales of Rabbi Nachman will prepare students to understand the literature of The World Before and understand the context for the libretto movement entitled, "Nothing is as Whole as a Heart that has been Broken."

21. The Other Side of the Story: The Hidden Meaning of Rabbi Nachman's Tales (pop-up book)
Focus: Art, Creative writing   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav (1772 - 1810) is a central figure in Hasidic movement of Eastern European Judaism. Nachman's tales not only influenced members of the Hasidic movement and non-Hasidic Jewish spiritual seekers, but also many secular writers who are acknowledged as part of the contemporary literary canon, these include Franz Kafka, Jorge Louis Borges, and Italo Calvino. Familiarity with the tales of Rabbi Nachman will prepare students to understand the literature of The World Before and understand the context for the libretto movement entitled, "Nothing is as Whole as a Heart that has been Broken."

22. So Here I Am — a Dramatic Interpretation
Focus: Drama (with a lesson extension that includes Dance)   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
Students will create an original performed dramatic work: It will utilize the phrase, "So here I am", repeated throughout the performance. It will also be a litany of sorts that uses historical data from available information about survivors of the Holocaust.

23. How Do We Honor Those Who Suffered?
Focus: Visual Art   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
All cultures basically believe in the goodness of human beings. The Holocaust and the places in the world today where genocides may still be happening are not examples of the best actions of humanity. But as we face these unpleasant realities there are some very wonderful concepts that help people look ahead with hope when faced with the evils in the world. What this means in everyday life is the idea that each good thing you do for another person will multiply as that person does good things for others and they, in turn, continue to do good things. Another related idea is to accept the fact that one person cannot solve all the world's problems but that should not stop us from trying to make our part of the world a little better. Further there is a Chinese proverb that says a drop of water, when it joins with other drops, becomes a stream which becomes a torrent that can sweep away a mountain. The struggle and resistance by many, many brave people was what eventually ended the killings of the Holocaust. The same will be true of the genocides we confront today.

24. Fully Alive
Focus: Choral Music   Grades: Middle School (6-8); High School (9-12)
"Kaddish is a way of making common cause with the survivors and with those who perished. My music adds to the power of their words. For survivors, life since the Holocaust has been about carrying on the lives that were lost. Survivors say, “I choose to carry these people on my back” - and this is what the piece itself also means to do". - Lawrence Siegel, KADDISH composer
Students will learn songs that continue to keep the themes and messages from KADDISH. This lesson will be used with the KADDISH movement "So Here I Am".

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Note: Public school teachers may have concerns about religious terminology and concepts in the classroom. However, it is impossible to separate Eastern European Jewish culture from Jewish religion. Gaining perspective on Jewish culture and religion will enable students to grasp the message of KADDISH with greater understanding.

The development of Here I am... and look who is with me was an inspired collaboration organized by Jane Shapiro at the request of Lawrence Siegel and Jan Cohen with the generous participation and careful guidance of the Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies staff. We are grateful to all who participated unstintingly in the work that has resulted in this program.

  • Paula M. Aarons, Choreographer, Artist Educator, and Professor of Dance, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
  • Sarah Kendall Bayles, Producer and Editor, Kaddish Education Program
  • Meagan Blais, '10 Keene State College, Kaddish intern 2007-2008
  • Kathryn K. Butterfield, Director of Choral Music, Keene Middle School, Keene, NH
  • Jan Cohen, Executive Producer, The Kaddish Project
  • Peter Eisenstadter, Teacher of English, retired; and Fellow, Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies, Keene, NH
  • Marty J. Kalb, Artist and Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio
  • Jean C. Kennedy, Language Arts Teacher, Education Consultant
  • Henry F. Knight, Director, Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies, Keene State College, Keene NH
  • Andrea D. E. Levin, English Teacher, Keene High School, Keene, NH
  • Peter W. Majoy, High School English Teacher, retired; Fellow, Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies, Keene NH; and, Fellow, Jewish Foundation for the Righteous
  • Linda A. W. Minickiello, Teacher, English and Holocaust Studies, Monadnock Regional Middle and High Schools, Swanzey, NH; Fellow, Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies, Keene NH; and, Fellow, Jewish Foundation for the Righteous
  • Sarah Niebuhr Rubin, Rabbi, Congregation Ahavas Achim, Keene NH.
  • Lawrence Siegel, Composer and Writer, KADDISH, Artistic Director, The Kaddish Project
  • Craig Stockwell, Artist and Educator: Keene State College, Keene, NH; Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, OH; Vermont College of Fine Arts Brattleboro, VT and Montpelier, VT; and, MOCO Arts, Keene NH
  • Jane M. Shapiro, Chair, Kaddish Education Program Committee
  • Paul Teitelman, Theater Teacher and Director, Monadnock Regional High School, Swanzey, NH
  • C. Paul Vincent, Professor of Holocaust Studies and History, Keene State College, Keene, NH
  • Thomas M. White, Coordinator of Educational Outreach, Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies, Keene State College, Keene, NH