A message from the chairman of the board, Stuart E. Eizenstat
The Defiant Requiem Foundation has continued to excel and reach new heights in 2013. But it has been a very difficult year for me personally. With the death of my dear wife Fran in February, I lost my life’s partner of over 45 years, and The Foundation lost a dedicated adviser, advocate, and supporter. Fran’s commitment to The Foundation was tremendous. Her last four years working on the various concert performances, documentary film screenings and educational materials brought The Foundation invaluable assistance and brought her incalculable joy. Her presence is sorely missed by all of us.
We performed the April 29th concert at Lincoln Center, one she initiated as a partnership with UJA Federation of New York, in Fran’s memory, and through this concert, raised $2.3 million for needy Holocaust Survivors in the New York City area. Nothing would have pleased Fran more than to have seen her vision achieved. Included in this Newsletter is a reprint of the tribute to Fran from the Lincoln Center Playbill.
We will continue to honor Fran at our upcoming concert at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, on May 1, 2014, so that her many friends in the Washington area can pay tribute to her life. More details are available on our website for ticket purchases, which have already begun, and for sponsorships. We hope any of you who are able to do so, will purchase a sponsorship, which range from $1,000 to $25,000. Excellent seats and other benefits come with these packages. Your donations are tax deductible and support many programs and education initiatives of The Foundation. I am very grateful to Allan and Shelley Holt, Ann and Don Brown and Rheda Becker and Bob Meyerhoff for joining me in providing leadership gifts to this concert.
Our next concert will be in Berlin under the sponsorship of Michael Blumenthal and The Jewish Museum Berlin on March 4. If you can join us in Berlin, please let us know and we will provide you with ticket information.
I am pleased to report that our award-winning documentary, “Defiant Requiem,” has been licensed by and is now available on Netflix, and that we are close to signing an agreement with the BBC to broadcast the film in the United Kingdom in 2014. PBS aired our film on a nationwide basis for all of its affiliates on April 7, 2013, as a commemoration of Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day).
I would also like to congratulate Murry Sidlin, the creator of the Defiant Requiem concert-drama and the President of the Foundation, for receiving the prestigious Simon Wiesenthal Medal of Valor Award June, 2013, in Los Angeles. This was a much deserved award recognizing Murry’s years of work telling the story of the courage of the Jewish prisoners and their artistic revolt against the Nazis in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, and keeping alive the memory of Rafael Schächter, who created the Jewish prisoner chorus there.
Lastly, I want to thank our staff from the bottom of my heart for a year of very hard work, dedication and accomplishment. It is truly remarkable how much Louisa Hollman, Mark Rulison and Janet Masetti have accomplished. With a very small staff and limited resources, they have performed real miracles. I also want to pay special tribute to Amy Antonelli, who with Murry was present at the earliest days of the Defiant Requiem, and who remains a great inspiration.
Thanks for your continued interest and support of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, and warmest best wishes for a happy and health holiday season and New Year.