THE JÜDISCHER JUGENDBUND GÖRLITZ:
Görlitz’s Jewish community had a very active youth program known as the “Jüdischer Jugendbund Görlitz”.
The Jugendbund program emerged at the beginning of the 20th century and was mainly carried by the middle-class youth of the big cities. On the basis of neo-romantic and cultural-critical ideas, young men postulated a return to the simple life of self-determined freedom, closeness to nature and authenticity.
These values could also include anti-Semitic positions, so that even before the First World War many, if not all, groups excluded Jewish boys and girls. However, the program owed its existence not only to the anti-Semitism of non-Jewish federations, but also, at least initially, to targeted youth care measures by the various interest groups within the communities. Inspired by the youth-movement zeitgeist, most quickly freed themselves from this unloved embrace and formed their own, relatively autonomous groups, which nevertheless reflected the competing ideological positions of the German-Jewish adult world.
Görlitz’s Jugendbund was very active. They organized trips, sports events and musical events in addition to others. At this evening’s event, we will be recreating the Görlitz Jüdischer Jugendbund’s musical program from Febrauary 14, 1928. Many of the visiting Jewish descendants have connections to the concert’s original performers, giving us a unique insight into some of the Jewish musicians who once called Görlitz home.
Léontine Meijer-van Mensch
Léontine Meijer-van Mensch is the current Director of the Staatliche Ethnographische Sammlungen Sachsen (the Ethnographic State Collections of Saxony). She is responsible for three Ethnological Museums in Saxony: the GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde in Leipzig and the Museums of Ethnology in Dresden and Herrnhut (in the Upper-Lausitz in the east of Saxony).
b. 1972) studied Modern and Theoretical History and Jewish Studies in Amsterdam, Jerusalem, and Berlin, and completed a postgraduate program in European Cultural Heritage Protection, with a special focus on Museum Studies, at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt an der Oder. Léontine worked for a variety of exhibition projects in Germany, Poland and in The Netherlands, for instance as a researcher and as an educator in the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam.
Before returning to Amsterdam in January 2006, she was the project co-ordinator of the Europa Fellows II research programme at the Collegium Polonicum in Słubice (Poland) and lecturer of cultural management and museology at Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder. She is a board member of COMCOL, the ICOM-International Committee for Collecting and an international board member of the International School of Museology, Celje, Slovenia. She moderated the the Erfgoed Arena at Reinwardt Academy till January 2011. Her Ph.D. research focused on the museology discourse in the German Democratic Republic and its international resonance. Her main interest is in remembrance culture and contemporary collecting.
Léontine Meijer-van Mensch was a guest speaker for the event Presence of an Absence in 2011, organised in cooperation with the Scheltema Complex, Leiden and Framer Framed in Amsterdam. After working as a lecturer in heritage theory and professional ethics at the Reinwardt Academy, in 2014 she was the Deputy Director at Museum Europäischer Kulturen Staatliche Museen (Museum for European Cultures) in Berlin. From 2017-2019 held the position as Program Director and Deputy Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin, having been a member of the museum’s founding team and a freelancer in the education department from 2001 to 2005.
Meijer-van Mensch’s broad international background, knowledge and experience of European cultural heritage and museological developments provide her with a profound sense of history and current trends. She is an insightful theoretical museologist contributing to the ongoing museological discourse. She lives in Leipzig, Germany and Northern Bohemia, Czech Republic.
The granddaughter of Polish Holocaust surivors Benim and Bluma Urbas, Berlin-based Jewish American soprano Sara Duchovnay is honored to add her voice and her soul to Görlitz Jewish Remebrance Week. Sara has been described by The San Francisco Examiner as “clarion-voiced”, OperaWire hailed her as “dynamic and expressive” with a voice of “warmth and luster”; and The Roanoke Times praised her “high notes [which] rang out with ease at the swelling climaxes.” Ms. Duchovnay has appeared as soloist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Sacramento Philharmonic, Opera Delaware, Odyssey Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera San Jose, West Edge Opera, and Opera Roanoke. Notable operatic roles in Sara’s repertoire include Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Nedda (Pagliacci), Alcina (Alcina), Musetta (La bohème), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), and Liù (Turandot). A sought-after interpreter of contemporary opera, Sara originated the roles of Dorothea and Helen in the world premieres and subsequent revivals of Allen Shearer and Claudia Stevens’ operas Middlemarch in Spring, and Howard’s End, America. She has also performed leading roles in Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg’s Hydrogen Jukebox, Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Michael Ching’s Buoso’s Ghost, and David Conte’s Gift of the Magi. Sara received her musical training from The Hartt School of Music and The San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Sara Duchovnay is Jewish Remembrance Week’s official Artist in Residence of 2023.
Hailing from Japan, Yuto Kiguchi is an award-winning pianist based in Vienna, Austria.
In the Summer of 2022, Yuto won first prize at the First International Lied Singing Competition ‘Bolko von Hochberg’ in Görlitz. At the competiton, Yuto was also awarded “The Ibolyka Slotowski Award for Excellence in Piano”. On June 22, 2023, Yuto will be playing the concert that was originally played by Ibolyka Slotowski in 1928.