Giving Thanks

by Zack on December 13, 2010

Over Thanksgiving Zack joined me and my family at Thanksgiving dinner, where we showed a 9 minute clip we had cut for the grants we have applied for. It was really special showing people who care deeply about the project what we have done so far. Not surprisingly family members are not the harshest critics, but everyone seemed very excited about our progress. I really was happy about showing my Great Aunt Ann where she came from. She was born a few years after her parents came to America and so she never saw what her family’s hometown, Turysk, looked like. We gave her those images and sounds that I am sure she always dreamed about seeing and hearing. That was the most special part and has made what we have done so far completely worth it. We also shot interviews with some family members, including my Aunt Ann and got some incredible footage.

The Thanksgiving experience made me realize how lucky we are to be able to work on this project and have so many people support us. I really want to thank everyone for making it possible for me to show my Great Aunt where she came from. We are applying to more grants over the next couple of months and hopefully will be editing the feature by March.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Fely Tenenbaum December 14, 2010 at 11:24 am

Hi dear Zack & Michael, thanks for sharing. I have already heard from my family in N.Y. & Boston about the wonderful get-together you all had over Thanksgiving and especially about the clip.
Best of luck in your continued work.

Jessica Kaplan December 14, 2010 at 11:49 am

Zack and Michael,

Thank you for sharing this note. I am so sorry that I wasn’t able to be with your family on Thanksgiving to see my grandmother’s reaction to the video. I would love to see the interview that you have taped with her as well as the 9 minute clip. Is it available anywhere?


Cousin Sandy Ehrlich January 3, 2011 at 11:08 am

It was so wonderful to meet you–I’ve heard so much about you thru the years from your Dad, my dear cousin Joel. Throughout my life I felt so connected to the Kershner family even though I lived in New York and they lived in Vermont–a world away. My father, Max Horder, your Great-Grandmother “Dinsa’s” brother, often spoke about his sister and her 12 children and I did get to meet her several times at family occasions in New York and also knew the New York Kershners and Horders very well.
He never spoke about his actual journey to America but I’m so glad that I was able to share with you the only story he ever talked about of his life in Europe–how he and his brother were caught by soldiers because they were Jews and tied to trees with rifles pointed at them. They were walking thru the woods to get to the town to buy sugar for their mother–two innocent children. One of the soldiers said, “Let them go–they’re only young boys.” And so the soldiers let them go. A life lesson–one person can make a difference! So my father lived!
And your 9-minute film showed me how one person, your Great-Grandfather Joseph Kershner, saved them from certain annihalation at the hands of the Germans during WWII. Your interview with the locals who created the Memorial to the Jewish victims tore at my heart–it was a certainty that the Horders would have been lying in that mass grave if not for Joseph Kershner!
You are doing such an important project. I wish you continued success.
Love, Cousin Sandy Ehrlich

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