at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

NEW YORK, NY – “Look at the dozens of interviewees in Partisan of Vilna (1986, 130 min., 35mm) …and you’ll know you are watching heroes,” The New York Times said in their review of the moving documentary by producer Aviva Kempner. Survivors of the Jewish resistance movement tell the largely unknown story of young Jews and others who organized an underground resistance in the Vilna Ghetto and fought as partisans in the woods. Among those featured in the film are Israeli poet Abba Kovner, a resistance leader, and Chaika Grossman, former Israeli Knesset member. Aviva Kempner and survivors featured in the film will screen and discuss the documentary that Elie Wiesel calls, “enlightening, truthful, challenging, heartbreaking…one of the best and most eloquent documentaries on the suffering and dilemmas Jews faced,” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust on April 18 at 7 p.m.

The daughter of a Holocaust survivor and US Army officer, Aviva Kempner, was inspired by her heritage to make The Partisans of Vilna. She is also the writer, director, and producer of The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (2000). The film was awarded top honors by the National Society of Film Critics, the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Broadcast Film Critics Association. The film also received a George Peabody Award and was nominated for an Emmy. She also wrote the narration for Promises to Keep, an Academy Award-nominated documentary on the homeless. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Women of Vision award, and Media Arts Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, Kempner is also the founder of the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

Screened in conjunction with the Museum’s new exhibition opening April 16th, Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust.

Tickets to this event are $10 adults, $7 students/seniors, $5 members. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 646-437-4202.

WHAT: Partisans of Vilna with filmmaker Aviva Kempner

WHERE: Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

36 Battery Place, New York, NY 10280

WHEN: Wednesday, April 18 at 7 p.m.

COST: $10 adults, $7 students/seniors, $5 members.

The Museum’s three-floor Core Exhibition educates people of all ages and backgrounds about the rich tapestry of Jewish life over the past century–before, during, and after the Holocaust. Current special exhibitions include From the Heart: The Photojournalism of Ruth Gruber and Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust, opening on April 16, 2007. The Museum offers visitors a vibrant public program schedule in its Edmond J. Safra Hall. It is also home to Andy Goldsworthy’s memorial Garden of Stones, as well as James Carpenter’s Reflection Passage, Gift of The Gruss Lipper Foundation. The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a founding member of the Museums of Lower Manhattan.