JERUSALEM – A unique concert featuring the stirring words of Holocaust survivors will take place at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on September 8. It will be performed by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and soloists and choirs from Israel and the United States.
Gil Shohat and the orchestra will perform Lawrence Siegel’s Kaddish – I am Here in the presence of Israel’s President Shimon Peres, Holocaust survivors and their families, and official State guests, including members of the diplomatic corps.  It is the Israeli premiere of the piece. 
Kaddish – I am Here conveys the stories of Holocaust survivors in their own words and languages, providing a window into their experiences.
“Because of the verbatim use of testimony, the messages are an authentic and accurate reading of the feeling and thoughts of some of the survivors of the Holocaust,” said Dr. Siegel.

Kaddish consists of fifteen movements for chorus, soloists and orchestra. The piece moves from vignettes about life in central Europe before the Holocaust, through poignant, individual descriptions of the darkest of days, and ends with the resiliency of the survivors.  One of the key movements is a litany of thousands of names of Holocaust victims. 

Kaddish – I am Here was commissioned by the Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies at Keene State College in New Hampshire, in honor of its 25th anniversary. Since then it has  been performed seven times, to great acclaim, notably by the Houston Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with Holocaust Museum Houston, in the premiere of a full symphonic version.