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“Bridge Over Troubled Water”: Solidarity and Civic Responsibility in Times of Crisis: Under Beslenei’s Sky: A Tale of Courage

Sunday, December 17, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST

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The Ghetto Fighters’ House invites you to a new series:

Bridge Over Troubled Water”: Solidarity and Civic Responsibility in Times of Crisis

Join us for the second program

 Under Beslenei’s Sky: A Tale of Courage

Opening Remarks:

Yigal Cohen – CEO of the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum

Guest Speakers:

David Shawgen – Research Director of the Circassian Museum in Kfar-Kama

Zoher Thawcho – Initiator of the Film “A Tale from Beslenei” and Founder of the Circassian Museum in Kfar-Kama

Lana Harshuk – Circassian-Israeli Educator at the Anne Frank High School in the Galilee


A Tale from BesleneiProgram Description: 

For our second program, we are honored to have a distinguished panel of guest speakers that will collectively reveal the remarkable, unknown heroic story of Beslenei, a small village at the heart of the Caucasus. During the Holocaust, the Circassian-Muslim people of Beslenei adopted orphaned children, some of whom were Jewish, who had fled the siege of Leningrad, putting their entire community at risk.

Yigal Cohen, museum CEO and former principal of the Anne Frank high school in the Galilee, has developed a profound interest in Circassian history, particularly the 1864 Circassian Genocide, sparked by meaningful encounters with members of the Circassian community at school. Upon discovering the unique story of the village, he recognized its educational value and dedicated himself to sharing it with students and beyond.

David Shawgen, academic advisor and researcher at the Circassian Museum in Kfar Kama, will provide a comprehensive overview of Circassian history and culture and focus on the significant events that unfolded in Beslenei during April 1942.

Zoher Thawcho, a Circassian-Israeli who was similarly drawn to this story, will share clips of his film “A Tale from Beslenei” and discuss the production process of the film, as well as his personal perspective on the story that came to life during the film’s creation.

Lana Harshuk, a Circassian-Israeli educator at the Anne Frank high school, will weave together her identity and the history of her people, revealing their impact on her educational philosophy. Guided by the belief that understanding diverse cultures can combat hatred, Lana will explain how hatred is often a result of ignorance, and how she uses this story to encourage empathy and foster respect for others.

There will be a pre-screening of the documentary film for all registrants.

This program is in partnership with the Circassian Historical Museum in Israel, the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre, Classrooms Without Borders, and the Rabin Chair Forum at George Washington University.


Sunday, December 17, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST
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