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The "Salaam, Shalom: Speaking of Peace" series is generously supported by
Tricia and Richard Gibbs
Co-Sponsored by the Community Congregational Church of Tiburon, Congregation Kol Shofar, Congregation Rodef Sholom, First Congregational Church-Sonoma, First Presbyterian Church-San Rafael, First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo, International Association of Sufism, Islamic Center of Mill Valley, Islamic Center of North Marin, Jewish Community Relations Council, Marin Interfaith Council, Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church, Saint Raphael Church & Mission San Rafael Arcangel, and Westminster Presbyterian Church.
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SPEAKING OF PEACE" SERIES
Survival in Sarajevo: Jews, Muslims, Serbs and Croats during the siege of Sarajevo, 1992-1995
Exhibition, film screening and talk by journalist, photographer, filmmaker Ed Serotta
In 1992, a handful of Holocaust survivors and their children turned a Sarajevo synagogue into a humanitarian aid agency. Called La Benevolencija, Ladino for good will, Muslims and Jews, Serbian Orthodox and Catholic Croats, banded together to help others.
View this extraordinary exhibit and film and hear photographer Edward Serotta’s first hand account of covering the conflict for Time Magazine and others.
Exhibit on view through December 17.
ABOUT THE “SALAAM, SHALOM” SERIES
This event is part of a free program series designed to increase dialogue and understanding between local faith communities, supported by multiple religious organizations across Marin.
To see what programs we presented as part of the Salaam, Shalom series last year, and to access our "Act for Peace" Toolkit, click here.
THE STORY BEHIND THE EXHIBIT
In this European War, Jews were not the victims. In this war, Jews, Muslims and Christians joined forces to stand against hate.
The Bosnian-Serb siege of Sarajevo, from spring 1993 until winter 1996, was the longest in modern history. With electricity, water and food supplies cut off and only sporadically supplied, with 11,541 citizens shot by snipers or killed by mortars, Sarajevans had to depend on each other.
In a faded, turn-of-the-century synagogue, a group of Holocaust survivors and their offspring created La Benevolencija, the Jewish humanitarian aid agency. Who worked there? Jews and Muslims, Serbian Orthodox and Catholic Croats--all those who never believed one ethnic group was superior to another.
After all, Jews had lived alongside all their neighbors since they were welcomed in Sarajevo in the 16th century. This is the story of how they paid their neighbors back.
This project is based on the book by Edward Serotta, Survival in Sarajevo: Jews, Bosnia, and the Lessons of the Past, published in 1994 and now out of print. The book will be available for sale at this event, and also through abebooks.com.
ABOUT THE FILM
This eleven-minute multimedia film uses the pictures and stories in the exhibition, and takes us inside La Benevolencija during the siege. The film was produced in Vienna by Wolfgang Els. Voiceover in English by Edward Serotta, in German by Franz Robert Wagner, in Hebrew by Eliezer Yaari.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
The exhibition begins with the history of Jews in the Balkans— from their expulsion from Spain in 1492 to the Holocaust in 1941. There are maps, old postcards and archival stock photographs on the first few panels. When the exhibition turns to the Bosnian war of 1992-1995, all photographs were taken by Edward Serotta, who covered the conflict for Time Magazine, Die Zeit and Süddeutsche Zeitung. The photographs were in Ed Serotta’s book, Survival in Sarajevo: Jews, Bosnia, and the Lessons of the Past, published in 1994.
There are exhibition panels about how the city survived during the shelling; how the Jewish community carried out its tasks; how JDC ran the largest convoy out of the war zone in February 1994. There is also a panel called Muslims and Jews—and tells the story of Zeyneba Hardaga, the first Muslim to receive a Righteous Gentile award, who JDC sent to Israel with her family.
The exhibition from this project has been created by Centropa, and has been underwritten by JDC (the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) and The Milton and Rosyln Wolf Foundation.