On May 27th, Holocaust survivors from ‘Children of the War’ based in Netanya, led by the gracious Mila Fleitman, came to the Shalom House villa in Caesarea to spend the afternoon with HHC and our guests. Hosted by Bozena Gasiorowski and translated by Alyosha Ryabinov, the afternoon was one filled with music and fellowship.
Bozena introduced each of our guests — Chis and Alina, Lucas and Limor Jasinski, & Hava and Jimmy McClintock— and Alyosha and Jody Ryabinov’s friends — David Forman, Claudia, and Dagi — before Jody shared about how she and Alyosha were inspired to move to Israel after their daughter volunteered to serve in the IDF as a lone soldier.
The concert began with Alyosha playing a song he composed after seeing the Jordan River for the first time. Claiming that the song represented the River of Life, Alyosha’s melodies were personified through Dagi’s dancing. As she danced to the tune of the piano, it felt as if we were on the shores of the Jordan, watching its waters flow downstream.
David Forman joined in, blessing us with his violin. A violin has the power to be enchanting or haunting, and today David honed in on each of those emotions causing the music to captivate our audience. The pieces that were played were so entrancing that a few survivors could be seen closing their eyes to discern each note that was being played through the contact of bow and string. When Claudia took her place behind the piano, a song of hope and life was played between her keys and David’s strings.
Dagi’s dancing was a real treat. With each song that was performed, her movements added an element you didn’t realize was missing. As the music played, Dagi brought it all to life. Who knew flags could be used to give such an illustrative expression.
Before lunch, Alyosha presented his rhapsody of Haga Nagila to our group. When the beat picked up, and the song became a celebration, one of the survivors couldn’t resist standing up and dancing. Proving that age is just a number, the joy and carefree look on her face was infectious, bringing more survivors onto the dance floor. Before long, everyone was clapping and singing along to the famous tune.
It was another party at the Shalom House that no one wanted to end. Before filling our stomachs with the delectable treats prepared by our lovely volunteers, the food was served with the promise of singing two more songs at the end of the afternoon.
HHC would like to thank ‘Children of the War’ for gracing us with their presence: Alyosha and Jody Ryabinov for bringing their friends and entertaining us with their sweet music and upbeat songs; Jola and Lila, our volunteers, who presented a feast for everyone to enjoy; and Chris & Alina (who also brought the delicious dessert), Lucas & Limor, Hava & Jimmy for joining us in today’s celebrations. The Shalom House is always a highlight of the week, and we look forward to what next week’s event will bring!