Member’s-Only Exclusive Preview! NOVA: Holocaust Escape Tunnel

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 | Reception 6P | Screening and Panel Discussion 7P

Members of WCVE and the Virginia Holocaust Museum are invited to an exclusive screening of NOVA: Holocaust Escape Tunnel. For 500 years, the Lithuanian city known today as Vilnius was one of the most important Jewish centers in the world, earning the title “The Jerusalem of the North,” until the Nazis destroyed it. The Soviets paved over the remnants so thoroughly that few of us today know it ever existed. Last summer, an international team of archaeologists recovered some of this lost world. They excavated the remains of its Great Synagogue and uncovered a lost escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners inside a Nazi execution site. NOVA reveals the dramatic discovery and shares stories from the descendants of the eleven who survived. The documentary takes viewers on a scientific quest to unveil the secret history of Vilnius and shed light on a nearly forgotten chapter of the Holocaust.

Following the screening, we’ll have a panel discussion with NOVA Filmmaker Kirk Wolfinger; NOVA Executive Producer, Paula Aspell; Dr. Richard Freud, a lead archaeologist on the team; Senior Historian of the VHM, Dr. Charles Sydnor; and Holocaust Historian Prof. Arieh Kochavi.

VHM Members RSVP to Megan Ferenczy by March 30 at or 804–257–5400 ext. 234
WCVE Members RSVP to Gabrielle Jones by March 30 at or 804–560–8251

Watch NOVA: Holocaust Escape Tunnel on APRIL 19 at 9 PM on WCVE PBS

The Choral Synagogue Auditorium

Labeled one of the most beautiful synagogues in the Jewish world on the eve of the Holocaust, the Chore Shul (Yiddish for Choral Synagogue) of Kovno certainly was a gem of synagogue architecture. Dedicated in 1871, its name “chore” places the synagogue as a superb example of the large “choral synagogue” tradition of the second half of the nineteenth century in Central and Eastern Europe, especially in the Russian Empire.

Jay Ipson, Museum co-founder, Holocaust survivor and Kovno native, opted to copy this architectural treasure in order to offer visitors some idea of the rich Jewish religous and cultural heritage that had existed before the Holocaust. Working with Marc Cohen and Trademark Woodworking, the original building’s plan moved from idea to actuality and now serves as the Museum’s auditorium.

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