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Sep 17

JTalk: Paula Slier presents and discusses her family history documentary

Following the service on Shabbat mornings, Beit Emanuel hosts an interesting and informed speaker on a thought-provoking topic. Sessions run for approx. an hour starting at approx. 11.15 am.

19 September – Lionel & Paula Slier – “119 Lives Unlived” A workman in Amsterdam was renovating an apartment when a hidden box of old letters tumbled out. They had been written more than 70 years ago by a teenage boy held in a Nazi labour camp, and addressed to his parents. Neither the boy nor his parents survived the Shoah. The boy, Flip Slier, had a second cousin in South Africa, Lionel Slier, a long-standing member of our congregation. The discovery of Flip’s letters sent Lionel to Europe on a mission of retracing the family roots. He was accompanied by his daughter Paula, an award-winning television journalist, who made a documentary of their quest, including interviews with the head of the Dutch Nazi Party and the grandson of the commandant at Auschwitz. The half-hour documentary will be screened at JTalk this week, after which Lionel and Paula will talk about the family, the letters and the making of the documentary, and answer questions. We are being honoured with a pre-launch screening, because the official launch is only the next day at Beyachad, to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazism. The JTalk will be held in the Slome Auditorium because a large audience is expected. Paula Slier, one of our most popular JTalk speakers, recently won the Women in Leadership Award at the Jewish Achievers Awards hosted by Jewish Report. Earlier in the year, she also won the South African media section of the Africa’s Most Influential Women Awards.