Today marks a tragic day in history, when, on March 11, 1943, the Jewish population of Macedonia was deported during WWII. 79 years later, I am here to offer some beauty and hope.
For the last several years I have worked in Macedonia to bring alive the stories of the Jewish community from long ago. Today, I want to share a song I wrote, using the memories of my own family members who were born in the city of Monastir.
I filmed this video in 2021 throughout Monastir's old Jewish neighborhoods, most notably on the balcony of my ancestral family's house (where you can still see the Jewish stars in the iron work), and in the abandoned building of the Talmud Torah (Jewish school). Together with an almost entirely Macedonian production crew, I created this music video (in the Monastirli dialect of Ladino) to bring to life the textures of this once vibrant Jewish community.
I hope it honors all those who were lost, and those who live on today to tell their stories.