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Our Father's Bar Mitzvah



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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Northern Spy Prod.
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 50 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2010
Available in French: No

In 1944, the Nazi's took away my dad Leslie's family, his culture, and his youth.  He was incarcerated in Auschwitz and lost his entire immediate family except for one sister who died shortly after the war.  Leslie was liberated but the cultural biases did not end with the war.

Leslie settled in London, England and married a German. With racial biases still very strong, the local Jewish community excluded him. For a second time, discrimination carried away his Jewish culture. This part of his life remained hidden for decades until, after his wife passed away, he began exploring all that he had put aside.  

Now, for his 79th birthday, he is reclaiming his Jewish life. As he spends 9 months preparing for his bar mitzvah, Leslie is rediscovering tastes, sounds and smells from his past. At the same time, the memories, the emotions and the stories are coming back. Leslie shares his hard to hear war time experiences.  For over 60 years, he had locked everything deep inside and we are now discovering a side of my him that we never knew.  In spite of everything he has been through, Leslie has never lost his smile or his sense of optimism.