CHICAGO (WLS) — On Monday night, music that captured a moment in history was brought back to life at Chicago’s Salt Shed.
Ira Antelis, the founder of the commemorative concert, “We Are Here,” curated a collection of music written by artists in ghettos and concentration camps during the Holocaust.
“Being an artist myself, all of these artists lost their lives, and I wanted to honor their memories by bringing their music back to life,” Antelis said. “The hope is that we learn from the past.”
The concert initially honored the millions of lives lost during that time, but later took on a new meaning following the recent attacks in the Middle East.
“Suddenly, this concert underwent a transformation from a sacred commemoration of history to a public declaration of hope and understanding today,” said Rabbi Charles Savenor.
The music reflects love, loss and longing, finding hope through despair. The message through the storied melodies struck a chord with Judy Statsinger.
“It’s very inspiring to know that at times when people are suffering and are afraid and feel alone in the dark, that they still reach out through music,” Statsinger said.
Presenters at the event included ABC7’s Roz Varon and the Consul General of Israel to the Midwest.
“We must all stand together against antisemitism. We must all prove together, ‘never again’ are not just empty words,” said Consul General Yinam Cohen.
The lessons of the past played out on stage as a reminder of what it means to come together when the world feels like it’s falling apart.
“I think if we don’t continue to teach the questions of the past, they will repeat,” Antelis said. “And, music and the songs and the lyrics are a great way to do that.”