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The Story of Central New York’s Jews special program set for April 6 at WCNY

WCNY invites the community to a special program, “The Story of Central York’s Jews” at 2 p.m. April 6, at WCNY’s Broadcast and Education Center located at 415 W. Fayette St. in Syracuse.

The event is in conjunction with the national PBS program “The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama,” to be broadcast from 8 to 10 p.m. March 25 and from 8 to 11 p.m. April 1 on WCNY. For viewing information visit

The free program, open to the public, features Syracuse residents and authors Barbara Sheklin Davis and Susan B. Rabin who will discuss the history of Syracuse’s Jewish community; Herbert (Hecky) Alpert shares his experiences in Syracuse’s 15th ward; Judy Coe Rapaport discusses America’s only World War II refugee camp in Oswego; and Elfi Hendell, an 81-year-old refugee that escaped the Holocaust, speaks about her experience in the Oswego camp.

Copies of the book, “Jewish Community of Syracuse” by Davis and Rabin, and a memory book published by the Safe Haven Museum will be available for purchase and signing.

“The history of the Jewish community is an important part of the Central New York landscape,” said Debbie Stack, WCNY director of education and community engagement. “The event is an opportunity to educate, create awareness, and share stories, some of them untold, about the roots of the Jewish culture in this region.”

The five-part series “The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama,” features prize-winning author of 15 books and Emmy-award winner Simon Schama. Schama travels from Russia and the Ukraine to Egypt, Israel and Spain, exploring the imprint that Jewish culture has made on the world and the drama of suffering, resilience and rebirth that has gone with it. The series is also a personal journey for Schama who has been immersed in Jewish history since his postwar childhood.

“If you were to remove from our collective history the contribution Jews have made to human culture, our world would be almost unrecognizable,” said Schama. “The history of the Jews is everyone’s history too and what I hope people will take away from the series is that sense of connection: a weave of cultural strands over the millennia, some brilliant, some dark, but resolving into a fabric of thrilling, sometimes tragic, often exalted creativity.”

To learn more about WCNY and the April 6 program, visit

To learn more about the new five-part series visit

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