Perseverance of the Human Spirit

Perseverance of the Human Spirit is generously sponsored by the Peck Foundation.

Titled Perseverance of the Human Spirit,this project is a collaborative effort between Temple Emanu-El, St. John Armenian Church, and Hartford Memorial Baptist Church. Each congregation will rely on its talent and leadership to share the stories and artistic outputs created by its community. Additional collaborators include the Detroit Opera Resident Artists, the Zekelman Holocaust Center, as well as subject-matter experts from the Western Wayne County NAACP, the Detroit Center for Civil Discourse and the University of Michigan.

Patrons who attend the first three events (January 21, January 25, and February 4) will receive a complimentary ticket to the “Creativity in the Face of Oppression” concert on February 10.

Schedule of Events

1 | Gomidas: His Life and Music

January 21 at 4 PM | St. John Armenian Church, Southfield

22001 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield, MI 48075

Rubik Mailian, Music Director of St. John Armenian Church, takes audiences through an artistic exploration of the life and work of Gomidas Vartabed, a genocide survivor and a pioneer of Armenian musicology. Afterward, patrons are invited for a guided tour of the remarkable collection of Armenian art held at the St. John Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum.

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2 | Creativity Outputs

January 25 at 7 PM | Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, Detroit

18700 James Couzens Fwy, Detroit, MI 48235

Pianist Alvin Waddles leads a multimedia presentation at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church. This event focuses on the creative outputs of the Black community, exploring how creativity has become an important vehicle for expression and social justice.

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3 | Examining Music of the Holocaust

February 4 at 3 PM | Temple Emanu-El, Oak Park

14450 W 10 Mile Rd, Oak Park, MI 48237

Patricia Hall, University of Michigan Professor of Music, and Ruth Bergman, Director of Education at the Zekelman Holocaust Center, will lead an insightful discussion about music arranged by Jewish inmates in Auschwitz. They will be joined by Cantor Rosalie Toubes from Temple Emanu-El.

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4 | Concert: Creativity in the Face of Oppression

February 10 at 7:30 PM | Temple Emanu-El, Oak Park

14450 W 10 Mile Rd, Oak Park, MI 48237

The “Creativity in the Face of Oppression” concert includes performances of works by Gomidas and Black spirituals. The event, at Temple Emanu-El, culminates with Viktor Ullmann’s one-act opera, Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Emperor of Atlantis). Performers include DCWS musicians and the Detroit Opera Resident Artists.

Students from Temple Emanu-El’s Yachad Religious School will create art sets centered around the topic of “perseverance of the human spirit.” These sets will be displayed on the stage during the February 10 concert performance at Temple Emanu-El.

5 | Reflection: Panel Discussion and Reception

February 18 at 3 PM | Temple Emanu-El, Oak Park

14450 W 10 Mile Rd, Oak Park, MI 48237

The project concludes with a panel discussion and reception at Temple Emanu-El. Panelists include Rabbi Asher Lopatin, who serves as Executive Director for the Detroit Center for Civil Discourse; Western Wayne County NAACP Executive Board Member Rev. Jean Overman, Rev. Charles Christian Adams of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church and Very Reverend Fr. Aren Jebejian, the pastor at St. John Armenian Church. The discussion will be moderated by Rabbi Matthew Zerwekh, Temple Emanu-El’s Senior Rabbi.