Inna Rogatchi Meets Holocaust Survivors in Chicago

Prior to the US premiere of her film in Chicago, Inna Rogatchi was invited to be a Guest Speaker at the famed Tuesdays at Rivkie’s meeting with elderly women, many of whom are Holocaust Survivors.


Inna Rogatchi speaking at the Tuesdays at Rivkie’s meeting in Chicago. June 2015. 
© Courtesy: The Rogatchi Foundation

Tuesdays at Rivkie’s is a well-known and highly respected charitable institution in Chicago established and run by Rivkie Muskat, the wife of Rabbi Daniel Muskat and the daughter of well-known and highly respected Rabbi Yonah Yaffe, the Director at Aish Ha-Torah, the world leading institution on Jewish education.

Tuesdays at Rivkie’s, which works under the auspice of The Chicago Center for Torah and Chesed (Kindness), are weekly social and cultural gatherings, organised, conducted and led by Rivkie Muskat. At those meetings, elderly women are engaged in interesting cultural programmes, they enjoy a tasty luncheon, and are thriving in a wonderful warm home atmosphere and loving attention. Many of the regular attendees are originally from Europe, and many of them are Holocaust Survivors. This special institution has earned its well-deserved respect and admiration among the wider public circles in Chicago.

Inna Rogatchi was telling to her special audience the story of her and her husband’s, artist Michael Rogatchi, cultural and charitable activities in its international dimension and perspective. That story had been reaching from Finland to Israel, from Brussels to Jerusalem, from The Rogatchi Foundation to many institutions in Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, France, the USA and many other countries.

Inna Rogatchi addressing the audience at the charitable meeting in Chicago, June 2015     Inna Rogatchi addressing the audience at the charitable meeting in Chicago, June 2015

Inna Rogatchi addressing the audience at the charitable meeting in Chicago, June 2015. 
© Courtesy: The Rogatchi Foundation

The essence of Inna’s presentation to the members of the Tuedays at Rivkie’s club was her husband’s and her work and their international projects with the purpose of bringing the Jewish theme to wider international attention. Among such projects are Inna’s The Route art photography exhibitions at the European Parliament and in Ukraine, Michael’s and Inna’s work with the Vilnius Public Jewish Library, the story behind Michael’s famous painting My Stones. The Jerusalem painting, which is now at the Art Collection of the Municipality of Jerusalem, and the followed story of Inna’s special art collage based on that painting, which The Rogatchi Foundation has presented to their dear friend Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetski in recognition of his outstanding personal efforts in the restoration of the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem, and many other art productions and events.

Important to the Rogatchis is that many of their artistic projects reflect on both of their families’ histories, and the audience had been highly perceptive of that aspect of Inna’s presentation.

Inna’s and Michael’s joint project “In the Mirror of Shoah” reflecting on the Holocaust theme in their art, had been of particular interest to the group, many members of which had experienced the horror of the extermination personally, where their families perished in it.

Inna Rogatchi and her audience at Tuesdays at Rivkie's listening to the Inna Rogatchi's presentation. June 2015, Chicago     Inna Rogatchi and her audience at Tuesdays at Rivkie's listening to the Inna Rogatchi's presentation. June 2015, Chicago

Inna Rogatchi and her audience at Tuesdays at Rivkie’s listening to Inna Rogatchi’s presentation. June 2015, Chicago. 
© Courtesy: The Rogatchi Foundation

Some parts of Inna’s film on Simon Wiesenthal: The Lessons of Survival was also presented at the meeting, which was special to the participants. However difficult it has been to watch the material on the Holocaust for all of them, many of the participants did emphatically want to see it.

The meeting was very special indeed, and it lasted twice longer than the usual format. Inna was asked many questions by the audience, including where else in the United States her and her husband’s works and projects are presented and going to be presented; their future plans, both artistically and charity-wise; details regarding the filming of Simon Wiesenthal; prospects of the presentation of Inna’s works and her lectures at places in the US where the situation with anti-Semitism and racism is at its worst at the moment.

In return, many of the members of the audience shared with Inna their personal stories, the stories of the Holocaust Survivals and their families. This unique knowledge was invaluable for the writer Inna Rogatchi who is working on her forthcoming book of personal reflections on the Holocaust in the modern time, and who believes that every Holocaust Survivor’s and his or her family’s story should be recorded as the historical legacy of mankind.

Rivkie Muskat and Inna Rogatchi, Chicago, June 2015

Rivkie Muskat and Inna Rogatchi, Chicago, June 2015. 
© Courtesy: The Rogatchi Foundation

The Rogatchi Foundation expresses its highest appreciation and gratitude to Rivkie Muskat and her family for their steady and very personal input into the important charitable work, and would be happy to have The Chicago Institute for Torah and Chesed as partners in future charitable efforts.