The following article was written by Ron Kaplan, former sports and features editor for New Jersey Jewish News, and appeared as part of Kaplan's Korner, On Jews and Sports, on January 28, 2018.
While there are no Jewish players in this year’s Super Bowl, that doesn’t mean there is no Jewish content. The game will be held at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Vikings, which are owned by The Wilf family. I did a piece on Zygi Wilf shortly after he acquired the team in 2005.
Now, with the help of the Minnesota Vikings, Wilf Family Foundations, and Delta Airlines, the MSP International Airport will be the site of a photo exhibition of local Holocaust survivors living. “Transfer of Memory” is a joint venture of The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) and the Airport Foundation MSP and the Metropolitan Airports Commission.
The exhibition is on display at both Terminals 1 and 2 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, located near gate C18 in the film screening room (“See 18”) at Terminal 1, and at the Arts@MSP Gallery, across from gate H3 at Terminal 2. Since exhibits at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are located post-security, those planning to see the exhibits will need a boarding pass to get through security.
From the press release:
“The Wilf family is proud to help support the Transfer of Memory exhibit at MSP Airport. We hope that travelers visiting Minnesota for the upcoming Super Bowl will pause for a few moments to learn and reflect on this time in history that is deeply ingrained in the life of our family and world history,” said Mark Wilf, Owner and President of the Minnesota Vikings and Co-Chair of the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Holocaust Survivors Initiative.
Each Holocaust survivor in Transfer of Memory shares a story of survival during exceedingly difficult circumstances, yet as a collection, these images focus on life and hope. From Europe to Minnesota, it was here they fashioned their dreams, their futures, and their families – their lives are a constant reminder of the value of freedom and the enduring human spirit. Photographer David Sherman and writer Lili Chester, in partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, created this photography exhibition.
“This exhibition has enabled the JCRC’s Holocaust education program to bring lessons of the Shoah (Holocaust) to communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota who otherwise might not receive firsthand accounts from Holocaust survivors. We thank everyone at the MAC and the Airport Foundation MSP for their leadership and tireless work to bring Transfer of Memory to MSP,” said Steve Hunegs, JCRC executive director.
Exhibition photographer David Sherman added, “The urgency for this project is so clear. Our survivor community is aged and aging. The number of living Holocaust survivors is becoming fewer and fewer. It is important for me to ensure that survivors are remembered in a respectful and beautiful way – by face, by name, and by story. Today we stand at a critical time in regard to the Holocaust. After 70 years since the end of the war, we are in the midst of a ‘transfer of memory.’ The witness to the horrors, hardships, and brutalities of the Holocaust is shifting from those who saw and survived, to a retelling of their testimony. We are shifting our focus from the power and reliability of sight and personal experience to the trustworthiness and importance of hearing.”
“This is a deeply moving and powerful exhibit that links Minnesota to an important chapter in world history,” said Robyne Robinson, Arts@MSP Director for Airport Foundation MSP. “We’ve been working for some time to bring the exhibit to MSP Airport and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to host it for the traveling public.”
The exhibition features 44 portraits of survivors living – or who lived – in Minnesota. The color images depict the survivors as living full and fulfilled lives – full of life and vitality – not defined by victimhood. Each survivor was photographed in their home and everyone was interviewed and videotaped prior to making their portrait. Lili Chester’s text, distilled from the survivor interviews, accompanies each portrait and provides background and a short history in the survivors’ own words. “It is my hope and prayer that these images add an important visual proof to accompany the oral testimony,” added Sherman.
This exhibition is curated by JCRC staff members, Laura Zelle and Susie Greenberg, and is a collaboration between David Sherman, Lili Chester, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. The exhibit will be on display at MSP Airport through February 5, 2018. For more information about the exhibition, please visit http://transferofmemory.org. Follow @TransferMemory on Twitter, @TransferofMemory on Instagram, and @TransferofMemory on Facebook.