Final International Film Festival screening a huge success

The Together Plan International Film Festival wrapped up with its final screening of 2017, Labyrinth of Lies.  This deeply thought-provoking German film, based on a true story, explores the troubled, problematic and often conflicting relationship with the Nazi atrocities in the post-war German judicial system.

At a time when, shockingly, many Germans had never heard of Auschwitz, with fewer still wanting to learn about the Holocaust, one man takes it upon himself to pursue ‘justice’ for the victims, however impossible this may be to attain.  Yet he comes to realise that enthusiastic perpetrators of the Holocaust, as well as passive yet complicit bystanders, are everywhere in the Germany of his day.

The film immediately precipitated a deeply personal and insightful discussion, during which attendees shared their own family stories and experiences, and explored the highly relevant and difficult questions of redress, Holocaust education and trauma.

Both the film and the ensuing discussion were truly eye-opening, raising many of the difficult issues which The Together Plan works to tackle across the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe.

The legacy of persecution and Holocaust is far from easy to deal with.  That is why the work of The Together Plan in rebuilding Jewish communities is more needed now than ever.  We work with Holocaust survivors, their families and the wider Jewish and non-Jewish community towards an acknowledgement and working through of trauma, often for the first time.  As Frida Reisman, chair of the Minsk Ghetto Survivors’ Association and a longstanding partner of The Together Plan, put it on her visit to London last week: ‘we, the Minsk Ghetto survivors, no longer feel forgotten thanks to The Together Plan.’

The Together Plan International Film Festival: Labyrinth of Lies

  • 📅 Wednesday 6th December 2017
  • 🕢 7.30pm
  • 🗺 Finchley Reform Synagogue
    101 Fallow Ct Ave, London N12 0BE [map]
  • 🎟️ Standard £10 | Concession £8

The Together Plan International Film Festival presents its final screening of 2017: Labyrinth of Lies.

Set 20 years after the end of the Holocaust, this compelling and challenging German film follows a young lawyer in his efforts to bring a former Auschwitz guard to justice. But in a time when the war is just a memory that most would gladly forget, he is forced to explore his country’s traumatic past and confront collective memory and guilt head-on.

As always, there will be delicious homemade cakes, thought-provoking discussion, and the chance to find out more about the issues raised in the film and the work of The Together Plan in rebuilding Judaism after the tragedies of the 20th century.

Watch the Trailer

Reserve Tickets

Download the Flyer

Farewell to Aid Together project coordinator Lucille Baker 

It is with sadness and deep gratitude that we say farewell for now to our aid project coordinator Lucille Baker.  Lucille has been working with The Together Plan as coordinator of our Aid Together project for three years, and she has made an immense contribution to the development of the programme.

We are opening up the position of Volunteer Coordinator to a dedicated individual wishing to take on this responsibility.  Anybody interested should email london@thetogetherplan.com.  Equally for more information or to get involved as a volunteer packing and sorting our humanitarian aid, email london@thetogetherplan.com or call 020 3375 0656.  Any contribution of time is greatly appreciated.

Listen: The Together Plan London office interviewed on radio! 

SOAS Radio interviewed The Together Plan’s co-director Debra Brunner, as well as communications officer Jake Goldman, project coordinator Sonia Richardson and development coordinator Jonathan Clingman, for its ‘Lost in the Wider Picture’ series.

The series, conceived and developed by Giacomo Paoloni for SOAS Radio, explores the diversity of Jewish social action initiatives in the UK, Israel and around the world.  The episode dedicated to The Together Plan explores questions of identity and belonging in eastern Europe, in a space where being part of a Jewish community is not always easy yet which is being impacted greatly by the Jewish communal provision that The Together Plan brings.  Debra, Jake, Sonia and Jonathan delved into the complex question of their own multifaceted identities and outlooks, as well as their experiences in the former Soviet Union and the uniqueness of The Together Plan’s model.  It is a truly fascinating listen!

Donations held at our London warehouse packed onto our lorry headed to Belarus! 

Around fifteen volunteers gathered on a cold Sunday in London to pack the generous donations of humanitarian aid that has been collected by The Together Plan throughout the year onto a forty-foot long lorry.

These items, which include much-needed clothing, electrical equipment, Judaica, welfare supplies, educational resources and toys, have been collected throughout the year and meticulously sorted for The Together Plan by a team based at Pinner United Synagogue.  This Sunday our volunteers crammed hundreds of the sorted bags onto a ten-tonne lorry currently on its way across the continent of Europe to help disadvantaged communities in Belarus!

In attendance at the lorry loading day was 82-year-old Frida Reisman from Belarus, chair of the Minsk Ghetto Survivors’ Association, who gave the other packers a run for their money in her enthusiasm and strength.  We were also lucky enough to be joined by some of our regular sorters and by Matthew Lloyd-Winder, as well as by Neil Clowes and his team from Apt & Able removers and handymen, who once again generously donated their time, resources and expertise.  A number of our Youth for Youth volunteers worked with Frida, Neil, Matthew and others on this fun and productive project to load the lorry.

Minsk Ghetto Survivors’ Association chair Frida Reisman comes to London  

The Together Plan invited and facilitated the visit of Frida Reisman, chair of the Minsk Ghetto Survivors’ Association, to London this week.  At 82 years, this was Frida’s first visit to the UK, and it has been a delight for our London office team and volunteers to spend time with her.

We have been working with Frida and the Association for around four years, during which time we have worked to ease the loneliness of many individuals who still live on the territory that was once the ghetto, bringing the Yiddish music and culture of their youth to them once again and putting on special Shabbat services connecting the younger generation with this most treasured and important group.  Our 2017 Mitzvah Day programme in Belarus involved bringing challot, and company, to survivors living on their own.  We have also provided a significant quantity of humanitarian aid to many of the survivors and their families, many of whom are economically vulnerable.  Ours is the only project of its kind, as we involve the survivors we work with in the distribution of the aid.  This grants them agency and ensures they feel valued as facilitators rather than just beneficiaries.

We are extremely grateful that Frida took the time and made such an effort to come to London and speak at our Friends’ Scheme launch.  Frida also attended synagogue and a special Friday night dinner at The Together Plan’s London headquarters, where she thanked The Together Plan for creating Jewish life (and Jewish food!) both in the UK and in Belarus.  She affirmed that ‘we, the Minsk Ghetto survivors, no longer feel forgotten, thanks to The Together Plan.’

The Together Plan launches new Friends’ Scheme at exclusive Camden event

Around fifty people gathered for the launch reception of our new Friends’ Scheme.  The scheme will enable our supporters and followers to keep up to date with our varied projects, coming at a crucial time of development and expansion for the charity as we work with more communities and partner organisations than ever before.  Guests enjoyed a nibbles and drinks reception, including herring and vodka brought all the way from Belarus, and heard from The Together Plan’s co-directors about our upcoming and ongoing projects.

The keynote address was given by Frida Reisman, chair of the Minsk Ghetto Survivors’ Association and a longstanding partner of The Together Plan.  Ms Reisman, who The Together Plan brought to London especially for this event, effortlessly yet meticulously detailed the trauma that she experienced as a child of the notorious Minsk ghetto, and spoke of her subsequent life on its territory.  The event will be remembered for a long time by all in attendance.

As a Friend of The Together Plan you will receive exclusive perks, including access to our rare books library, priority booking for events and trips, access to our Friends newsletter, invitations to our annual Friends event, and much more!  Learn more and sign up to become a Friend at thetogetherplan.com/friends.