web analytics
August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Lyndell Higgins: Dance In The Face Of Hate

Lyndell Higgins

Lyndell Higgins

In recent months I have been profoundly affected by the news of growing anti-Semitism in most European countries and in the United States, especially on college campuses. When, at the end of World War II, I emerged a living skeleton from the German concentration camps, I believed that the horror of Jew-hatred was defeated forever. And now, as I watch my grandchildren raise their young families, the news of the ancient hatred’s revival strikes fear in my heart for their safety. For the Jewish future.

The only ray of hope to brighten my soul radiates from the poignant letters I receive from readers of my Holocaust memoirs, who express their resolve to fight prejudice and hatred in any form.

Not long ago a letter reached me that stood out with the glow of its remarkable message. It came from Lyndell Higgins, founder and director of Stretch Dance Company in Los Angeles, California, who, in response to her concern over the rise of “hatred, racism and discrimination” proposes to create a unique method – a dance production based on my memoir – to teach about the Holocaust. Why teach about the Holocaust? Ms Higgins, in a brilliant historical insight, came to the conclusion that the Holocaust was nothing but the culmination of irrational hatred. She explains: “One of the most effective ways to teach people about the consequences of hatred is to teach them about the Holocaust.”

“As it is a dance production and will not be using dialogue,” Ms Higgins continues, “this performance can be attended by anyone with any level of education, speaking any language, therefore it could reach so many…The Stretch Dance Company, a new professional dance performance company, will travel to different universities throughout the United States and abroad …”

“A performance for the community at large will also be available,” she adds. “In addition, Stretch Dance Company will be offering workshops focused on Holocaust education, dance performance and theatrical design. Your memoir has the overall message of hope. Hope for humanity and future generations. …I share in that hope and wish to offer it to others,” Lyndell Higgins’ message concludes.

Who is this remarkable young woman with her amazing message of commitment?

What motivates a young beautiful dancer to fight “hatred, racism and discrimination” and with her unique, extraordinary sensitivity to create such unusual method to achieve her goal? What predisposes a California student to focus on the study of the horrors of the Holocaust and search among thousands of Holocaust memoirs for the one she feels the most appropriate for telling the story to students? In her words, “In order to achieve its educational purpose, the choreography for the present production is a combination of ballet, jazz, and modern method acting technique to create a realistic portrayal of emotions…for the students to feel empathy,” she elucidates. “One of the best tools to inspire change is empathy.”

Lyndell Walsh was born in southern California, and has been a professional choreographer since 2003. She received her education in drama and dance, and has teaching credentials in English literature and psychology from the University of California, Irvine. It was here she met her future husband, Christopher Higgins, an engineering student. The two were married in 2007 and made their home in Placentia, near Los Angeles. After completing their graduate degrees, Christopher’s is in engineering, Lyndell worked as high school teacher in the various fields of her expertise.

While all over the United States college students and teachers increasingly revive the ancient Jew-hatred in the form of anti-Israel propaganda, Lyndell Walsh Higgins is dedicated to reversing the trend. While I read about plans for a vicious BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions against Israel) event organized at Brooklyn College, my alma mater, my pain is soothed as I review Lyndell Higgins’s proposed program of disarming the haters by teaching about the consequences of hatred. May she serve as a shining role model for many others of her generation to ensure the future of the generations to come. May the Almighty bless Lyndell Walsh Higgins as she dances in the face of hate.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Lyndell Higgins: Dance In The Face Of Hate”

  1. Leah Swetsky says:

    My beautiful best friend. So deserved!

  2. Wonderful article about a very talented and beautiful young lady

  3. ktuck says:

    Lyndell Higgins is awe-inspiring! And thank you, Ms. Bitton-Jackson, for writing such a moving memoir of your experience during the Holocaust. I read your book when I was ten and it made such a profound impact on how I saw the world and made me grateful for the life I had. I cannot wait to see Lyndell’s show! She has such a keen understanding of how to interpret literature into dance. What a great article!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Jewish and Muslim bless a crowd of hundreds at a special prayer rally at Gush Etzion junction.
Jews, Arabs Unite to Underline Co-existence in Gush Etzion
Latest Sections Stories

We studied his seforim together, we listened to famous cantorial masters and we spoke of his illustrious yichus, his pedigree, dating back to the famous commentator, Rashi.

Singer-Saul-Jay-logo-NEW

Jews who were considered, but not ultimately selected, include Woody Allen, Saul Bellow, David Ben-Gurion, Marc Chagall, Anne Frank, and Barbra Streisand.

Personally I wish that I had a mother like my wife.

What’s the difference between the first and second ten-year-old?

What makes this diary so historically significant is that it is not just the private memoir of Dr. Seidman. Rather, it is a reflection of the suffering of Klal Yisrael at that time.

Rabbi Lau is a world class speaker. When he relates stories, even concentration camp stories, the audience is mesmerized. As we would soon discover, he is in the movie as well.

Each essay, some adapted from lectures Furst prepared for live audiences, begins with several basic questions around a key topic.

For the last several years, four Jewish schools in the Baltimore Jewish community have been expelling students who have not received their vaccinations.

“We can’t wait for session II to begin” said camp director Mrs. Judy Neufeld.

More Articles from Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson
Tally Eitan

Who is this wonder woman? Tally Makovsky Eitan is a scion of a family that has lived in Jerusalem for eleven generations!

Juta Hartman

Her grandsons were eager to reveal their grandmother’s earlier frustration with the unfair, inaccurate narrative of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

The visionary champion of women’s rights in Judaism was first and foremost a devoted wife and mother.

This belief was coupled with the spirit of “Am Yisrael HaShalem” (One United People), in the Ben Yehuda household: to love and help all Jews without distinction.

It was Lia van Leer who changed the image of filmmaking in Israel so that it is now seen as an expression of culture and not mere entertainment.

In 1756, when the ominous threat of Islamic terror against Jews reached Tunis as well, Friha became one of its tragic victims.

Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.

This led to a shouting match between the judges and what could have been the end of the show.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/lyndell-higgins-dance-in-the-face-of-hate/2013/02/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: