October 9th is the National Day of Commemorating the Holocaust, Romania’s Holocaust Remembrance day, so we chose to feature Elly Berkovitz, a Romanian Jew, in this month’s Portrait of the Month. Read more about Romania’s Holocaust Memorial initiatives here.
Elly was 15 when she arrived at Auschwitz in 1944, around the age of many of the students who draw her portrait in Memory Project workshops. She survived, but lost her entire family. She has written and spoken about her experiences; read more about her work here.
Workshop participants around the world have connected to Elly through reading about her and drawing her portrait:
“I felt such a connection with Elly. Even though my portrait was her as a young girl when I made the art it felt as if she were older and here.” -Alana D., Brooklyn, New York
“I felt that even though I just learned about Elly, I personally knew her and had a deep connection.” -Madison M., St. Petersburg, Florida
“I felt as if her story moved my hand. I will remember the way the picture came to life. I will remember this because I felt as if the portrait was telling me how to draw.” -Elise N., Lantana, Florida