Tuesday, May 30, 2023

(Courtesy of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest) Ruth Ravina, a long-time Montclair resident, was 2 years old when the Nazis arrived in her hometown of Kozienice, Poland, in 1939. By the time the Russians liberated Poland, Ruth, at the age of 8, had survived countless tragedies, years on the run and three concentration camps. Once liberated, Ruth learned her father was dead and that she was the only surviving child from Kozienice. She and her mother made their way to the United States through Sweden, settling in Manhattan. She attended college, married and raised a family. And it wasn’t until her husband, Oscar, passed away in 2010 that she decided to share her harrowing story. Since then she’s shared it anywhere people would listen and has been an active participant in Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ’s Holocaust Council, which is dedicated to keeping the stories of the Holocaust alive.

Now Ruth’s story has been captured in a full-length documentary film, “An Inconvenient Time: The Story of Ruth Ravina,” which will premiere on Sunday, February 2, at 11 a.m. at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, 110 South Orange Ave., Livingston.

The film was created, produced and scored by Denny Klein of North Caldwell. Klein learned of Ravina’s incredible story six years ago when his twin daughters, Evie and Rebecca, were paired with her as part of the Federation’s Twin with a Survivor program for their mitzvah project leading up to their b’nai mitzvah.

Right from the start, Klein was compelled to record Ravina’s story. “The more I got to know Ruth and to learn about her inspiring life, the more I realized that her story needed to be shared with the world at large. And when Ruth and the few survivors left are no longer here, the responsibility is on us,” he said. “I’m not a filmmaker by trade, but it was as if God tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘You gotta do this.’”

He raised money to fund the project from community members who know and admire Ruth. He also brought on a production partner and illustrator/animation supervisor whose drawings vividly capture the point of view of child during the Holocaust. This labor of love took more than six years to complete and all involved are thrilled to be able to watch the final result along with Ravina at the premiere.

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