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Holocaust Talk and Book Signing

Coming to Schools & Organizations

Nov 1, 2024 –
May 31, 2025

Appropriate especially for middle and high school students, and above ages.

EBHEC is proud to sponsor author Henry Michalski for a free talk of his book Torn Lilacs at your school or organization. Torn Lilacs charts the journey of the author’s parents, Joseph (Joska) and Felicia (Fela) Michalski, a young Jewish couple from a small Polish town, whose path of survival during the era of the Holocaust took them to Ukraine, Siberia, Kazakhstan, and the United States. Michalski portrays his parents’ struggles of loss, narrow escape, separation, capture, imprisonment, stark betrayal, and eventual freedom. 


Henry Michalski was born in Dhzambul, Kazakhstan on August 3, 1945, between V-E Day in Europe and the bombing of Hiroshima. He lived for two years in a displaced persons camp in Bavaria until the U.S. agreed to take in a limited number of refugees. He arrived at Ellis Island with his parents and brother in 1949, and the family eventually settled in San Francisco. Henry graduated from San Francisco State University and taught history in the Napa schools. Over the course of his career he raised a family, traveled, wrote, and moderated TV and radio programs in Napa. Michalski is proud to have honored his parents, bringing meaning and purpose to their suffering with the publication of Torn Lilacs. 

The author will also be available for selling and signing copies of his book, if desired. For more information about this program, see: or contact 

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Sponsored by:


Featured Bios

Cookie Segelstein, Featured Violinist

Cookie (Marlene) Segelstein received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the University of Missouri in 1981, and a Master’s Degree in Viola from Yale University in 1984 where she studied with Raphael Hillyer (founding member of the Julliard String Quartet) and the late Jesse Levine. She played under the great Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa at Tanglewood, and studied chamber music with Eugene Lehner  of the Kolisch Quartet. In 1984, Cookie joined the New Haven Symphony where she became Assistant Principal Violist in 1991, a position she held until moving to California in 2010.  In the spring of 2010, she performed a piece commissioned for her by the orchestra and written by composer Mark Kuss, “Viola Concertino”.  Cookie has toured the world with her trio Veretski Pass that specializes in the 19th and 20th Century Jewish instrumental folk music of the Carpathian mountains. They played to a sold out audience at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and regularly tour Germany, Austria and Switzerland, playing concerts and teaching workshops. She recorded the violin music for the Jewish wedding episode of HBO’s “Sex and the City”, has recorded many CD’s as an expert on Jewish violin style, and written many music books of  historical transcriptions. On the board of the San Francisco chapter of American String Teachers Association, and a member of MTAC (Music Teacher’s Association of California), Cookie teaches violin and viola students of all ages and levels in both folk and Classical styles. 

Cookie Segelstein
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Joshua Horowitz, Featured Accordian

Joshua Horowitz, chromatic button accordion, cimbalom and piano, received his Masters degree in Composition and Music Theory from the Academy of Music in Graz, Austria, where he taught Music Theory and served as Research Fellow and Director of the Yiddish Music Research Project for eight years.

He is the founder and director of the ensemble Budowitz, a founding member of Veretski Pass and has performed and recorded with Itzhak Perlman, The Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Theodore Bikel, Ben Goldberg, Rubin and Horowitz, Brave Old World, Adrienne Cooper and Ruth Yaakov. His music was recently featured in the British film, “Some of my best friends are... Jewish / Muslim”, awarded the Sandford St. Martin Trust Religious Broadcasting Award and is also featured in the new film by Jes Benstock, "The Holocaust Tourist". 

His recordings with Veretski Pass, Budowitz, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Rubin & Horowitz and Alicia Svigals, have achieved international recognition and he is the recipient of more than 40 awards for his work as both composer and performer.

Joshua Horowitz
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