Remembering Leonard Bernstein

Remembering Leonard Bernstein

Rita Lerner of Englewood Cliffs, second from left, and her family were at the opening of “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music” at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia on March 14. Ms. Lerner’s sister, Vivian Reisman, is to her left, and her daughter, Samantha Silverman, and her son, Jason Lerner, are on the right side of the photo. The family also got to meet Leonard Bernstein’s son Alexander Bernstein.

Ms. Lerner’s family is standing in front of a photograph showing an orchestra made up of concentration camp survivors. Leonard Bernstein is on the far right, in the white shirt and tie. Next to him is Ms. Lerner’s aunt, Fania Durmashkin Beker; her uncle, Max Beker, is two down. Ms. Lerner’s mother, Henia Durmashkin, stands to the left of her in the background photo, wearing a blazer.

The night before the Philadelphia opening, there was a cocktail reception for the exhibit in Manhattan’s Steinway Hall. Ms. Lerner spoke about Leonard Bernstein and her mother and the ex-concentration camp orchestra.

The Leonard Bernstein exhibition in Philadelphia has testimony from Ms. Lerner’s mom, who was talking about the time when Leonard Bernstein came to conduct the orchestra and she sang the song “Ghetto.” The exhibit also has artifacts borrowed from the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, including a program and poster.

Ms. Lerner’s cousin Sonia, Fania and Max’s daughter, also was at the opening.

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