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Gideon Klein Award

During the Holocaust, many musicians and other artists were persecuted by the Nazis, some because they were Jewish, others because of the content of their art. We invite you to apply for the $5,000 Gideon Klein Award. The Award is open to students in any major. The Gideon Klein Scholar either creates an original work, prepares a performance, or does research related to music or musicians of the Holocaust. They also offer a public presentation at Northeastern during Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week and archive the project on the Jewish Studies website. Students at Northeastern and Hebrew College,  are eligible to apply.

How to Apply:

All materials and/or questions should be sent to Deborah Levisohn at d.levisohn@northeastern.edu.  Applications for 2021-22 will be open in the winter of 2021.






This award honors the memory of Gideon Klein,  pianist and composer, who was imprisoned in Terezin and other concentration camps until his death in 1945. While in Terezin, Klein inspired other musicians to compose and share their music with others in most difficult circumstances. The award was established in 1997 by Prof. Bill Giessen in memory of his mother, Gustel Cormann Giessen.


Current and Previous Gideon Klein Scholars

2020-2021 Kalah Karloff, Music Industry and Communications Studies major, with minor in Media Production.  She will research how music was used as a form of torture by the Nazis in concentration camps and how the effect of music on the human body can change with its context. Specific songs will be assessed musically and lyrically to explore the reason behind these choices, with clear applications to our own day.

2019-2020: Yael Sheinfeld, Communications major with minors in Political Science and English. She created an animated film based on the children’s book The Children’s Tree of Terezin by Dede Harris.

2018-2019: Elizabeth Levi, Northeastern University Journalism graduate and pursuing a Master of Science in Media Advocacy. Her project consists of a digital webpage where she shares the stories and artwork of Jewish women artists who received refugee status in the United States both during and immediately after the Holocaust. Elizabeth’s work will be incorporated into the Rediscovering Refugee Scholars project at Northeastern (https://northeastern.edu/refugeescholars/home.) Please see Elizabeth’s presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P8YoQb9MZQ#action=share.

2017-2018: Danielle Murad Waiss, Political Science and International Affairs major.  Project involved choreographing a dance performance composed of several pieces inspired by artworks created during or after the Holocaust.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjZ1AiKsqJk#action=share

2016-2017: Alison Campbell (Northeastern University, International Affairs and Political Science major). Campbell’s project explores the life and works of Wilhelm Brasse, a photographer notorious for his identity photos shot in Auschwitz. Her interdisciplinary work examined the role of photography through the lenses of memory, history, and culture. She presented her work at Northeastern’s Holocaust Commemoration in January 2017.

2015-2016:  Madelyn Stone (Northeastern University, Journalism and History double major, International Affairs Minor), Reality is the Satire – The Will to Hope in the Writings of Jura Soyfer.  This essay based on Stone’s research as the Gideon Klein Scholar was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Leo Baeck Institute — New York undergraduate essay contest in German-Jewish studies.

2014-2015:  Elijah Botkin (Northeastern University, Music and Mathematics double major), The Closed Town: Poetry from Terezin

2013-2014:  Hinda Tzivia Eisen (Hebrew College, Cantorial Ordination and Master of Judaic Studies program), The Westerbork Cabaret

2012-2013: Heather Viola (Northeastern University, international affairs and human services major), Children’s Music in Terezin

2011-2012: Emili Kaufman (Northeastern University, communications studies major), Art of Felix Nussbaum

2010-2011: Lynn Torgove, (Hebrew College, Cantorial Ordination Program) FRAUENSTIMMEN: Women’s Voices from Ravensbrück

2009-2010: Jeri Robins, (Hebrew College, Cantorial Ordination Program) Music of the Auschwitz Women’s Orchestra

2008-2009: Julie Stevens (New England Conservatory)- Satire and Symbolism in Viktor Ullmann’s opera “Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Accompanying Presentation

2006-2007: Jonathan Meacham (Northeastern University), concert of music by Gideon Klein and other Terezin composers, performed in original versions and in jazz variations created by Meacham

2005-06: Coleman Goughary (Northeastern University), original composition and performance

2004-05: Amie Brehm- (Northeastern University) As part of her project, Brehm created a “Guide to Crafting a Performance of Brundibar by Hans Krasa”  Watch the video here.

2002-03: Jungmee Kim (Northeastern University), performance

2001-02: Melissa Misicka- (Northeastern University), website on musical activities at Terezin

2000-01: Fay Gerbes (Northeastern University), performance

1999-2000: Sarah Heile (Northeastern University), concert and exhibit

1998-99: Virgil Bozeman (Northeastern University), concert on Nazi censorship of the arts