Cantor Max Sternthal
HELP CELEBRATE MY 94 BIRTHDAY (September 23, 2020)
Download FREE my album and books and then forward them to “young people” who are interested to learn the incredible story of European Jewry in the twentieth century, from Shtetl through the Holocaust and the rebirth of Israel. I was inspired to write these books and record this album for my Grandsons and all young people, to help them understand the history of their antecedents, the two million Jews who fled persecution in in East Europe and developed two great centres of Jewish life in Canada/USA and Israel.
In 2010 (I was 84) my life took a dramatic turn
It was a normal Sunday morning and I was at a retirement home, telling stories of the Shtetl, the Holocaust, and then the story of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. At the conclusion of the story, I picked up my guitar and sang (in English and then in Yiddish) the anthem of the Jewish resistance fighters: When I was half-way through the Yiddish version, I was startled to hear load moaning and cries from a member of the audience. After I concluded the program, an elderly woman Esther, approached me and apologized for disturbing my program and said: When I hear that song, I go to pieces.
"I am a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto"
When I recovered from her statement, she unveiled this extraordinary story: After the young German guard at the Jewish Ghetto factory smashed her forehead with his rifle because she would not leave with him, she ran home bleeding. That night, her father and brother placed her in a potato sack and carried the sack on their shoulders to a previously arranged spot on the Ghetto wall, where they lifted and threw her over the wall into the hands of a friendly Christian who carried her to safety. Two months later, Esther looked up and saw the ghetto on fire. She was now the sole survivor of her family.
When Esther finished her harrowing tale, she surprised me by shaking her finger in my face and scolding me and said: “Mr. Sternthal, you are in the wrong place. You should be telling your stories and singing your songs to young people who know little and soon will know nothing about these terrible events, not to us old people. We know these stories because we lived them. I was stunned, but I soon found my voice, and I took her hands in mine, and vowed to spend the rest of my years, to address young people to relate these stories and sing these songs.
SONGS AND STORIES OF MY PEOPLE
Is an album relating the history of European Jewry in the 20th century,
combined with appropriate music and songs.
From Shtetl to State
Tells the story of East European Jewry, from its peak to its near destruction, and its miraculous rebirth in Israel. Songs and stories about pre and post Holocaust life, combine in a program of hope, faith, and Jewish renewal.
From Herzl to Netanyahu
From early chalutzim to founding of Tel Aviv, Palmach, Ben Gurion, Independence, wars of 1956, 1967, and 1973. 12 Israeli songs (translated). Join us in singing Hatikvah on Israel Independence Day.
They Fought Back! Jewish Brigade’s rescue of survivors. Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, where 700 boys caused the Germans to run, Jewish woman, Nuita, kills a Nazi Commandant, Jewish partisans blow up trains, and Motele takes revenge!
Children of the Holocaust
A tribute to the 1.5 million Jewish children who perished, amazing survival stories, and Anne Frank’s message to the world.
My Cousin Danny and his Mysterious Box is the story of a Jewish boy who survived the Holocaust thanks to the Christian family who hid him on their farm during the second World War. After the war, while searching for his parents, Danny encounters many rebuffs because he has no identification papers or a tattoo on his arm. Finally, Danny proves his identity by reciting the first of the four questions asked by the youngest child at the Passover Seder.
A prominent Publisher: What a poignant story! I was deeply moved….it is a powerful story that must be told!”
12 year old Miriam wrote: “Cantor Max, thanks for coming to my school. Your book is amazing! I hope you continue writing books for people like me to enjoy.”
From the perspective of my ninetieth year, this candid account of my struggles, successes and failures while growing up in the Montreal great depression era, will hopefully serve as an “ethical guide” for my grandsons and all young people about to enter today’s competitive world.”
Kathy Clark:….”an entertaining guide for how to become a man of conviction and firm moral interity.”
P.M. Dupuis: reminiscent of both the Jewish Montreal of
Richler and Leonard Cohen and the end of the era of “Death of a salesman.”
A.E. Smith:….”What is means to be Jewish in a secular, often hostile world.”