Keeping the Promise

Dramaturgued and directed by Lynna Goldhar Smith

Based on extensive interviews with child survivors of the Holocaust who came to Canada as teens, this is the story of a girl’s heroic experience of loss, recovery, and triumph. In this multi-character one woman play, Helen Mintz shares the joys and challenges of the immigrant heroine as she builds a vibrant new life for herself in a new country.

“No one, whether student or adult, leaves a performance of Keeping the Promise unmoved without new insight and understanding.”

Fraidie Martz, Outlook, Canada’s Progressive Jewish Magazine

Original Review

“A unique feature of the school program was Helen Mintz’ storytelling performance, “Keeping the Promise.” This play . . . was acclaimed by teachers and students alike. Commissioned by our Centre, Helen succeeded in capturing many of the orphans’ experiences and transforming them into a dynamic and moving presentation.”

Zachor, the Newsletter of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, April 1998.

I highly recommend Helen Mintz’ school performance of her play, Keeping 1he Promise, which she recently performed for English classes at Britannia.

Told from the perspective of a young girl, the play made a powerful impact on students. Because many of them have experienced danger, deprivation and dislocation prior to emigrating to Canada, or know some one who has, they responded personally to the story of a young Jewish girl’s trials and triumphs as she overcomes the losses experienced during the Holocaust to build a life in her new country.

Strong female characters are in short supply in school dramas and Helen’s tribute to the courage of young women is both moving and timely. While young audiences from grades 6 up undoubtedly will enjoy this play, the narrative and universal themes will also speak to adults.

Yours truly,
Valerie Dare
Britannia Secondary School

“Helen performed for fifty-five grade eight students (no small feat). Her high energy and creatively presented performance kept my students rapt and completely silent for forty-five minutes. Her play helped put a “face on the information the students had read , and provided not only a vehicle for discussion of the horrors of the Holocaust, but also the triumph of those who survived. . .”

Sheila Black
English teacher
Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School Full Letter

“Our students were deeply moved by the story, which you brought to life with such emotion and realism. As young teens they were able to identify with the character and really understand the life experience of a young Holocaust survivor.”

Ilisia Kissner, Religious School Director, Congregation B.nai Israel, New Jersey. Full Letter