Huberman in Hardcover

Josh Aronson puts his IPO documentary ‘Orchestra of Exiles’ into print


Some years ago, Dorit Straus had an epiphany. The Israeli-born amateur pianist, then living in New York City, shared it with another of her piano teacher’s students.

“She told me that she had suddenly realized that her entire family was alive because of the actions of one man in 1936,” recalled documentary filmmaker Josh Aronson.

That man was Bronislaw Huberman, and because, like many Americans, Aronson had not heard of him, he dismissed the story as one simply about Straus’ family. But Straus persisted, and when she spoke with Aronson, he had an epiphany.

“This was a much bigger story than about Dorit’s father,” he said last month. “It was about this astonishing man who in creating what is now the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra saved 1,000 Jews and virtually started the culture of Israel.

“Here was a great man and a great artist,” continued Aronson. “And in the broad spectrum he had been largely forgotten.”

Aronson produced the documentary, Orchestra of Exiles, in 2012. It aired on PBS and he personally screened it for audiences around the world. But a couple years ago he realized the story was still not reaching enough people and set out to publish a book version.

“I had received very positive feedback in Germany and Australia and Israel and America, and at Holocaust museums, from an engaged and dynamic audience – all of whom were between 50 and 90 years old, highly-educated, culturally interested Jews,” he said. “But I couldn’t get younger people to come in any force and I wanted the book to veer to a more accessible kind of language that’s very readable and very understandable by kids in high school.”

“I wanted to ensure that Huberman’s story would get out there to future generations,” he added.

The book, also called Orchestra of Exiles, came out in 2016. Last September Aronson launched a promotional tour that is continuing through May. His next appearances will be at noon on March 28 at Temple Emanu-El of West Essex in Livingston, New Jersey, and two days later at the Jewish Community Center in Scarsdale, New York at 6:30 p.m.

For his April and May appearances check this page on the Aronson Film Associates website.

Orchestra of Exiles, both the book and DVD, are available on Amazon and through Aronson’s website.

March 2017