The one hour TV discussion in which Dr INNA ROGATCHI is discussing Simon Wiesenthal, her film about him, and modern-day anti-Semitism with journalist Risto Huvila. The program can be watched here:





by Irina Lazarev

 Shalom, 10/2016. Expanded version.

 A Special Couple

They both are talented and successful. They are relating each to the other tenderly and gently. They both succeeded in the accomplishment of their talent in various ways.         

They are supporting those who are in trouble and need. They are generous in their support of orphans and talented youth by helping them to make their most daring dreams true.

It is symbolic that at the special time of the Jewish New Year, this couple has celebrated their important personal mile-stone, as well,  the 40th anniversary of their marriage.

We can uncover the names of these fabulous people. It is Michael and Inna Rogatchi.

They are well-known in many countries world-wide. Their contribution into modern culture is very notable.  

At the very moment, at the time of their family celebration, Michael and Inna are successfully carrying on their interesting new projects.

Warmth of the Talent

Inna has recently presented her Power of Light fine art photography series on the Judaic Symbolism. These works are as if a deep breath of a fresh air, especially for those who are discovering for themselves a bottomless world of the Jewish culture. Inna also has created a short art-film featuring some of her works from the Power of Light series. The musical art video had been released to mark the High Holidays in October 2016, and it had been highly praised. The Israel National News has called the Inna Rogatchi’s new work ‘both moving and haunting, a perfect gift by the artist on Rosh HaShanah ( Jewish New Year). The video can be watched here  .

I was lucky to see the video yet before its international release, thanks to Creator for my personal acquaintance with this talented couple.  

Originally, the Power of Light series has been created a few years ago, in conjunction with the unique event, the opening of the Vilnius Public Jewish Library in the end of 2011. This kind of event had happened in Lithuania for the first time since the end of the Second World War. Since the opening, the first set of the fifteen works from the series adores the walls of the Library that has become a very popular and widely recognised centre of the Jewish culture and history in Vilnius. Along with the Inna’s art photography works there is also well-known Yiddishe Sun ( Yiddish Son) painting of Michael’s, the only oil painting which has been on the Library’s walls following the decision of their board.

Michael Rogatchi (C). Yiddishe Sun ( Yiddish Son). Oil on canvas. 2011. Vilnius Public Jewish Library. Lithuania

Four years after the Library’s opening, Inna and Michael did present the art replica of this very work to the newlywed couple in Israel. But it was not a regular wedding. Sarah-Tehiya Litman and Ariel Beigel’s marriage shook Israel to the bone. The bride’s father, Rabbi Litman, and her young brother were murdered by the Palestinian terrorists just on the eve of her wedding in November 2015.

Inna and Michael took the pain of the family close to their hearts and has organised their special gift to reach the family on the morning of the wedding which has celebrated all Israel, against all odds. A year later, just these days, in October 2016, Sarah Beigel gave a birth to their first daughter. The life is prevailing.

“ In sending this gift to the new Israeli couple under such dramatic circumstances, we wanted also to send them the message of our Jewish hope and love, ongoing and never extinguishing light of living and remembering” ,– Inna and Michael are saying.   

Indeed, it is quite clear that both Michael and Inna Rogatchis’ art is not just an art pieces. Their creations do posses tangible spiritual power.

This is what Inna has shared with us regarding their experiences: “ During the one of our previously regular visits to Ukraine where we were supporting the Jewish orphans during many years, Michael visited the house for boys where they are living. He brought with him many things, including my photography works, each framed, to be a present to each of them. We wanted to bring to those boys not only shoes, clothes and books, and sweets and cakes, but also something personal for each of them.

Michael proposed to the boys that each of them would choose the photograph that he would like the most and pick it up from the big table where all those many photographs were displayed. Naturally, he started from the smallest ones.  

There was one boy, shy and reflective. When he was invited to the table, among the first ones, he stayed there for a long time. All that time, his eyes were glued to one particular photograph. That photograph pictured many rounded challah just baked for Rosh HaShanah ( and they were backed by us). The work’s title was The Warmth of Jewish Home.

The boy did take the photograph into his hands as a treasure. He hugged the photograph – as many children orphans in their houses did, too – and he smiled so happily. We will never forget that orphan boy, with his smile, hugging the photograph that was bearing the warmth of Jewish home”,  – says Inna.

New Horizons

Inna and Michael are moving forward reaching new horizons and new dimensions of their joint life – and creativity. In November 2016, their first joint exhibition will be organised in Rome, at quite unusual, interesting and special art space, LOFT – Spazio MatER Gallery. The gallery is more than a regular art gallery. It is the place of intensive culture discussions, different art events, and it is very active as an institution in the cultural and educational activities of Rome and Italy in general. This is visible and thoughtful place, and there is no surprise to me that it is them who did organise the first joint exhibition of Inna and Michael.

The exhibition will feature ten Michael’s drawings, mostly from his Divertimento series devoted to classical music, and twenty Inna’s art photographs of her poetic and philosophical works many of which are the artist’s homage to great writers, actors and musicians, as well as the works from her Flying Thoughts series.

The exhibition’s title is At the Same Time, and the thinking of the exhibition’s curator Ilaria Sergi and her assistant Valentina Caprara behind the concept of the unusual exhibition is “ to get into the depths of the two worlds: the ones of a man and of a woman, of a painter and of an art photographer, of music and cinema; the worlds which the both  artists are implementing in their works with similar intensity, and are striving to reach the same objectives, with all the lyric that all these efforts  are encompassing”, – according to the Rogatchis exhibition’s curator Dr Ilaria Sergi.   

It seems to me that the concept of this new exhibition, with so many of its parallels, is highly symbolic in the case of the Rogatchis. Inna and Michael is, indeed, a very special tandem, a symbiosis of love, understanding and mercy.

This exhibition is no exception for the couple’s customary philanthropy. Both Inna and Michael designated several of their works for the charity purposes. The Rogatchi Foundation is running currently their international Friendly Hands campaign in support of the Italian people and communities affected by the devastating earthquake in August 2016.

Perhaps, here lays the one of the fundamental things about this couple: they are not indifferent to what is happening in our world; they are ready and willing to warm up everyone who is shivering. 

Soul Catharsis

For many, me including, the art and creativity of both Inna and Michael Rogatchi is a true soul’s catharsis. Every time, seeing any of their works, the works which are transcending the strength of creativity, I do feel real uplifting. I also am feeling powerful spiritual cleansing and moral healing.

That’s why their letters, articles, news about many of their exhibitions, presentations, events and projects are so important for me.

I hardly would be walking through tiny streets of Rome and would visit At the Same Time exhibition there. Most likely, I also would not manage to get to the grand Zion Waltz exhibition at the Menachem Begin Centre in Jerusalem in May 2017 where inaugurating exhibition of the 30 large oil canvases of Michael’s Zion Waltz series and special The Tribes series by Inna will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the re-unification of Jerusalem, the anniversary of the utmost importance for Israel and the Jewish people world-wide. The exhibition of Michael and Inna Rogatchi is organised by the decision and under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture of Israel, Municipality of Jerusalem, and many other key state organisations.

Inna Rogatchi (C). Talking to the High. Homage to S.Y. AGNON. Horizon Beyond Horizon series. Fine Art Photography. Limited Edition.

But I am so glad to know that I was the one of the first people who were lucky and privileged to see some of the works which, I am sure, will cause the admiration of thousands people who will be visiting the forthcoming joint exhibitions of Michael and Inna Rogatchi.

Think about it: a man and a woman. If they are halves of the same entity, the world around them is becoming coloured in a unique palette, and it is thoroughly joyful. The world of the Rogatchi couple is shining and happy for forty years by now. Following the Jewish tradition, I am wishing them that their happiness will last until at least 120 years.

 Art critic Irina Lazarev (C)

October 2016.

Shalom, #10, 2016. Expanded version.

The Lessons of Survival to be Shown in Israel

Rochel Sylwetsky, Israel National News 

9/26 2015.

Film based on never released talks with Simon Wiesenthal to be featured in Israel at the 10 year memorial of his death.

The tenth anniversary of the death famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal takes place this September and as part of the Special CommemorativeSeries memorializing the legendary figure, there will be screenings of “The Lessons of Survival, Conversations with Simon Wiesenthal” ( Finland, 2014), a film produced  by internationally acclaimed European film director, writer and philanthropist Inna Rogatchi.

She and her husband, artist Michael Rogatchi, will be in Israel for the screenings, each to be followed by a Director’s talk and Q&A sessions, set for Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and Haifa on October 6th, 7th, and 8th, 2015. 

The film had its European Premiere at the European Parliament and has been successfully shown around the globe, including at the Memorial de la Shoah (Paris),and the Illinois Holocaust Museum ( Chicago) where historian Jerrold L. Schecter, former Time Magazine Moscow Bureau Chief wrote: “Inna Rogatchi’s film is a magnificent work; the stories in it are fantastic; and there is obviously much new material in the documentary.” 

It was featured at the International Jewish Film Festival in Australia, leading its director Eddie Tamir, to write: “Inna Rogatchi’s film is the only documentary on this legendary figure which I can call  ‘Simon Wiesenthal Unplugged’ “

The Rogatchi’s were personal friends of Simon Wiesenthal, and the film contains never-before-released friendly and detailed conversations with the legendary Nazi-hunter and is enriched by his deep and frank reflections on the psychological, social and philosophical aspects of the Holocaust.

It includes unique and specially produced footage of the Mauthausen concentration camp and other new material, the result of Rogatchi’s historical research. It  is an art film as well, featuring the “In the Mirror of Shoah” series of paintings by Michael Rogatchi, some of which are displayed at Simon Wiesenthal’s home, some part of the Israeli Foreign Ministry collection. The powerful musical background is by one of Israel’s leading composers Israel Sharon. 

Inna & Michael Rogatchi and The Rogatchi Foundation have been strong supporters of Israel  for decades, through various international projects, both in Europe and the United States. Dr. Rogatchi is the recipient of many prestigious international awards, including the Special Annual Award of the New York Jewish Children’s Museum For Outstanding Contribution into the Arts and Culture ( 2013); The Special Diploma of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema for the International Holocaust Education ( 2015); the Patmos Solidarity Award for the Hard Labour of Memory and for her ‘life-long mission for the sake of the persecuted Jewish people and the Nation of Israel” ( 2014). 

This article was originally published in 9/26 2015 on Israel National News by Rochel Sylwetsky

The Artful Way of Telling About the Holocaust Inna Rogatchi and Her Film on Simon Wiesenthal

By Leena Eronen (C)

Ha-Kehila, 1/2015, Finland

Witer / Film-maker Inna Rogatchi. Photo: Leena Eronen (C​).

The Artful Way of Telling on the Holocaust
Inna Rogatchi and her Film on Simon Wiesenthal
By Leena Eronen (C)
Ha-Kehila, 1/2015

In the Autumn 2014, we saw the Finnish premiere of a rare document, The Lessons of Survival. Conversations with Simon Wiesenthal.
At the event, I managed to meet with the film’s maker, Inna Rogatchi, just on the eve of her trip to Lithuania to film her next project, a mini-series telling the untold stories of the Warsaw and Vilna Ghettos.  

Born in Ukraine, Jewish writer and film-maker Inna is living in Finland for over 25 years.
Can you tell us more about your other films?

Almost all my films are of an hour’ length which is a good format for documentaries, to me. Among the persons whose personal portraits I’ve tried to create on a screen, are president Vaclav Havel, Elena Bonner, the wife of the Academician Andrei Sakharov, dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, politician general Alexander Lebed, and many others. I always was interested in not just making a personal profile, but to try to get into the psychology of my heroes; so it could be said that in all my films, psychology does play the main role.

I always has been and still am mostly interested on the point where history, culture and mentality meets, and am trying in my films to examine those cross-points via and by histories, biographies and characters of those personalities whom I was lucky to meet and know, and has made my films about.

The Lessons of Survival

Simon Wiesenthal ( 1908 – 2005)  went through seven labour and concentration camps. At the time of his liberation, he was an inmate of Mauthausen. He founded Jewish Documentation Centre and did help to bring to justice more than 1100 Nazi criminals. “Justice, not vengeance” was his well-known motto.

How did you meet Simon Wiesenthal?

I wrote a big article about him over 20 years ago, it was published in the Image magazine, and have got a very good reception. The article was enormous by its size, by the magazine has published it, still, as it was really unique story – reflecting the uniqueness of entire life of Simon Wiesenthal.

My husband Michael and I were very privileged to be a good friends with Simon for many years, we knew him well, visited him often, and thus, I have had that possibility to speak with him during the years.

Peter von Bagh ( 1943-2014), the patriarch of the Finnish movie world, did read my story in Image, and he has got very interested in it immediately. Peter wanted to do the film about Wiesenthal together with me, and asked me to talk to Simon about it.

It was not easy thing to organise, as Simon had endless requests for interviews, and his schedule had been always over-packed.
We were discussing the possibility of making our film for about a half of a year, and the important moment which convinced Simon to do it , was my view on the future film and its character as our usual friendly conversation. It should not be a regular interview, there should not be a distance, no formalities, no stiffness. Simon did like the idea, and agreed to make the film with a smile and readiness. He had a very disarming smile, and a smile does tell about a person a lot.

After Simon and I agreed about the way of doing our film, Peter ( von Bagh), our camera man Arto Kaivanto and I went to Austria to start the filming. Additionally to that, I’ve done a really big preparatory work, and serious historic research, too.
I was very privileged to work with materials from the incredible Wiesenthal’s Archive, and was yet more privileged to get comments on some of the documents by Simon himself. He also answered to all my questions regarding those incredibly interested and highly important documents, and always added very interesting stories related to it. Many of those documents were unpublished. So, there is a lot of new material in my film, thanks to that unique co-operation. My research work before, during and after the shooting took several years and I did it in both Austria and Poland, – tells Inna.
We were filming Simon for four days, and during couple of more days, we were filming Mauthausen and Linz. The conversations that we’ve filmed with Simon, were really very long ones, as the talks between friends usually are. I still be amazed that does matter how many times we would be talking with Simon and discussing various things, he would never repeat himself in any conversation with me, ever. He had that very rare ability to remember what he was discussing with certain person, and did not repeat himself, for once, with me, during all those years and numerous conversations. It is a very rare ability of a truly brilliant brain and phenomenal memory that he had.
When I mentioned to him that we will be filming Mauthausen on our own, without requesting him to come with us, Simon did thank me very much, indeed.  I never do that kind of ‘vivisection’-journalism, and never could imagine to ask the people who already did suffer so much, to return to the camp, to talk on the camera on that. I categorically refuse to do anything like that.
Our camera man, Arto Kaivanto, professional through and through, who had seen many terrible things in the world, did ask me in the evening, after we returned from our filming day in Mauthausen, on had I noticed that for some while his camera worked without him – as he had lost consciousness while filming the certain places of that place of sheer horror.  

The film had been planned by Peter ( von Bagh) to become a part of his Golden Library, a series of biographies of the twenty most remarkable people of the XX century.

Tohtori Inna Rogatchille luovutettiin vuoden 2014 Patmos
tunnustuksena hänen työstään kulttuurin,
hyväntekeväisyyden ja julkisen elämän, moraalisten arvojen sekä
ihmisarvoisen elämän puolesta. Hänen elokuvansa Simon Wiesenthalista
hyväksyttiin äskettäin United States Holocaust Memorial
Museumin kokoelmiin.
hakehila 43

But then Peter was so very busy with many of his projects, and the Golden Library left as a good idea only. A few years after the filming Wiesenthal, I have discussed with Peter von Bagh my intention to do the film by myself. His response to that was positive, and my production company has bought the entire material and rights from the Peter’s company.  That was the start of my producing and making the film”, – says Inna.

The European Premiere at the European Parliament

The Lessons of Survival film has been presented internationally widely – its European Premiere had been at the European Parliament at the commemoration of the Holocaust & Remembrance Day 2014, and it had been presented at the special session of the European Club of the Seimas ( Parliament ) of Lithuania.

Additionally to that, among many other international institutions, Yad Vashem, Columbia and Hebrew Universities has acquired the film.

In the spring 2015, the Australian premiere of the film will be launched in both Melbourne and Sydney at the largest in Australia and New Zealand Jewish International Film Festival. In June 2015, the film will conclude the Faces of Humanity Festival in Chicago, in the joint project of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and the Chicago Film Festival.

The official trailer of the film can be seen at the Youtube

Among the new historic materials in the Inna Rogatchi’s film, there are those related to the searches of both Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele; new information and details concerning the Wiesenthals’ dramatic experiences with opening, closing and re-opening of his office , his tireless search for Nazis all around the globe, as well as new knowledge on the search and arrest of the officer who has arrested Anne Frank.

I have told to Inna that I saw her film at its Finnish premiere in Helsinki in the Autumn 2014. The music plays a very special role in this film, and as if opens it up even deeper.  When I was watching the film, very often I had a strong feeling that I am watching art-film.

-Was it the purpose, to make an art-film, Inna?
– It is very well said, as it was precisely the purpose. When Ruth Diskin, Israeli distributor of the film, watched it, it was her reaction, as all. She is of an opinion that the film is unique and touching. And I have an explanation for that – this film is not a regular documentary, it has been neither conceived, or executed that way. A very special role in the film is played by original art by my husband Michael Rogatchi, mine original art  photographycollages, and the music by the one of the best modern Israeli composer Israel Sharon.

All this art applied and integrated in the film, has created its own world which affects people’s perception in the special way.   The paintings of my husband are deeply metaphorical, he is a world renowned master of the metaphorical expressionism. The one of the art works which are playing important role in the film, The Way, had been with Simon and Cyla Wiesenthal for many years, and they did write to us that they did like it very much.

When Peter von Bagh saw the ready film in spring 2014, he wrote to me: “it is beautifully done”. He was really happy that such great and very special material has got into a film. And I, too, was very glad that Peter who did fight cancer for long, lived to see the film. It is important for me.  

On Modern Anti-Semitism

Next we turned to a big issue.
How anti-Semitism has been originated, in your opinion? From which source did it sprang?

Do you mean the hatred against Jews before and during the Second World War, or modern anti-Semitism? Although, there is a direct and strong inter-connection between those two stages of the same phenomenon, in my opinion. I do think that after the end of the Second World War, there has been absolutely not enough done and said about the horrific, devastating tragedy that Jewry of Poland, Central Europe, France, as a matter of fact, the Jewry of entire Europe went through during the Nazi regime and the Holocaust. It was and still is absolutely unparalleled.

And as unbelievable as it is, there is very little researched and said on what has happened to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their families just and soon after the end of the Second World War. The entire subject has been brought as the matter of to public discussion only several years ago, and since then, only few books has been written about it.  

After all that unspeakable horror, the houses and belonging of the victims of the Holocaust were taken from them, people were literally robbed, neglected, abused, – and it was not matter of interest of anyone in any country for decades. It does tell you something about hatred towards Jewish people which was overwhelming and the scale of it is still shocking, to me.  I am absolutely sure that the subject has to be researched much more better, and its results should be publicised as widely, as possible.

Anti-Semitism has originated from a very long tradition, to the extent that when we, Jewish people, are talking about it in between ourselves, it comes with the assumption that ‘it has been always there, that it is a part of life’. But come on, this very way  of thinking is quite abnormal, to say the very least.

Coming to the modern anti-Semitism, it has become so open, ugly and arrogant that my husband and I never believed that we would never live the day to see it so bad, and that it will become a reality, as it has become nowadays.

Anti-Semitism has become fashionable, and that’s the main problem of nowadays, as far as I am concerned. It is just terrible to see what’s happening in Sweden, France, United Kingdom; even in Miami, the violent anti-Semitic attacks started to happen now, it was impossible thing to imagine yet a half of year ago.

The most dangerous phenomenon of the present day, the extreme radical Islamists, are swiping all over Europe and the USA, and it is looming huge problem. Under the circumstances, it is vital, in my view, that the civilised, human society will handle that threat as best and fastest, as possible.

Helsinki, December 2014.

“The Lessons of Survival” Profile on Inna and Michael Rogatchi

Artutz Sheva, Israel National News, speaks to Dr. Inna Rogatchi, writet, film-maker and photographer, whose latest project is a film starring Simon Wiesenthal.

Writer & Film-maker Inna & Artist Michael Rogatchi. Courtesy : The Rogatchi Archive(C)

“The Lessons of Survival” – Profile on Inna and Michael Rogatchi

“I survived and that was a miracle”, says the late Simon Weisenthal, summing up his Holocaust experiences in a recently released documentary “The Lessons of Survival”, filmed by Dr. Inna Rogatchi. The riveting film is based on her never-before publicized conversations with the larger-than-life Nazi hunter as well as her own research into fascinating stories and facts about the Holocaust.

Yad-Vashem has officially requested the film for their permanent film collection and library and Dr. Rogatchi was the special guest author at the European premiere of the film at the European Parliament’s commemorative events for International Holocaust and Remembrance Day 2014. The film was also screened and discussed at the Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania at a special event in March 2014.

Inna Rogatchi, too, is larger-than-life. The internationally acclaimed writer, journalist, fine art photographer, movie maker and scholar enjoys studying inter-connections between people, history, and culture, and is also the creator of the Lux Sei Photo Art © concept in fine art photography.

She and her artist husband Michael, renowned European master of “metaphorical expressionism” are in Israel during the Passover season and Arutz Sheva took the opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee with the indefatigable Inna, whose activities and accomplishments are too varied for one article to be able to do them all justice.

Inna described how she decided to “take on Soviet Russia” despite the personal risk involved when she published her book “The Shattered Generation, or The Ten Commandments in the USSR” (1992) a multifaceted, comprehensive analysis of Russian society and mentality. The book was short-listed for the Russian Booker Prize, acclaimed as “the encyclopaedia of the entire Russian life and character” by writer Irina Ratushinskaja, termed a “Nobel-prize worthy portrait of Russia and the Russian character” by analyst and intelligence expert Victor Suvorov.

“Around that time, we realized we had better leave Russia”, she said, “because my book ‘Yellow Star in the Red Sky’ (1995) is an anti-Soviet study of modern-day Russian anti-Semitism and extreme nationalism – and it was beginning to be acted out, against us.”

The book is exhibited in both Yad-Vashem Museum and the World Museum of Anti-Semitism in Israel. A special exhibition on the topic of modern anti-Semitism based on this book has been shown many times in Finland and other Scandinavian countries at numerous events and forums dealing with the most acute problems of international development.

Why Finland? The Rogatchi’s gave up their Russian citizenship and moved to Finland, where they had lived during their 12-year old daughter’s tragic bout with cancer. Inna recounts the sad story: “There was no fallback position in the USSR when the Chernobyl disaster struck. They had no contingency plans, no instructions – the authorities said whatever they chose to say, but no one knew it at the time. Our parents lived near Chernobyl and the official word was that it was now safe again. We sent our daughter to visit them and she soon developed a rare form of incurable cancer that is a result of exposure to radiation. Wonderful people who knew us through our writings and art helped us get to Finland where they were able to extend her life for a year. After she died, that seemed the best place for us to stay. And that is where I do my writing today.”

A proud Jew and ardent Zionist, Inna says that she fears for the future of the West and writes and lectures on the dangers of militant Islam. “I wrote a series called ‘The Origin, Objectives, Realities and Implication of the Militant Islam in Europe’ – consisting of research, studies, presentations and public lectures I gave at the Institute of the World Politics, Washington DC (US), and other international institutions on one of the most important phenomena of international development.”

“It is a story of pretending nothing is happening although the facts stare you in the face. My article ‘Tolouse and Gaza’ – on the reaction of high European Union officials to militant Islamist crimes in Europe, also dealt with that tendency. I later wrote ‘Future of Europe’ – on the dangerous rise of ultra-nationalistic and extremist movements in Europe”.

The ongoing Ukraine crisis led Inna to send Arutz Sheva an illuminating article, “Tea with Neo-Nazis” – on the violent nationalism in Ukraine and its anti-Semitic overtones, which was re-printed all over the world, in Poland, Canada, USA, UK, and other countries.

She had previously written “Pilgrimage to Home”, an essay about the modern-day view of Ukrainian Jewish history and “Beginning of Decency”, a detailed analysis of the crucial changes in Russian society – “it is actually a protest against Putin’s regime”, she explains. “It hurts to see how the revival of Jewish life I depicted in ‘The Legacy of Light: Drama and Revival of Jewish Life in Ukraine’ collection is endangered once more.”

The collection is the part of a massive exhibition project in London and New York that will be shown beginning in the year 2014.

“It’s necessary to see Jewish life in an historic perspective”, she says, introducing her photographic exhibit, “The Route”, a collection illustrating the directions taken by Jewish people from the Middle Ages through modern times. It has become part of the Israeli Holocaust Museum Yad Vashem’s Virtual Centre, and provides material for their educational programs.

“The Family Edition of ‘The Route'”, she continues, “is on permanent display at the Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine Museum, the largest of its kind in Eastern and Central Europe.”

Dr. Rogatchi was special guest artist invited by the European Parliament to launch the collection in commemoration of Jerusalem Day 2012 in the presence of former MK Benny Elon and the Israeli state delegation led by then Minister Yossi Peled. Hundreds attended the event, and all sang Jerusalem of Gold – including the Polish president.

Inna comments: “I am an ardent Zionist and love my people and their country with all my heart – and hope that we will soon be able to make Israel our permanent home, although unfortunate circumstances prevented us from moving earlier.”

The most moving of the many instances of Inna Rogatchi’s unceasing efforts to make the world a better place, concern the way she and her husband memorialized their only daughter. Not long after Julia’s death, the Rogatchi’s founded Arts Against Cancer, an international charity which organized performances by famous musicians, using the proceeds to improve care for young cancer patients.

The Chairman of the Board was maestro Mstislav Rostropovich, and among the members of the International Advisory Board were Queen of Denmark Margreth, Sir Paul and Linda McCartney, Maurice Bejart, Vladimir Spivakov, and many other outstanding figures.

The foundation covered medications, helped sick children get the best available treatment, funded high level oncologists, among other projects. “It was a way of trying to give others the loving care our daughter received and maybe even have a happier ending to their bout with cancer.”

The foundation’s success for over a decade led to the couple establishing The Rogatchi Foundation, which actively supports international educational, cultural, and charitable activities, such as funds for a special program and stipend for the Jewish orphans in Ukraine – the Annual Yenike Stipend, and Home Care for Jewish orphans who are ill.

Among the members of the International Advisory Board of The Rogatchi Foundation are maestro Evgeny Kissin, Member of the European Parliament Sari Essayah, deputy Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Petras Austrevicius, leading French philanthropist Marie-Helene Berard, leading British-American business woman and philanthropist Dr Herta von Stiege. Member of the European Parliament Hannu Takkula is also a member of The Rogatchi Foundation board.

Inna adds “We have organized a five-year special programme for teachers in Ukraine, introducing a special Award for Teacher Excellency, to stimulate teachers to conduct their job with more energy and appreciation, and to remind the public of the noble role of teachers in any civilised society.”

The noble role filled by the Rogatchi family in so many spheres is an example that is difficult to emulate. It is no surprise that the Rogatchis were awarded The Couple of the Year Award for Contribution to the Arts and Culture by the New York Jewish Children’s Museum, and are recipients of many other international awards.

Melody of Life: Life & Art of Michael & Inna Rogatchi

JLTV, Los Angeles, USA

The programme can be watched here.

Inna & Michael Rogatchi at the Michael’s The Rogatchi’s Blues exhibition opening, Florence, Italy. May 2011. Courtesy:The Rogatchi Archive (C).

Melody of Light: Life & Art of Inna and Michael Rogatchi is the TV profile of the artistic couple that has been produced by and for the JLTV,  a major international TV Channel based in Los-Angeles with bureaus world-wide.

The programme has been very successfully broadcast many times in the USA, and later on has been shown by the Dannish TV. In both, the USA and Denmark, the programme has been chosen as the Channukah Special for 2013 and 2014.

The programme covers some of the both artists’ art and also follows their over 25 years long philanthropy activities.

JLTV is a major international TV Channel that covers over 100 million households all over the USA, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Israel, and  the Middle East. 

The Melody of Light programme has been recognised internationally: it has made it into the Mashmedia (online Multimedia Encyclopedia) top programmes in the Art of Living category; and the story about the programme has been published in many international media. 

The documentary has been acquired by  Yad Vashem for their permanent Film Collection and Film Library, the biggest in the world on the subject of the Holocaust.