Holocaust Survivors Head To The Disco

This post first appeared in The Times of Israel.

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Studio 54 is no more, but disco lives on — at least among Holocaust survivors in Brooklyn. Since January, Minnie’s Place, a unique dance club in the Canarsie neighborhood, has been hosting elderly survivors for therapy/exercise sessions set to the pulsing rhythms of ‘70s club music.

Housed at the Hebrew Educational Society on Seaview Avenue, Minnie’s Place is decked out in black lights, a disco ball and an aromatherapy diffuser, with psychedelic images projected on the walls. There are also voice-sensitive lights and a vibrating bubble column.

Beyond getting down, the elderly Jews are psychologically and spiritually benefiting from the multi-sensory space, designed in accordance with a therapeutic approach developed in the 1970s by the DeHartenburg Institute in the Netherlands. It is meant to help them deal with the grief and anxiety caused by repressed Holocaust memories.

Click here to read more.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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