Anna Jacobs was 14 years old when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, forcing her family from their home and into the Warsaw ghetto. She and her brother Kalman escaped from the ghetto and she survived the war in a forced labor camp. Every member of her family was killed except for an uncle who’d left Poland before the war. Now 86 years old she says she never wants to forget anything that happened to her, but she wants to have a good time, too. “Pain goes together with happiness.”
Roz Jacobs (Anna’s daughter) has been drawing and painting since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She is represented by Synchronicity Fine Arts in Greenwich Village. After her 50th birthday, she conceived of the Memory Project—an art installation that weaves together the different strands of her life—painter, writer and daughter of Holocaust survivors. She and her partner, the educator and award-winning producer, Laurie Weisman, created the art installation, which is touring the U.S. Finding Kalman is their first documentary.
Maya Jacobs (Anna’s granddaughter) was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. At the age of 7 she started to play the violin and at the age of 16 she began to play the viola at the Israel Conservatory of Music. After her graduation form the Conservatory, Maya served in the Israel Defense Force for 2 years as a “Distinguished Musician” and played in the representative quartet of the IDF.
During her army service she studied with Dr. Lilach Levanon at the Music and Dance Academy in Jerusalem and then at the Buchman-Mehta School of Music at the Tel Aviv University. During year 2008-2009 Maya was a member of the “Gertler Quartet”, the representative quartet of the school. In the summer of 2008 she participated in the workshop and tour of the West-Eastern Divan orchestra of Daniel Barenboim.
Maya is currently studying with Mrs. Martha Katz for her Master degree at the New England Conservatory in Boston. She is a winner of the Israeli Conservatory of music and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation since 2003.
Roy Gross (Anna’s great grandson) was born in Tel Aviv. Anna’s oldest son moved to Israel in 1967, got married and raised three daughters there. Roy’s mother is the oldest daughter, Natalie. She and her family lived in New York for Roy’s early childhood and returned to Israel when he was 10. He has two younger siblings, Eli and Daria. Natalie, who also appears in the film, is one of Israel’s leading young attorneys.