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Bella Ciao: Solidarity in Difficult Times

Dear UJPO/MWS community members,

We are all, as individuals and community members, continuing to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge you to follow the advice of health professionals by staying home, social distancing, washing your hands, disinfecting surfaces and otherwise taking good care of yourself.

As a community that is committed to taking care of its members, we also want to make sure that those of us who are particularly vulnerable — the elderly and those with health conditions that make them vulnerable — are taken care of.

If you are in need of assistance, i.e. someone to drop off groceries, make phone calls, assist with other tasks, or if you are feeling isolated and would like some contact, please email us at: and we will try to arrange assistance.

We are all in this together, and will come through it together.

At this moment of quarantines and social isolation, here is an inspiring example of international solidarity. It reminds us of the need to reach out (safely, of course) and to stay connected, using whatever platforms are available.

Please do keep in touch. We are checking phone messages at 416.789.5502 as well as email, Facebook, and other online platforms. Also see links below to free music and concerts streaming as well as some free online classes. More links to follow.

In solidarity and love, The United Jewish People’s Order and the Morris Winchevsky School

This short video,, was made by Germans in Bamberg, Bavaria to show their solidarity with Italians across the border. They sang the anti-fascist anthem, Bella Ciao, in Italian. Originally a song sung by the rice pickers (all women) of northern Italy in the 1940s, it was adopted by the partisans and Communists during the war against the Nazis and Italy’s fascist government. These German friends have now said it should be the song of liberation from coronavirus.

Here is the message in Italian in italics followed by an English translation by the sender of this email:

Tricolori ai balconi e alle finestre. Gente in strada con il tamburello e la chitarra. Nel giorno della festa nazionale dedicata all’Unità d’Italia risuona dall’altra parte delle alpi un coro di libertà, intonato dai tedeschi di Bamberg, in Baviera, in segno di solidarietà verso gli italiani: ‘Bella ciao.’

“Carissimi amici italiani in questo momento difficile per tutti noi ma soprattutto per voi — è la dedica — ci teniamo a farvi sapere che vi siamo molto vicini. Siamo stati molto colpiti e ci siamo particolarmente emozionati nel vedere le vostre reazioni all’isolamento mentre cantate dai balconi di casa. Abbiamo deciso di unirci al vostro coro e di cantare per voi la canzone di libertà per eccellenza. Ci auguriamo tutti che possa costituire l’inno di liberazione dal virus. Un abbraccio. I vostri amici tedeschi.”

Tricolour flags (red green and white) on balconies and windows. People on the street with drums and guitars. On the national holiday of Italy dedicated to the unity of

the country (March 17), a chorus of freedom resonates from the other side of the Alps, sung by the German residents of Bamberg, Bavaria, as a sign of solidarity with

Italians: Bella Ciao.

“Dearest Italian friends, at this most difficult moment for everyone, but especially for you —it is our dedication — we would like you to know that we feel very close to you. Hence, this is dedicated to you. We were impacted by your reaction, and we were especially moved by moved by your reaction to your complete isolation by singing from the balconies of your homes. We have decided to join your chorus, and to sing for you the song of liberty “par excellence.” It is out fervent hope that this song would constitute the hymn of liberation from the virus. Big Hugs. From your German friends.”

Image credits — On the left: this image appears in many places without a credit, including On the right: these frogs managed to climb aboard to hitch a ride on a bemused saltwater crocodile. Photo: Tanto Yensen,

Links for free concerts and music:

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