Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara will be part of an exclusive sponsorship of a new PBS Masterpiece Classic production of The Diary of Anne Frank.

The two-hour PBS show will be broadcast April 11 (Holocaust Memorial Day). It represents the most accurate adaptation ever made of one of the world’s most widely read memoirs, drawing on Anne Frank’s own words to a greater extent than any previous dramatization. Young actress Ellie Kendrick, who appeared in the recent Oscar-nominated film An Education, stars as Anne Frank.

As part of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara will host “Dialogue and Diversity Through the Arts,” a theatrical performance with Sara Miller McCune, evoking the multifaceted experience of Frank and others impacted by the Holocaust, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. April 8.

The program is sponsored by Jewish Family Service, Portraits of Survival Program in partnership with Antioch University Santa Barbara and the Anti-Defamation League, will include a musical performance, guest performances by students in the Antioch University doctoral program in psychology and Santa Barbara community youths. Also featured will be a presentation of original poetry by local poet, artist and Holocaust survivor Margaret Singer.

The federation is honored to participate in the opportunity to bring the compelling — and important — story of Anne Frank to young people across the country. Data suggest that many young people are unaware of details about her era. A 2008 survey found that only a quarter of U.S. teenagers could correctly identify Adolf Hitler — underscoring the critical role we can play in helping to inform people about the Holocaust, helping combat discrimination in our local communities through efforts such as this.

The film’s Web site will house extensive information about the film and the diary, along with many related activities designed to engage diverse audiences in this material, while also introducing them to the federation movement. Included is a free online teachers guide and a webinar that includes a preview of the program and materials.

The film will be streamed online for 30 days after the broadcast. Masterpiece Theater is broadcast across the United States at 9 p.m. Sundays.

— Nancy Friedland is the communications coordinator for the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara.