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Our team

Nurit Jugend

Nurit Jugend.jpg
Director and Project Producer

They Played For Their Lives is a 501c3 non-profit organization with the mission to educate future generations about the Holocaust and strive for more tolerance and acceptance among people worldwide. The film aims to keep the conversation about the Holocaust alive.

Though countless lives, cultures and nations may be destroyed through trauma and genocide, their legacies live on in songs, compositions, musical instruments and those who survived.

With this film I would like to honor the memory of those persecuted and acknowledge their legacy. I would like to send the message that music is a universal language, which speaks to all mankind. It is one of the more powerful resources available to us all; it can offer people a temporary relief while physically being in horrific circumstances, and has the ability to empower the inherent resilience we as human beings have within ourselves. Music has the power to unite people regardless of faith or religion. It can be utilized to embolden people for tolerance and acceptance of one another.

Dr. Nurit Jugend is a composer, lecturer and music teacher. She gives music appreciation classes at seminars, conferences, special events, and teaches regularly at the Stanford Continuing Education Program at Stanford University. Her works are played by leading performers and conductors.

Aaron I. Butler

Producer & Editor

His previous projects include the HBO series Euphoria, the Emmy winning documentary Out of Iraq.


Aaron I. Butler, ACE is an Emmy award winning, ACE Eddie award nominated and PGA award nominated editor and producer.

His previous projects include the Emmy winning documentary Out of Iraq, the Emmy nominated documentary series The Sixties, the IDA award winning Showtime documentary series Time of Death, the Emmy and Eddie nominated HBO documentary American Winter, and the Emmy nominated and Peabody award winning documentary series The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow.


His most recent documentary was the HBO theatrical film Cries from Syria which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was nominated for four Emmys, an ACE Eddie award, a PGA award, and a Satellite award and won a Critic’s Choice award, the IDA’s Courage Under Fire Award, the Cinema for Peace award and the Humanitas Prize.

Ari Binus


A freelance illustrator and creative consultant. Ari has illustrated five children's books, including The Littlest Tree and King David & Akavish The Spider, both written by Sylvia Rouss, and Hayyim's Ghost, written by Eric Kimmel. Ari uses traditional and digital media, and aims to create pieces that impart a sense of drama and emotion.

Andrew Kimery


Andrew is an accomplished editor. They Played For Their Lives is his second collaboration with editor Aaron I. Butler, in addition to assistant editor on the HBO documentary American Winter. Andrew has a passion for socially impactful works and has previously edited documentaries about the Civil Rights Movement such as The Bridge To The Ballot , Freedom of Speech with Looking For Lenny, and LGBTQ+ activists Aids Diva: The Legend Of Connie Norman. Andrew lives in the Los Angeles area with his wonderful wife, two lovely daughters, and enjoys escaping into nature via hiking, biking, or snowboarding whenever possible.

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