Rabbi Chaim Dalfin

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The following  films deal with  Judaism and Jewish subject matter.

    Viewing films on Jewish themes is an excellent way to explore Judaism.

    (Titles marked with an asterisk (*) are not included in all Collections.)

Alef-Bet Blastoff!*

This imaginative children's series explores
Jewish holidays, history', values, and
traditions through the adventures of a
lively and engaging puppet family. With
mystery, music, and humor, the programs
present age-old stories and enduring moral
issues in creative, easily understandable
ways. Guest stars include Ed Asner, Dom
DeLuise, and Elliott Gould,

In each of the eight episodes, the
magical Mitzvah Mouse takes Rachel and
David to meet important figures in Jewish
history. The children journey through
time to learn lessons of Jewish tradition
from the likes of Abraham, Jonah,
Maimonides, Queen Esther, andJudah
Maccabee. Through their exciting
exploits, the puppet family discovers how
Jewish values apply to life in America
today, 1995, 8 vols., 30 mins. each

An American Tail

Steven Spielberg presents An American
Tail, a warm and delightful animated
feature about a Jewish mouse who
immigrates to America from Russia in
the late nineteenth century.

Fievel Mouskewitz and his family leave
behind the evil cats of their homeland
and move to America, where there is "a
mousehole in every wall" and
"breadcrumbs on every floor." But just as
they are about to land in New York,
Fievel becomes separated from his family,
Will Fievel escape the cats and rats of the
great big city and find his mama and
papa? 1986,81 mins.

An American Tail: Fievel
Goes West

Steven Spielberg's Jewish immigrant
mouse Fievel Mousekewitz travels to the
Wild West in this high-spirited animated

Fievel and his family have readied
America, "where the streets are paved
with cheese." But New York's slums and
evil cats make their new homeland less
than paradise. "Go West Young Mouse!"
comes the cry, and so the Mousekewitz
family boards the train for the frontier.
But on the long journey through the
desert, Fievel overhears some cats
scheming to make mouseburgers out of
the new arrivals. Will Fievel be able to
save the mice of Green River?
1991,75 mins.

The Animated Haggadah

This telling of the Passover story explains
the Jewish people's liberation from
slavery in lively, creative claymation.
The film, narrated by a twelve-year old
named Danny, begins at a modern-day
family Seder complete with parents,
grandparents, and siblings.

Very quickly, the family is transported to
ancient Egypt, a land where the evil
Pharoah, enthroned in the middle of a
very sandy desert, performs wicked deeds
in colorful ways. They - and we -
witness reenactments of the burning
bush, the ten plagues, and other events,
along with clever depictions of ancient
Egypt itself, a land of swaying pyramids
and wily men.

The Animated Haggadah takes its young
viewers on a journey into the mysterious
past to explain the mysteries of the
present, and shows Jewish history in a
unique form, 1986,27mins.

Benjamin and the Miracle
of Hanukah

In l65 BCE, after years of persecution, a
small band of Jews led by Judah
Maccabee defeated the Syrians. But
when they liberated the Temple in
Jerusalem, they found that the holy oil
for the Eternal Light had been desecrated
and that only enough was left to burn
for a single day. How the oil
miraculously lasted eight days is the
basis for the holiday of Hanukah, the
Festival of Lights.

The animated film Benjamin and the
Miracle ofHanukah tells a delightful
Hanukah story about the brave exploits
of young Benjamin and his loyal donkey,
Malka, sent on the perilous mission by
Judah Maccabee to bring back pure oil
from Caesarea, Children will he
captivated by the plucky Benjamin, who
fights bandits, wild animals, and his own
fear to play a part in his people's history.
1978,24 mins.

Chanuka at Bubbe's*

Chanuka would not be Chanuka for Zach
and Muffin without a celebration at the
home of their beloved grandmother -
known to all as "Bubbe." But Bubbe's
home is also a boarding house, filled
with residents who insist on their own
way of celebrating- Bubbe makes peace
among her guests and tenants - and
enhances the celebration - by telling all
the story of Chanuka. This ancient tale
of the Jewish people's triumph over Greek
rulers who would have them give up
their religion has an immediate
application to the grandchildren and
their friend, who learn the importance of
defending their own ideas. The kids and
tenants - all portrayed through
charming and comical puppets - join
together in the end to enjoy the
delightful Chanuka traditions of singing,
spinning the dreidel, and feasting on
freshly fried latkes. 1989,30 mins.

Dear Kitty

Dear Kitty uses the story of Anne Frank's
remarkable diary to teach preteens about
the Holocaust. The film weaves a brief
but thorough history of the Nazi era into
the story of the Franks' life in Germany,
their flight from the Nazis into Holland,
their experiences hiding in an attic
during the war, and Anne's eventual
death in bergen-Belsen.

Anne's words in her diary, which she
called "Kitty," allow young viewers to
identify with her feelings of fear,
confusion, and hope, and reflect on her
fate and that of the many other Jewish
children who perished in the war.
Passages in the diary that describe Anne's
desire to become a writer and the need
she felt to record her experiences for
posterity are highlighted, giving children
a sense of the importance of personal
history. 1987, 25 mins.


The story of Esther takes place later in
time than any other biblical book and
hundreds of miles from the Land of
Israel. Which is exactly what makes it so
relevant, says the narrator of People of
the Book: Esther. In 586 BCE, the
Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, and
the Jews of Judea were dispersed. They
became aliens in many countries,
including Shushan in Persia (now Iran),
where the Purim story unfolds.

This entertaining video captures the
pageantry of the Purim .story, yet never
neglects its deeper meaning. While the
actors bring the intricate plot to life, the
narrator puts the events in larger
context, exploring the significance of this
"tale of masks" for generations.
1993, 23 mins.

Fliegel's Flight

A little Jewish bird name Fliegel takes two
bored youngsters on a flight across 4,000
years of Jewish history. Fliegel takes off
in Canaan, where it all began with God's
promise to Abraham, swoops in on hard
times in Egypt, and alights at Mount
Sinai to hear the message "at the heart
of our lives." From there, he does a
quick survey of the high and low points
of Jewish life in the Diaspora. But even
when life was tough, Fliegel points out,
the Jews kept learning and evolving.

Fliegel's Flight is a compact and
intelligent animated summary of Jewish
history. In a few pointed remarks, this
little bird covers a lot of ground, giving
children a way to absorb many events
and themes. 1988, 27 mins.

Lights: A Hanukah Video

This humorous animated tale is symbolic
of the central message of Hanukah -
that Jews need to assert their Jewish
identity when confronting the influences
and claims of the world culture.

The "lights" of the title do not refer
literally to the Hanukah story, but to
flickering Hebrew letters, which represent
the Jewish tradition that the Greeks tried
to destroy. The lights travel with the main
Jewish characters as a constant reminder
not to succumb to cultural assimilation.
One young man, originally drawn to the
Greek letter, joins the victorious revolt to
save the one remaining light of the
Temple menorah. 1983, 23 mins.

Lovely Butterfly: Chanukah

With puppets, games, animation, stories,
and familiar holiday songs, Lovely
Butterfly is a lovely way to teach
children about Chanukah. Join the
puppets, Butz (who doesn't know too
much about Chanukah - yet) and Uza
(who knows a little more - and flaunts
it), along with their human friends Effi
(Effi Ben-Israel) and Ronni (Uzi
Hitman) in songs and conversation
about the traditions of the Festival of
Lights. Then participate in a Chanukah
party filmed at a real school in Tel Aviv.

Prepared by Israel Educational Television
and translated into English, this
charming video will captivate young
children who may just be learning about
dreidels, latkes, and candle-lighting.
1990, 24 mins.

Miracle Days*

Song and dance man Yoni Gershon leads
a troop of children on a romp through
the Jewish calendar, helping them
perform the mitzvot, or commandments,
and observing the traditions of each
holiday along the way. The children build
a sukkah for Sukkot, bake matzah for
Passover, dance with the Torah on
Simchat Torah, go to the synagogue with
their families on Shavuot, perform a play
on Purim, and spin the Chanukah
dreidel. The minstrel's songs explain the
origin of each tradition and its
significance to the associated holiday, A
beautiful melody fur Rosh Hashanah
inspires reflection, and Gershon's opening
and closing solos make the link between
religious tradition and practice. Miracle
Days supplements lessons about Jewish
holidays, their history, and the relevant
traditions, by showing exactly how the
mitzvot are done, 1993, 14 mins.

The Mitzvah Machine

This animated story will serve as a catalyst
for thought in junior high school age
viewers about the nature of Mitzvah living,
Its message is clear - that Mitzvah is not a
mechanical routine but calls instead for
thoughtful, ongoing choice.

Jeff feels uninspired by the rote duties for
his upcoming Bar Mitzvah, When his
uncle Martin gives him a robot kit for a
present, Jeff secretly builds a machine
that looks just like himself. On the big
day, the robot is a star, filling Jeff's
unsuspecting parents with a feeling of
pride. But Jeff is troubled by his actions.
Ironically, it is the Mitzvah machine - a
mechanical being without choice - that
explains to him why he feels conflict.
1987, 10 mins.

Molly's Pilgrim

Children of Jewish immigrants often bore
the emotional brunt of their family's
transition into American society. Their
fresh spirit was called upon to wade into
the unfamiliar social depths of an alien
culture. But those children often suffered
the taunts of classmates and
acquaintances who felt uneasy about
someone who spoke, dressed, and prayed
differently from them,

Molly's Pilgrim is an Academy Award-
winning film about a nine-year-old
Russian Jewish immigrant girl named
Molly who is the object of her classmates'
derision. When the children make dolls
for a class display of the first
Thanksgiving, Molly brings in her own
version of a pilgrim - a Russian doll.
Her unique perspective on the holiday
provides her classmates with a bridge to
understanding Molly and tier family's
quest for religious freedom, 1985, 23 mins.

One Minute Bible Stories
(Old Testament)

Jews are called the People of the Book for
a good reason, The early history and
religious base of the Jews can be found in
the Torah, and knowing the stories and
teachings of the Torah gives children an
introduction to Judaism and Jewish
history. The timeless Biblical tales of
ancient leaders, heroes, and struggles
become fresh with each new generation.

Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop tell these
ancient tales in One Minnie Bible Stories
(Old Testament). The stories are just that
- short and fast paced. Using numerous
illustrations, Lewis zips through familiar
tales, beginning with Adam and Eve and
moving on to Noah, the Tower of Babel,
the Patriarchs, Moses and the Exodus,
Joshua, David, Ruth and Naomi, Gideon,
Solomon, Jonah, and Job. The ever-
expressive Lamb Chop remains fresh and
hilarious, a wonderful guide to the tales
of the Torah. 1994,30 mins.

Passover at Bubbe's*

Zach 'and Muffin arrive at their
grandmother's boarding house to help
prepare for the Seder. In the meantime,
"Bubbe," as she is known, finds a
Haggadah given to her by her own
grandmother among the Passover wares
stashed in her attic. Handing it to Zach,
she informs him that he will conduct the
traditional Passover meal and service for
her and her tenants - animated puppets
all. Little Zach shies away from the
responsibility, until the Haggadah
begins to speak. Aided by adorably
depicted symbols on the Seder plate, it
tells the story of how the Jews were freed
from slavery by a reluctant Moses who
had to find the courage to fulfill his God-
given mission- The result is a delightful
Seder led by Zach, who helps the others
fulfill the central commandment of
Passover: reliving the story as if they
themselves made the exodus from slavery
to freedom. 1990, 30 min 5.

A Rugrats Chanukah*

In this delightful animated adventure,
the Rugrats imagine themselves in
ancient Jerusalem during the reign of the
Greek king Antiochus. His decree
forbidding the Jews to practice their
religion caused a band of Jews to
revolt-in this case, it's the Rugrats,
exclaiming, "A Maccababy's gotta do
what a Maccababy's gotta do!" as they
prepare for battle. The Jews were
victorious, but the Temple's Eternal
Lamp had oil for only one night. But a
miracle occurred, and the light lasted for
eight days.

As the Pickles family commemorates
Chanukah with potato latkes, dreidels,
and the lighting of the menorah, the
Rugrats, unfamiliar with all this activity,
think the candles and presents are part of
a birthday celebration that happens to
last for eight days. Tommy, Chuckle, and
the gang not only learn the story of
Chanukah but help find the true
"meaning" of the holiday as they attend
Grandpa Boris's performance at the
synagogue's holiday fair. 1997, 33 mins.

A Rugrats Passover*

During the Passover holiday, Jewish
people celebrate their liberation from
slavery in Egypt, Every spring, Jewish
families gather at the traditional
Passover meal to retell tlie Biblical story
of the Exodus. But unlike all other
Passover nights, in this Rugrats episode,
"Let My Babies Go," Moses wear diapers,

Trapped in the attic on Seder night with
Tommy, Chuckie and three-year old
Angelica, Grandpa Boris spins the
Passover tale into an exciting adventure.
As the story unfolds, Angelica's
imagination casts the babies as Hebrews
and herself as the first female Pharaoh.
This popular television cartoon series
makes learning about ancient history
bright, lively and fun, 1996, 35 mins.

The Sabbath Kit

The Jewish Sabbath reminds us that God
created the universe. As He rested on the
seventh day, so does man, His greatest
creation. Indeed, the Torah commands
us to put away work, school, and
obligation to celebrate the Sabbath,

'The Sahbath Kit' presents four short
videos that explore the literal meaning of
Sabbath - "rest." Each story will
captivate younger children and raise
thought-provoking questions in the
process. The animated "Faces" contrasts
the busy work week with the human
nature of the Sabbath. Through song
and animation, "Chaim's Hoedown"
shows how the farmer takes one day off a
week. "Manna" is a farcical look at how
the children of Israel collected the
coveted food, "Time Out" is a fast-paced
animated short about a man adjusting to
the Sabbath after a hectic week,
1982, 18 mins.

The Secret in Bubble's Attic

The Secret in Bubbie's Attic gives some
all-American kids a taste of the Old
Country, Upbeat, original holiday songs
(there's even a rap music Chanukah
tune) and klezmer music mix with
jazzed-up versions of Yiddish folktales to
give contemporary youngsters a sense of
the rich tradition they inherit from their

While playing hide and seek at their
Bubble's (grandmother's) house, friends
stumble across a mysterious attic door.
There they find old Hebrew books, a
shofar, a Tallis bag and a mysterious old
trunk, When they open the trunk, out
pops a sparkling Jewish genie who can't
wait to tell them stories - and reveal an
intriguing family secret. 1991, 43 mins.

Shalom Sesame

Imagine traveling with America's best-
loved children's television program to
Israel! Sesame Street's, Bert and Ernie,
Grover, Cookie Monster, and Elmo are
your furry guides to a magical series of
adventures in the Holy Land. Children
will be delighted as their favorite
characters talk (and teach) in English
and Hebrew.

Shalom Sesame's eleven episodes feature
stars such as Itzhak Perlman, Bonnie
Franklin, Jeremy Miller, Sarah Jessica
Parker, and Alan King, Follow them on a
tour of some of Israel's unique joys - the
lush orchards of Kibbutz life, the town of
Modin where the Maccabees lived, the
beautiful beaches of Tel Aviv, and the
awesome splendor of Jerusalem.
1986-1991, 11 vols., 35-40 mins. each

Shalom Shabbat

The spirit and songs of the Sabbath are
explored with hosts Chaim Topol, Hanny
Nachmias, and a cast of talented
children on this entertaining video.
Wherever Jews settled, they preserved
their ancient customs - very often by
adapting their own rituals to local styles-
Shalom Shabbat takes us on a tour of
Shahbat celebrations around the world,
where families from Poland to Spain to
New York observe the day in ways
familiar and unique.

When the restful Shabbat of Eliyahu the
Fisherman (Topol) is disturbed, Ronnie
takes Eliyahu to his school, where
teacher and classmates sing beloved
songs of Shabbat preparation. At
Ronnie's grandmother's house, more
traditional melodies evoke the joyful day.
1994, 45 mins.

Shirim K'tanim: Hebrew
Songs for Children

With a wink here and a Jig there genial
Israeli TV star Uzi Chitman takes
toddlers and young children on a
musical tour of over 40 of Israel's best-
loved children's songs. Accompanied by
a handful of Israeli boys and girls, the
singer/guitarist cavorts against a
backdrop of colorful, simply sketched
scenes depicted in each song.

Line dances and clapping games liven
the action and little ones will join in the
pantomime of songs like "Lakova Sheli"
(My Hat Has,,.) or "Etsba'ot Li" (I Have
Fingers), They'll also laugh at hearing
their own favorites like "Old McDonald"
sung with a Hebrew twist when Chitman
and his chaverim (pals) visit the farm of
"Dod (Uncle) Moshe," Adults can help
the kids keep up with this fast-paced
collection by reading the translations
and transliterations that accompany
most songs.
1990-1993, 8 vols., 45 mins- each

Stories from the Jewish
Tradition: In the Month of
Kislev and Zlateh the Goat*

Chanukah-time is the setting for these
two stories from the Jewish tradition, but
despite the holiday's joyful character, the
families in these tales face the season
with little enthusiasm. It has been a hard
year for Feivel the peddler in the
Month of Kislev, as well as for Reuven
the furrier in Zlateh the Goat. One must
watch his children go hungry throughout
the eight days of the holiday. The second
chooses to sell the family's beloved goat
to buy the candles, oil, and gifts needed
to make the celebration complete. But in
each story, the children find unusual
ways of making the best of their harsh
situation, and end up teaching the
grown-ups some lessons about survival,
about the meaning of giving - and
about true faith. 1995, 34 mins.


Americaner Shadchen
(An American Matchmaker)

This 1940 musical film offers a hilarious
picture of second-generation Jews in New
York City and their search for love. Broadly
contrasting rabbinic ways with modern
notions in a country where the rules for
romance are very different, Americaner
Shadchen portrays the dilemma of
attempting to live between two worlds,

The film's hero, a model son and
successful businessman named Nathan
Gold, has been a failure in his pursuit of
a bride. The film opens with a bachelor
party, Gold's eighth. His weddings have
never worked out, and this one too is
aborted. Gold then decides to become an
advisor in human relations, shadchen,
as a way of finding a wife. With his
servant Morris as his foil, Gold proceeds
to solve the mysteries of modern
relationships by setting up an office
where human affairs can be approached
scientifically. 1940, 87mins,

Animal Crackers

"The torch which was carried by Sholem
Aleichem was passed on to the Marx
Brothers," wrote critic James Yaffee.
"Nothing could be more Jewish than
their desperate zany insults, designed to
deflate their pompous enemies but
eventually making nothing but trouble
for themselves."

Animal Crackers is the brothers' second
movie, adapted from their Broadway hit,
The plot is silly and the laughs plenty.
Groucho is Captain Spaulding, the
African Explorer ("Did someone call me
Shnorer?"), just back from the jungle to
visit the stately home of haughty
Margaret Dumont. With Chico and
Harpo on hand to chase blondes and
help solve a stolen painting mystery,
Animal Crackers is classic Marx comedy.
1930, 98 mins.

Annie Hall

Woody Mien brilliantly captures the
classic neurotic, paranoid, cynical,
morbid, guilt-ridden New York Jewish
male in his Academy Awards-winning
masterpiece. Go-starring Diane Keaton as
transplanted midwesterner Annie Hall,
Alien's story hilariously depicts their
interfaith relationship - one that is
doomed to failure by vast cultural and
emotional differences.

Alien plays Alvy Singer, a comedy writer
who reflects on his childhood, career, ex-
wives and girlfriends, and, especially, his
romance with Hall. Through
freewheeling flashbacks - some based in
reality and others in fantasy ~ Singer
recalls where he went wrong, and where
he went right. The chemistry between
Alien and Keaton is sublime, making this
film an absolute gem. 1977,94 mins.

Biloxi Blues

Biluxi Blues is the second of Neil
Simon's trilogy of autobiographical plays
which appeared on Broadway and the big
screen. This wry comedy follows the
continuing story of Simon's alter ego, a
young Jew from Brooklyn named Eugene
Jerome, who enlists in the army toward
the end of World War II. While in
bootcamp, Eugene discovers that many
of the same soldiers who are eager to
fight the Nazis are also antisemitic.

In the steamy heat of Biloxi, Mississippi,
budding writer lingerie (Mattliew
Broderick) encounters the absurdities of
army life, including endless drills, dense
bunkmates, and chipped beef on toast,
But he also discovers that his compulsive
wisecracking grates on his tough drill
sergeant, who just happens to be
psychotic. Will Eugene survive ten
grueling weeks in fatigues?
1988, 105 mins.

Blazing Saddles

In his bawdy comedy Blaming Saddles,
writer/director Mel Brooks tackles the
subject of prejudice in the Old West, The
character of Rart (Cleavon Little), the
black sheriff of the while town of Rock
Ridge, may he seen as symbolic of
outsiders in society, of whom Jews are, of
course, a prime example.

A corrupt governor (Brooks) and a
scheming attorney general (Harvey
Korman) hire a drifter named Bart to be
sheriff. They figure that because he's
black, he won't protest when they corrupt
Rock Ridge, But Bart unexpectedly
cleans up the town, forcing Brooks and
Korman to continuously devise new
strategies to corrupt Bart. Brooks's
humor runs rampant throughout in the
form of Gene Wilder's "Waco Kid" and
Madeline Kahn's "Lilli Von Shtupp,"
1974, 93 mins.

Brighton Beach Memoirs

Brighton Beach Memoirs is the first of
Neil Simon's trilogy of autobiographical
plays that appeared on Broadway and the
big screen. This nostalgic comedy set in
Brooklyn in 1937 introduces us to
Simon's alter ego, the irrepressible Jewish
adolescent, Eugene Jerome.

Fifteen-year-old Eugene lives in a tiny
house in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, with
his father, his mother, his older brother,
and his widowed aunt and her two
daughters. As war clouds gather over
Europe, the Jeromes fight their own
Simonesque battles over money, living
space, and desire: Aunt Blanche can't
find the right man; Dad is sick and can't
work; brother wants to see the world; and
Mom is trapped in the kitchen. As for
Eugene, he just wants to get along with
everyone, and, perhaps, learn about
naked girls. 1986, 110 mins.

The Frisco Kid

History has often overlooked Jewish
pioneers who helped settle the American
West. Hollywood, in particular, has
helped perpetuate the myth that western
colonization was the exclusive domain of
gentile society. But Jews and other
minorities were indeed present during
the early years. One example is San
Francisco's Temple Emmanuel, founded
during the Gold Rush.

The Frisco Kid stars Gene Wilder as
Polish Rabbi Avrani Belinski, a pious and
trusting man who is headed for San
Francisco, where he will assume
leadership of a congregation. With the
aid of a softhearted outlaw played by
Harrison Ford, Relinski works his way
west from Pennsylvania, Along the way,
Bclinski's Orthodox values make a
lasting impression on Indians and
frontiersmen, and create outrageous
predicaments for the duo in the untamed
society. 1979, 119 mins.

Genghis Cohn

The cool efficiency with which Germany
assimilated war criminals back into
mainstream society is the basis for this
unsettling, dark comedy.

Genghis Cohn is a two-bit Jewish
comedian in prewar Europe who will say
anything about the Germans to get a
laugh. But his act literally dies at
Dachau when the camp commandant
orders his execution. Nineteen years
later the commandant is the police
commissioner of a small Bavarian
village and Genghis Cohn has returned
to haunt him. As a murder mystery
unfolds in the village, Cohn "helps" the
commissioner. The investigation
becomes an interrogation of the mind,
bringing about maddening questions of
motives and guilt, 1994, 100 mins.

The Great Dictator

In 1940, America was ambivalent about
intervening in the conflict in Europe.
Despite reports of German mistreatment
of Jews, many Americans still believed
Hitler could be appeased. But as the
isolationist streak prevailed within the
U.S., Charlie Chaplin chose to speak out
against Nazism in the best way he knew
- through brilliant parody.

In The Great Dictator, Chaplin plays
both a humble Jewish barber and the
egomaniacal dictator Adenoid Hynkel of
Tomania, As the anti-Jewish climate
worsens, the barber finds himself an
unlikely hero to his compatriots, who
have been resisting deportation to a
concentration camp. When the barber is
finally sent away, he escapes, and is
mistaken for Hynkel, In the shoes of the
mad leader, Chaplin ends his film with
an impassioned plea for tolerance.
1940, 126 mins.

The Jack Benny Show

The great comedian Jack Benny described
his approach to humor this way: "I try
to make my character encompass
everything that is wrong with everybody.
On the air I have everybody's faults. All
[viewers] know someone or have a
relative who is a tightwad, show-off or
something of that sort." Indeed, Benny
created a wry character who was the
archetypal ongeblozen tightwad, and
audiences adored him for it.

The Jack Benny Show utilized Benny's
superb timing and eccentric mannerisms
to create a weekly masterpiece of
situational humor. Featuring
outstanding supporting personalities like
his wife, Mary Livingstone, announcer
Don Wilson, singer Dennis Day, and
Eddie Anderson as his valet Rochester,
Benny's working and home life was the
butt of a running series of gags that
played off the comedian's legendary
stinginess, vanity, and lack of violin
virtuosity 1958,51mins-


Critics are still divided over the nature of
Lenny Bruce's talent, hut it is clear that
the controversial Jewish comedian had
many funny and scathing insights into
the nature of hypocrisy in American

Dustin Hoffman was nominated for an
Oscar(r) for his performance as Bruce in
this ground breaking biography directed
by Bob Fosse. The film captures the
troubled comedian on stage and off,
trying to make sense of a world full of
pretense and sham. Bruce's vulgarity is
well apparent, but so is his humor, which
hits home with uncanny accuracy. While
Bruce battles obscenity charges and his
own drug addiction, Hoffman creates an
astute balance of sympathy and repulsion
for the character, 1974, 112 mins.

Leon the Pig Farmer*

In this zany British satire, Leon Geller is
a "nice Jewish boy" who accidentally
discovers not only that he is the product
of artificial insemination but that, due to
a test-tube mix-up, his biological father
is a Gentile pig farmer in Yorkshire.

Leon's quest to understand his identity
sends him on a hilarious Journey into a
decidedly non-kosher world, While Leon
does his best to learn about pigs, the
farmer and his family try to make him
feel at home by reading The Joys of
Yiddish, cooking chicken soup, and
replacing the pig images that decorate
their home with menorahs and Israeli
flags. As he considers the differing
lifestyles of the two sets of parents, Leon
conies to a decision about his future,
1992, 98 mins.

Mr Saturday Night

You may recognize something of Milton
Berle or Jackie Mason in Calskill
comedian Buddy Young, Jr. He's the
classic Brooklyn-born Jewish funny man
with a dark side who starred briefly in
the golden days of television.

Comedian Billy Crystal makes his
directorial debut playing Buddy, a comic
who "rose to the middle," In a series of
flashbacks smarting with humor and
pathos, Buddy's hysterical career missteps
tell the story of a performer obsessed with
winning the love of audiences - even
while sacrificing the love of his family
Chock-full of rapid-fire one-liners and
outrageous shtick, Crystal's hilarious
portrait will leave you in tears.
1992, 119 mins.

My Favorite Year

During television's early days, Mel
Brooks, Woody Alien, and Neil Simon,
among others, got their start in show
business as writers for Sid Caesar's Your
Show of Shows. They brought a distinct
Jewish sensibility to the sketches Caesar
performed weekly before a live audience.

My Favorite Year is a hysterically funny
fictional treatment of the show's
backstage shenanigans.

New York, 1954, brash comic King
Kaiser has ordered his youngest
gagwriter, Benjy Stone, to take care of the
guest star, Flamboyant matinee idol Alan
Swann (Peter O'Toole). If Benjy can
keep his hero sober and deliver him in
time for the show, he'll hold on to his
job. But with an ogre for a boss, a lush
for a star, and all of Manhattan at their
feet, anything can happen - especially in
front of a live audience! 1982, 92 mins.

Northern Exposure, The Pilot

New Yorker Joel Fleischman is a fish out
of water. Or rather, a kvetch out of water,
He's a Jewish doctor recently graduated
from Columbia University, where his
years in medical school were financed by
the state of Alaska. Now Joel must repay
his debt by working in tiny Cicely, Alaska
for four years. It's a place where almost
no one has heard of a bagel.

Northern Exposure, the Pilot introduces
the eccentric characters and hilarious
predicaments that have given this
Emmy-winning TV series its huge
following. Searching in vain for a way
out of his contract, Joel's true nature
eventually shows - he's a mench with a
medical kit. Now, all he has to do is
learn to like moose burgers and caribou
hot dogs. 1990, 49 mins.

Private Benjamin

Is Private Benjamin 'a hilarious
Hollywood comedy about feminism or a
wry social commentary on growing up a
Jewish woman in America? Goldic Hawn
plays Judy Benjamin - a spoiled young
woman from a wealthy Philadelphia
family. When her boorish husband drops
dead on their wedding night, Judy
becomes distraught - for the first time in
her life, she is alone. What's a girl to do?

Join the army! Judy enlists under the
impression that she can live a cushy
military lifestyle in an exotic paradise.
But she quickly finds herself in a rugged
boot camp at the mercy of a leathery
drill sergeant (Rileen Brennan). In a
series of comical scenes contrasting
Judy's expectations with the realities of
the army, Judy learns to tough it out. In
the process, she earns a medal for moxie.
1980, 110 mins.

The Producers*

In the hands of anyone else, The
Producers might lie pure kitsch, But
writer/director Mel Brooks knows how to
take the Jewish psyche and wring the
absurdity out of it until you have to
laugh. Or cry.

The Producers is an outrageous comedy
starring Zero Mostel as a loud, conniving
Broadway producer named Max
Bialystock. Together with his meek and
nervous accountant, Leo Bloom (Gene
Wilder), he sells 25,000 percent of a
musical that's so tasteless, it's sure to
flop. They'll close the show in preview
and head to Rio with the excess cash.
But "Springtime for Hitler" is a smash
hit! (You've got to see it to believe it.)
How will Bialyslock and Bloom ever pay
back all their unsuspecting investors?
And how can the audience find their play
SO funny? 1968, 90 mins.

Radio Days*

Based on fond childhood memories of
the radio era, Woody Alien's Radio Days
serves up a rich picture of Jewish family
life in Rockaway Beach, New York, in the
early 1940s, Many of the details are
autobiographical, including a skinny
redheaded nebbish of a boy named Joe,
patterned after Alien himself.

Joe and his mother and father are a
lower-middle-class Jewish family whose
lives revolve around radio. Cutting back
and forth between exciting live
broadcasts (featuring stars such as Diane
Keaton, Jeff Daniels, and Mia Farrow) to
a home life full of characters (Julie
Kavner, Dianne Wiest, Michael Tucher)
equally as entertaining, Alien transcends
boundaries of imagination to create a
warmhearted look at why radio was such
a magical and unifying force,
1987, 90 mins.

Sid Caesar in Your Show
of Shows

Your Show of Shows made television
history. In television's infancy, the
comedy show was broadcast live every
Saturday night. Its hilarious and
original sketches - starring Sid Caesar,
Imogene Coca, Nanette Fabray, Carl
Reiner, and others - had much of
America laughing,

The show was written by a stellar group
of writers, including Neil Simon,
Mel Brooks, Woody /Mien, and Larry
Gelbart. Although the humor is rarely
explicitly "Jewish," viewers might
recognize the underlying Jewish
sensibility. The sketches featured in this
tape are typical scenes and subjects, like
"The Professor," comical family conflicts
and everyday dilemmas, and parodies of
high culture, Hollywood, and foreign
films, 1993, 2 vols., 60 mins. each

To Be or Not To Be

To Be or Not To Be prompted many
critics to attack director Ernst Lubitsch
for what they deemed a callous
insensitivity to the plight of the Jewish
people in Nazi-occupied Warsaw
Lubitsch pointed out that his black
comedy included footage of the devastcd
city, reflecting his personal horror and
repulsion, "What I have satirized in this
picture are the Nazis and their ridiculous
ideology," insisted Lubitsch.

Jack Benny and Carole Lombard star as a
husband and wife acting team who
perform with a Warsaw company- After a
dashing Polish pilot falls for Lombard,
he then leaves for England where he
meets a mysterious man who will soon
return to Poland. Could he be a Nazi
spy? In a wacky series of events, Benny,
Lombard, and the company assume
clever disguises to outwit the Germans
and foil their plot. 1942, 99 mins.


An Act of Faith

(From the CBS series "Look up and Live")

As Hitler's forces occupied country after
country, the Jews of Europe were
subjugated and deported to concentration
camps, resulting in six million deaths. In
striking contrast to the experience in
other countries, the Jews of Denmark were
saved by countrymen who refused to hand
over their compatriots to the Nazis.

First the Danes, led by King Christian and
their clergy, flaunted Hitler's orders of
oppression. Then, when deportation orders
came in October 1943, Danes hid both
Jewish friends and mere acquaintances,
When Sweden offered asylum to the
Danish Jews the Danes responded by
organizing risky, clandestine boat lifts to
the neighboring country. Ninety-seven
percent of Denmark's Jewish population of
8,000 survived the war because of the
courage and compassion of their
countrymen. An Act of Faith tells this
story 1961,28 mins.

Anne Frank Remembered*

Anne Frank, the young Jewish teenager
who went into hiding in an attic in
Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation
and later perished in Bergen-Belsen, has
become internationally known for the
expressions of courage and individuality
written in her diary.

This Academy Award(r)-winning
documentary uses photographs, archival
footage, and interviews to trace the life of
Anne Frank from her girlhood before the
war, to her family's time in hiding, to
deportation, to her death almost at the
end of the war Through the powerful
personal testimony of those who knew
her the film makes the history real, and
through the story of one person it
conveys the terrible magnitude of the
millions of lives lost during the
Holocaust. 1995,117 mins.

The Attic: The Hiding of
Anne Frank

The diary of Anne Frank is internationally
renowned as one of the most moving
personal testimonies to emerge from the
Holocaust, Anne, along with her family
and four others, was hidden from the
Nazis for two years in an attic in
Amsterdam. Their survival was facilitated
by four courageous family friends
including Miep Gies, a former employee
of Anne's father, Otto Frank. After the
Gestapo discovered the inhabitants of the
secret annex, Miep was able to salvage
Anne's diary, stories, and sketches.

Beginning with the Nazi invasion of
Holland, The Attic chronicles the
devastating events that befell the Frank
family prior to and during their years in
hiding. Based on the book Anne Frank
Remembered by Miep Gies, the drama
features Mary Steenburgen in a sensitive
and compelling portrayal of Miep.
1992,95 mins.

Au Revoir, Les Enfants

During the Nazi occupation of Europe,
local populations responded to actions
against the Jews by collaborating,
rescuing, or standing by. All these
attitudes are captured mAa Revoir. Les
Enfants, Louis Malle's autobiographical
story of the year 1944, when three Jewish
boys are sheltered at a Catholic boarding
school outside Paris, The film captures
the danger that those in hiding lived
with daily, fearing any small slip that
would condemn them to death.

Julien Qnentin, a sensitive twelve-year-
old, forms a shaky friendship with Jean
Kippelstein (alias Bonnet), sharing the
normal confusions and curiosities of
adolescence. But these are not normal
times. When Julien learns Jean's secret,
he awakens to an adult world of
ambiguous moral textures. Soon he will
suffer a devastating loss of innocence
and learn about guilt, betrayal, and the
terrible consequences of evil.
1987,103 mins.

The Boat Is Full

In 1942 Switzerland declared that it had
more than enough refugees, and
according to Swiss law Jews fleeing the
Nazis were to he sent back. They
explicitly were not considered political
refugees, who were eligible for asylum, as
were soldiers deserting from the German
army. The only exceptions were children
under the age of six, along with their
parents, and the elderly.

The Boat is Full is a drama of five Jews
who escape from Germany and attempt
to elude deportation by posing as a
family that qualifies to stay in
Switzerland. The five are both protected
and betrayed by a rural innkeeper and
her husband, who respond to the
strangers in their midst with a shifting
mix of suspicion, resentment, humanity,
compassion and doubt. The refugees'
story ultimately unravels, and small
minded Swiss bureaucrats carry out the
letter of the law. 1980, 104 mins.

Border Street

In 1940, German troops occupying
Warsaw herded the city's Jewish
population behind a wall enclosing the
ghetto district. Over the next few years,
the Nazis began systematically deporting
the community to concentration camps.
By ]943, the population had dwindled
from 500,000 to 60,000, The remaining
Jews staged a valiant uprising in April of
that year, fighting to near extinction
against their oppressors.

Border Street, one of the first post-war
films to depict the Holocaust, captures
the fervor and terror of the Warsaw
Ghetto uprising, as seen through the eyes
of four youths, Bronek and Wladek are
gentiles who consider the occupation an
affront to their Polish heritage. For Jews

David and Jadxia, fighting back is their
only choice. Their stories intertwine in
an emotional fury as they gallantly
defend their lives. 1948, 122 mins.

The Camera of My Family

In the 1920s the German Jewish
community of about half a million
people was mainly urban and secular,
with a substantial proportion in the
professions, finance, and retail trade,
The accession of Hitler in 1933 and the
swift imposition of antisemitic laws took
many by surprise, and they struggled to
gauge what the future might hold.

The Camera of My Family is narrated
by Catherine HanfNoren, whose family
made the difficult decision to flee
Germany in 1933, just before it was too
late. Years later, in old family
photographs, Noren discovers haunting
images of family outings, decorated
soldiers who proudly fought for Germany
in World War I, her grandfather's factory
in Dachau - all testimony to the
integration of German-Jews into the
larger society. The trove of photographs
leads her to ask questions: Who am I?
Where do I belong? How did those to
whom 1 am connected live and die?
1979, 18 mins.

Daniel's Story*

More than a million Jewish children were
murdered at the hands of the Nazis.
That tragic fact is difficult enough for
adults to assimilate; how can one explain
it to children? Daniel's Story, a 14-
minute production of the United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum, attempts
not only to personalize the fate of those
children but also to educate youngsters
about the events that led up to that
terrible outcome.

Daniel, age 10, is a composite of the
Jewish children who experienced the war.
In a child's voice and language, Daniel
recalls the chain of events that took him
from his happy middle-class German life
to the concentration camps: racial laws
that forced him out of school, the yellow
star he had to wear, moving to the
ghetto, losing the people he loved. The
story is enhanced by photos of real
people and situations, though none too
graphic for young children's eyes.
1993, 14mins.

Danzig, 1939

In July of 1939, ten crates of ritual
objects arrived at the Jewish Theological
Seminary in New York. The objects,
many antique and extremely valuable,
came from the Great Synagogue of
Danzig, Germany, a magnificent temple
which had boasted l600 congregants.

The sale of these objects, arranged by the
League of Nations, enabled the Jews of
Danzig to buy passage out of Germany.
They were the only community to do so,
and the artifacts they sold to buy their
freedom comprise the only such
collection to escape the Holocaust.

Many current and former residents of the
city are interviewed in Danzig, 1939.
They tell of a liberal, mixed Jewish
community made up of native Germans
and Russian and Polish refugees. Many
of the people interviewed - among them
Kabbi Iwan Gruen of the Great
Synagogue - remember little
antisemitism before Hitler, Yet all were
forced to confront the tide of hate that
Hitler summoned, and their escape,
along with the sale of their collection of
artifacts, is one of the unique tales of
survival to come out of the Holocaust,
1980, 30 mins.

The Devil Is a Gentleman

Fifteen years after the end of World War II,
Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann, the
Nazi chief of Jewish affairs, was abducted
by Israeli intelligence agents in Argentina
and taken to Jerusalem. From April to
December 1961, Eichmann stood trial for
his role in administering the "Final
Solution of the Jewish Problem,"
Eichmann was found guilty and executed
for crimes against the Jewish people,
crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

The Devil Is a Gentleman, a 12 minute
segment from the CBS newsmagazine 60
Minutes, reviews Fichmann's career in
the Nazi party and subsequent trial in
Israel in an attempt to examine the
nature of his character. Drawing upon
interviews with people who knew
Eichmann, including the prosecuting
attorney, a former SS colleague, a
psychiatrist, and a Holocaust survivor,
the program raises fundamental
questions about judgment and
responsibility. 1983, 12 mins.

The Diary of Anne Frank

Since the publication of her diary in
1947 and its translation into dozens of
languages, Anne Frank has become a
symbol of innocent suffering in the
Holocaust, and her story the vehicle
through which millions of people been
introduced to this era of history.

While hiding with her family and others
for two years in a secret attic apartment
in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, Anne
detailed her thoughts and emotions as
an adolescent girl coming of age. A play
based on the diary was brought to the
stage and became the basis of this film,
made in 1959,

The Diary of Anne Frank captures
Anne's fears, joys, and defiance as the
residents of the attic struggle to maintain
a semblance of normality in the face of
overwhelming odds. The film's
conventional Hollywood treatment and
upbeat ending, however, have been
criticized as inappropriate to the subject
and its true outcome, 1959, 151 mins.

Enemies, A Love Story

Memories pursued Holocaust survivors
when they tried to reestablish their lives
after World War II. For many who came
to America, the vast differences between
their new lives and what they had
experienced created problems that were
difficult to resolve.

Enemies, A Love Story, based on a novel
by Isaac Bashevis Singer, follows the
intertwined affairs of Herman Broder, a
writer haunted by nightmares as he tries
to settle into his new life in New York,
Married to Yadwiga, the Polish woman
who saved him, he has a Jewish mistress,
fellow survivor Masha. His life and
deceptions become even more frenetic as
his first wife, Tamara, arrives in New

York, having also survived. Ron Silver,
Anjelica Huston and Lena Olin all give
superb performances in this compelling
movie. 1989, 121 mins.

Europa, Europa

The story of Solomon Perel is one of the
most incredible tales to come out of World
War II. A young Jew, Perel was able to not
only "pass" for German, but became an
honored Nazi soldier during the war.

Europa, Europa follows Solomon's life
from pre-war Germany to Lodz, Poland,
and then to a Soviet orphanage. His
Russian-language skills, quick wits and
"Aryan" looks keep Solomon alive after
the Germans capture him. He
improbably becomes a valued German
asset - as long as he can hide his
Jewishness- The nerve-wracking charade
carries Solomon to an elite Hitler Youth
school in Berlin, where he must mouth
the Nazi line and remain silent in the
face of antisemitism. The anxiety mounts
when he romances a Jew-hating woman,
Europa, Europa depicts Solomon's
desperate bid for survival as the Red
Army closes in. 1991, 115 mins.

Facing Hate*

At fifteen, Elie Wiesel and his family were
taken by the Nazis to Auschwitz. On
their first night in the death camp, his
mother and younger sister were
murdered. His father, weakened by
starvation, died later that year. Yet
Wiesel tells Bill Movers that his reaction
to the Holocaust was never to become
filled with hate; it was more complex.

Hatred is not only destructive but self-
destructive, says Wiesel in Facing Hate,
an interview that explores the origins and
manifestations of hatred. Wiesel, who has
organized conferences on the subject,
talks about why vengeance was not an
adequate response for him, about the
differences between anger and hate; and of
the inadequacy of reconciliation. He and
Moyers also explore the heritage of hate,
the way the hater dehumanizes the victim,
and the question of faith and meaning
after Auschwitz. 1991, 60 mins.

The Garden of the

Despite Mussolini's alliance with Hitler,
the Jews of Italy experienced some degree
of protection because of the reluctance of
Italian police and citizens to assist in the
deportation of their Jewish compatriots,
Once the Germans invaded Italy in
September 1943, however, arrests were
stepped up, and about 8,000 Italian Jews
lost their lives in the Holocaust.

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis,
which won the Oscar(r) for Best Foreign
Film in 1971, is an exquisite film about
an aristocratic Italian-Jewish family
during this period. The Finzi-Continis
hide behind the high stone walls of their
magnificent estate, inviting friends to
play tennis on their court when the
country club shuts its doors to Jews in
compliance with "racial laws." Their
attempts to preserve their way of life
become increasingly strained, however,
and are ultimately doomed,
1971, 95 mins.

Genocide (from "The World at War")

Nazi racial theory, an ideology that
captivated millions of Germans in the
1920s and 30s, was translated into
concrete policies by Heinrich Himmler,
who created the SS. Once the Nazis
came to power, the concept of the Aryan
"master race" was taught in classrooms
throughout Germany. The doctrine was
implemented in anti-Jewish laws and
actions and, ultimately, the Final
Solution, in which the Jewish population
of Nazi-occupied Europe was
systematically deported and murdered,

This program, narrated by Laurence
Olivier, traces the role of the
demonization of me Jews in the rise of
Nazism and the Holocaust. Using
archival footage, much of it shot by the
Nazis, as well as testimony from the
Richmann trial, the film follows the
systemized antisemitism of the Nazis from
its formation to the end of the war. In
grim, graphic images and straightforward
narration, it sets out the events that define
its topic. 1975, 52 mins.


Their friendships have lasted since they
were children growing up in prewar
Libau, Lithuania, a small resort town on
the Baltic Sea. Although they are now
elderly women, they still call themselves
"the girls."

In Girlfriends, the women reveal the
extraordinary moments of mutual
support that helped them survive the war
years, including time in the ghetto, labor
camps, and witnessing of Nazi atrocities.

The documentary, set in Israel, is filled
with laughter, song, card playing, warm
visits, classic kibitzing and joy in their
ongoing connections, even as their
shared tragic past informs their daily
lives. With openness-and not always
agreeing-they tell their individual and
collective stories, passing on their legacy
to future generations, 1994, 52 mins.

Good Evening,
Mr. Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg, an attache to the
Swedish Embassy, was sent at the
initiative of Swedish Jewish businessmen
on a rescue mission of Hungarian Jews.
He distributed Swedish papers
("Wallenberg passports"), protected Jews
in "Wallenberg houses,"
internationalized the ghetto to give the
33,000 Jews within it more protections,
and saved thousands of Jews from
deportation. On January 17, 1945,
Wallenberg was taken to Moscow as a
Soviet prisoner. He was never released,
and his fate has remained a mystery.

Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg, a
Swedish feature film, chronicles the last
days of the war in Budapest, The Soviet
noose is tightening around the city, yet
the unrelenting mass murder of Jews
continues. In this almost surreal
atmosphere, where only the victims seem
sane, Wallenberg fights tirelessly to save
as many as he can - and to preserve a
semblance of humanity amidst the
nihilistic horror, 1990, 115 mins.

Judgment at Nuremberg

In the years following World War II, the
victorious Allies set up a court in which to

try Nazi leaders for war crimes. As the
world watched in fascination, the
Nuremberg trials brought to light issues
of accountability and responsibility under
the Nazi regime, judgment at
Nuremberg was Hollywood's first attempt
to confront issues of guilt and innocence
in the Holocaust, It premiered in Berlin
to an invited international audience, and
won the Oscar(r) for Best Picture.

Judgment at Nuremberg presents the
trial of a group of German judges
charged with "crimes committed in the
name of the law." Starring Spencer Tracy,
Bun Lancaster, Judy Garland and
Maximilian Schell, the film addresses the
complex issue of assigning culpability.
1961, 187 mins.

Kitty: A Return to Auschwitz

Kitty Felix was the spirited, independent-
minded second child of a well-educated
Jewish family, growing up in Bietsko,
Poland, in the 1930s. In 1948, at the age
of seventeen, she was sent to Auschwitz
along with her mother.

Kitty: A Return to Auscbwitz follows
Kitty, now a radiographer in England, as
she goes back with her grown son to the
camp where she survived for two years,
She revisits the barracks, the work areas,
and the latrines, recalling what existence
was like there, While this is clearly
painful for her, she endures it to tell her
story - which is the story of millions of
others as well. She describes the support
she and her mother gave each other and
the things they did to survive. "You are
here," she tells her son, "just to see that
it is true, that it was true, and you can
tell your children." 1979, 82 mins.

Lodz Ghetto

Ghettoization was the first step in the
Nazis' destruction of the Jews of Europe,
Crowded together and forced to labor and
live in horrendous conditions, the
denizens of the ghettos searched for any
method to make meaning out of an
existence that seemed doomed and
"completely meaningless,"

Lodz Ghetto examines the nightmarish
struggle for survival that was the daily lot
of the people trapped in the longest
lasting of the Jewish ghettos, Using
historical and contemporary footage,
diaries, monographs, and the voices of
survivors, Lodz Ghetto shows how the
inhabitants persevered in the face of the
terrible forces arrayed against them. The
film also examines the role of Chaim
Mordechai Rumkowski, the leader of the
ghetto, who enforced the German policies
even as they killed thousands of his
people, 1989, 118 mins.

Music Box

The trial of John Demjanjuk highlighted
the problems of bringing Nazi war
criminals to justice so many years after
the fact. The dwindling numbers of
people on both sides, the reliability of
elderly witnesses' memory, and the
simple passage of time conspire to make
assessments of guilt or innocence
extremely difficult.

Questions of memory and emotion loom
large in Music Box, an intense
courtroom thriller about a Chicago
attorney (Jessica Lange) who defends her
Hungarian immigrant father (Arrnin
Mueller-Stahl) against charges of war
crimes. As Ann Talbot, Lange must
establish innocence even as she wrestles
with growing doubts about her father's
dubious past. In a sudden twist, the trial
shifts to Hungary, where Ann's waning
objectivity succumbs to anger.
1988, 126 mins.

Night and Fog

The essential fact of the Holocaust - that
millions of lives were extinguished for
arbitrary, political reasons - is brought
home in Alain Resnais's harrowing 1955
documentary. Every aspect of the Nazi
orchestra of death, from the roundup
and labelling of the victims to their
eventual death in the gas chambers, is
shown. Contrasting images of the camps
during the war with the desolate,
overgrown, and run-down edifices that
exist in the present, the film challenges
its viewers not to forget what happened
even as the reminders dwindle.

"No description, no shot can restore (the
camps') true dimension," the narrator
says. Still, Night and Fog comes as
close as it is possible to get to the horrors
of the concentration camps.
1955, 34 mins.

Now... After All These Years

in the 1920s, Rhina was the only Prussian
village whose population was evenly
divided between Jews and Christians. Jews
had lived there for generations and were
integrated into the local economy Under
the Nazis the town's synagogue was
burned, windows were smashed, and Jews
were beaten; those who did not escape
were arrested and deported. Today, the
town has no Jewish population,

How do current residents of Rhina recall
that time? In .Now,.. After All These
Years, a German filmmaker tries to
reconstitute Rhina's history by talking to
Jewish survivors living in New York and to
the Germans who remain. Everywhere
in Rhina lie is met with denial, avowed
ignorance, and an angry refusal to
confront the past. The residents' evasive
responses reveal much about the climate
leading up to the Holocaust as well as the
unwillingness of ordinary men and
women to acknowledge or atone for their
part in it. 1981, 60 mins.

The Oppermanns

The years 1932-33 were critical ones for
Germ any's Jews, when popular
disaffection and political turmoil fueled
by an economic crisis set the stage for
Hitler's rise to power. As Nazi views took
hold, the Jews - fully integrated into
German society and accepting the
nation's ideals as their own - were
increasingly viewed as "foreigners" and
"enemies," which many found
incomprehensible. This mood
culminated in the boycott of Jewish stores
and professionals in 1934.

The Oppermanns, a drama made for
German TV', recounts how one wealthy
German-Jewish family responded during
these pivotal years. As the film opens, the
family meets to discuss merging their
furniture business with that of an old

rival, who may be a Nazi. But the
Oppermann brothers - the store's
manager, a doctor and a man of letters -
continue to emotionally resist
acknowledging the extent of Nazi gains.
Finally, they can resist no longer.
1986, 235 mins.

A Painful Reminder

Efforts to document the Holocaust began
while it was still happening, A Painful
Reminder is a documentary filmed by a
unit of the British Army's psychological
warfare division in the spring of 1945;
Alfred Hitchcock helped shape the raw
material. Considered too controversial at
the time, it was not publicly viewed until
the 1980s.

The film sketches Hitler's rise to power,
then provides gruesome details of
concentration and extermination camps
such as Bergen-Belsen, Dachau,
Buchenwald and Auschwitz, Besides on-
the-scene comments by British troops, A
Painful Reminder follows the stories of
several Jewish survivors, and carefully
shows German municipal officials and
citizens at the death camps. The film
addresses the post-war political
considerations that led to its being shelved
for so many years. 1985, 69 mins.

Partisans of Vilna

Partisans of Vilna explores the moral
dilemmas and continuous dangers facing
young Jews who organized an
underground resistance in the Vilna
ghetto and fought as partisans in the
woods. Interviews with survivors of the
Jewish resistance movement tell the
largely unknown story of the Jews who
risked their lives and those of others to
fight the Nazis. Among those who speak
are Israeli poet Abba Kovner, a resistance
leader, and Chaika Grossman, former
Israeli Knesset member.

The survivors, whose stories are
interspersed with rare archival footage
from 1939-44 tell how enforced ghetto
life, unbearable in many respects, led to
plans to build grenades, blow up a train,
and continually fight back, under
constant threat of death. 1986, 130 mins.

The Pawnbroker

Sol Nazerman is a refugee from a
nightmare, His memories of the family
and life he lost in the Holocaust
influence his every action. A man whose
emotional life was wrenched from him,
he maintains a cold distance toward all
who approach him. Played brilliantly by
Rod Steigcr, Nazerman eventually comes
to recognize human suffering beyond his
own when his capacity for sorrow is
belatedly revived by a dramatic turn of
events. But Nazerman is a controversial
figure, and the film raises difficult
questions about whether parallels can be
drawn between the ghettos of New York
and Europe, and between victim and

Based on a novel by American Jewish
writer Edward Lewis Wallant, this is the
first American film to portray the inside
of the death camps, 1965 120 mins.


Oskar Schindler started World War II as a
charming playboy and black-market
dealer and emerged at its end the savior
of over 1,000 Polish Jews, Bribing SS
cronies, Schindler established a factory
where Jews could be employed and thus
escape deportation. Protection of his
workers continued at the Plaszow labor
camp. Schindler initially profited from
his efforts - but is that why he did it?

Schindler is a riveting documentary that
offers testimony from those who knew
the real man: his wife, the mistress of
Amon Goeth, SS supervisor of the
Plaszow camp, and many of "Schindler's
Jews." However elusive his motives or
flawed his character, to them Schindler
was an angel in the midst of hell.
1983, 82 mins.

Schindler's List

Winner of seven Academy Awards(r),
including Best Picture and Best Director,
Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List tells
the true story of Oskar Schindler, a
dashing and resourceful German
Catholic businessman who saved more
than 1,000 Polish Jews from almost
certain annihilation.

Liam Neeson plays Schindler, a complex
man with a fondness for women,
nightlife, and profit. In wartime Krakow,
Schindler takes over a Jewish-owned
factory that the Nazis have put out of
business. He then collects Jews from the
ghetto to work for him at no pay. But as
Schindler witnesses the deportation and
liquidation of the ghetto, the scheming
profiteer evolves into a conscious and
daring rescuer of his workers. Using his
talents of persuasion, Schindler bribes
and cajoles the Nazis into sparing his
workers' lives, even as many face the
horrors of Auschwitz, 1993, 197 mins.


In Shoah, director Claude Lanzmann
piles detail upon detail to give the most
comprehensive account of the Holocaust
available on film. This riveting epic uses
no historical footage of Nazi Germany or
the death camps. Instead, Lanzmann
tells the story of the Holocaust through
interviews with concentration camp
survivors, Nazi SS, historians of the era,
and regular people who saw the trains of
the condemned pass by their homes or
watched their cities become "Judenrien."

Lanzmann's camera eloquently lingers
over the miles of train tracks that made
the extermination of the Jews possible
while the voices of his interviewees
recount the methodical psychological,
bureaucratic, and physical horrors of the
era. Equally powerful are the completely
silent scenes of snow falling over the
crematoria, the faces of those tortured by
their memories, and of others, who are
apparently unmoved, 1985, 570 mins.

The Shop on Main Street

This film examines the moral
compromises of occupied populations in
World War II that helped make possible
the destruction of European Jewry. Self-
interest, greed, petty animosities,
indifference, and fear, as well as an
ingrained tradition of antisemitism,
made ordinary people accomplices in the
Nazi agenda.

In The Shop on Main Street, Tone Britko
is a simple, out-of-luck carpenter in a

Czech village during the occupation. His
fortunes seemingly change when he is
appointed Aryan Controller of a button
shop owned by a Jewish widow. But Mrs.
Lautmann, the frail shopowner, played by
the great Yiddish actress Ida Kaminska,
seems unable to understand her change
of status or the irrational events of the
time. The relationship that develops
between the two culminates in an
agonizing decision. 1965, 128 mins.

So Many Miracles

Many of the Jews who survived the
Holocaust owe their lives to "righteous
gentiles" who imperiled their own lives
by assisting Jewish friends and neighbors.
The emotions of those years remain
undimmed by the passage of time, as
Jews recall the fateful decisions, personal
courage, and twists of luck that helped
them slip through the Nazis' killing

In So Many Miracles, survivors Israel
and Frania Rubinek return to Poland to
meet with Sofia, the woman who hid
them. Aware of German atrocities, the
couple had lived in a bunker in the town
of Pinczow, fled, then returned to hide
with Sofia, who sheltered them despite
her husband's reluctance. They all stayed
in the same house for over two years,
narrowly avoiding detection at times,
Their reunion, 40 years later, speaks of
the power of bonds forged at a time when
they were forbidden. 1987, 58 mins.

Swing Kids

Swing Kids, based on a historical
movement, is about a group of young
men in Nazi Germany who defied the
Third Reich to listen and dance to
forbidden "swing" music from America.
These "Swing Kids" make a moral choice
to pursue their personal freedom at the
risk of being sent to work camps.

Robert Scan Leonard (star of Dead Poets
Society) is Peter, the leader of a
rebellious group of Swing Kids. Every
week, Peter and his friends openly defy
the Gestapo by dancing the jitterbug at
parties in Hamburg, But as the pressure
to join the Hitler Youth takes its toil on
the Swing Kids, one by one, each is faced
with a brutal choice - loyalty to their
cause or loyalty to Germany's.
1993, 114 mins.

Terezin Diary

In March 1939 the Nazis invaded
Czechoslovakia, and two years later they
turned the fortress town of Terezin, near
Prague, into a concentration camp. Here
140,000 Jews from Western and Eastern
Europe were imprisoned, prior to being
sent to Auschwitz.

Through interviews with survivors who
were children in the camp, Terezin Diary
documents the terrible conditions of life
in Theresienstadt, as the Germans called
it, as well as the artistic, educational, and
spiritual activities that sustained inmates
who were spared deportation. Using
Terezin as a "model camp" to
demonstrate to the world that they were
not mistreating the Jews, the Nazis
permitted a degree of cultural life there
that was impossible in death camps.
Terezin Diary emphasizes the enormous
role that art played in the lives of these
Jews, many of whom continued their
music, painting, writing, and theater in
their later lives, 1990, 88 mins.

Transport from Paradise

In Terezin, nothing was what it seemed:
a beautiful fortress town, Theresienstadt
(as the Germans called it) was also a
concentration camp where hunger,
disease, and death were the daily rations.
A ghetto where many of the inmates were
prominent musicians, artists, and
intellectuals, its cultural activities were
preludes to deportation. A "model city"
intended to show the Nazis' humane
treatment of Jews, it served as a way
station to Auschwitz.

Transport from Paradise captures the
surreal atmosphere of Theresienstadt
during a 24-hour period marked by
preparations for an inspection tour by
the Red Cross, the making of a
propaganda film depicting a well-fed and
happy populace, and the deportation that
followed. An original, masterful work,
Transport from Paradise depicts the
charade of the "city" that the Nazis
proclaimed was "given by the Fuehrer to
the Jews." 1963, 94 mins.

Trial at Nuremberg

At the end of World War II in Nuremberg,
Germany, twenty-one former officials in
the Nazi regime were tried before the
International Military Tribunal,
composed of judges from the United
States, England, France, and the Soviet
Union. The defendants, ranging from SS
policy makers to high-level hatchetmen,
stood accused of crimes against
humanity crimes against peace, and war
crimes. From 1945 to 1946, testimony
and evidence presented at this first of
twelve Nuremberg Trials revealed the
scope of Nazi atrocities.

Trial at Nuremberg was broadcast in
1958 on the GBS documentary series,
"The Twentieth Century," hosted by
Walter Cronkite. The program is a
review of key moments from the trial and
includes captured German Army film
footage depicting the destruction of the
Warsaw Ghetto and the horrors of the
concentration camps, 1958, 30 mins.

Triumph of the Spirit*

When the Nazis occupy Greece, Salamo
Arouch, a young boxing champion, is
rounded up with his family and Jewish
neighbors and deported from Salonika to
the Auschwitz death camp. Recognized
by his captors for his fighting skill, he is
chosen to box for the entertainment of
the camp guards. These are matches
with only one rule - fight until one man
drops. If Salamo wins he might bring a
small prize of bread to his starving father
and brother, but lie also sends his
opponent to the gas chamber. If he loses
death is assured.

While grimly depicting daily life in
Auschwitz - including the rarely
dramatized life of the captors - the film
presents the ethical dilemmas that
existed even for prisoners who had little
control over their lives. 1987, 121 mins.

The Wannsee Conference

On January 20, 1942, at a house in
Wannsee, a Berlin suburb, a meeting was
held with 14 key representatives of the
Nazi party, SS, and government
bureaucracy. The meeting - led by
Reinhardt Heydrich, the head of the
German secret police - lasted 90 minutes
and had one item on the agenda: the
implementation of "The Final Solution
to the Jewish Question" in Europe.

This dramatization of the Wannsee
Conference uses actual notes from that
meeting, along with letters written by
Hermann Goring and Adolf Eichmann.
While the Nazi officials enjoy a buffet
lunch, brandy, and cigarettes, they
discuss in a clinical, businesslike
manner the methods, stages, and
logistics by which they hope to
exterminate 11 million Jews from all
parts of Europe, 1984, 87mins.

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

In the autumn and winter of 1941-42,
word of mass exterminations in the East
made its way back to the Warsaw Ghetto.
The situation in the ghetto was dire:
every day hundreds died of hunger,
disease, and malnutrition. But with the
realization that the Nazis were
implementing their "Final Solution,"
some young people in the ghetto
organized a resistance. Their campaign
"to defend Jewish lives and honor and to
revenge Jewish deaths" gathered force as
their situation grew more desperate,
culminating in a battle in which they
fought the German army with molotov
cocktails and stolen guns. Their struggle
remains a stirring episode of courage
and humanity against a backdrop of

Using archival footage and memoirs,
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising recounts the
events that led to the formation of the
ghetto, the impassioned resistance, and
the final conflagration, 1993, 22 mins.

Weapons of the Spirit

Throughout Occupied Europe, people
were forced to make a critical moral
decision: how to react to Nazi actions
against the Jews. Most stood by
apathetically. But in France, where
collaborators delivered 75,000 Jews,
including 10,000 children, to the Nazi
death trains, the people of the small
village of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon
quietly sheltered at least 5,000 Jews over
four years. It was the goal of filmmaker
Pierre Sauvage, who was born in the
village in 1943, to understand how this
"conspiracy of goodness" came about.

In interviews with the aging rescuers and
rescued, and with historical footage,
Sauvage explores the Chambonais'
seemingly effortless decision to
spiritually oppose Nazism. He looks at
the power of their Huguenot memories of
persecution, their solid faith, the quality
of their leadership, and emphasis on
individual conscience. Appended to the
film is a Bill Movers interview with
Sauvage. 1989, 35 mins.

Who Shall Live and Who
Shall Die?

Why was the American response to the
extermination of European Jewry so
inadequate? Could an aggressive
approach by American-Jewish leaders
have changed the fate of millions? Was
President Roosevelt hamstrung by an
isolationist Congress and antisemitic
public opinion, or would different tactics
have persuaded him to make Jewish
rescue a war aim earlier? Did the State
Department obstruct such attempts?
These troubling questions still plague
many Jews and historians.

Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die?
takes a hard look at the U.S. failure to
open its doors to Jewish refugees and the
Jewish role in that failure. The film
includes interviews with those active in
and out of government in the 1940s -

Peter Bergson, Nahum Goldmann, and
John Pehle of the War Refugee Board,
among others - whose views range from
scathing indictments to rationales for
what most agree was "too little, too late,"
1982. 90 mins.

Witnesses to the Holocaust:

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann

Fifteen years after World War II,
Lieutenant-Colonel Adolf Eichmann,
chief of the SS Bureau of Jewish Affairs,
was abducted by Israeli agents near his
residence in Argentina and taken to
Israel. From April to December, 196l,
the world watched as Eichmann stood
trial for his role in administering the
systematic annihilation of European
Jewry. Eichmann was found guilty and
sentenced to death for crimes against the
Jewish people, crimes against humanity,
and war crimes.

Narrated by actor Joel Grey, Witnesses to
the Holocaust was compiled from
portions of the court proceedings that
still exist on videotape (two-thirds of the
tapes have been lost). Eyewitness
testimony and documentary evidence
provide a comprehensive examination of
the Nazi attempt to carry out the "Final
Solution." 1987, 90 mins.


At the Crossroads: Jews in
Eastern Europe Today

Before World War II more than four
million Jews lived in Eastern Europe,
outside of the Soviet Union. Today only
a handful are left.

At the Crossroads searches for clues to
the quality of life among the small
numbers of Jews who remain. The
film makers interviewed people in Poland,
Hungary and Czechoslovakia about what
it is like to be Jewish in Eastern Europe
todav. Yale Strom, a young American
klezmer violinist who conducted many of 
the interviews, encountered musicians
who continue to play Jewish music in
performance. Their performances affirm
the importance of music in defining
Jewish identity. Also included is very
moving footage of a concert in Budapest
of American Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.
performing for a large Hungarian
audience. 1989. 59 mins.

Chariots of Fire

While open discrimination against Jews
did not exist in post-World War I
England, antisemitism could be found in
more subtle and genteel forms, "I'm
semi-deprived," says Harold Abrahams in
Chariots of Fire, based on a true story,
"They lead me to water, but they won't
let me drink," Called arrogant and
defensive, he is a Cambridge student and
the son of a Lithuanian Jew who can
provide his sons with everything - except
total acceptance.

Chariots of Fire tells the story of the
British runners competing in the 1924
Paris Olympics. Abrahams and the
Scotsman Eric Liddel run in the 100
meter race, each driven by personal
passion: Liddel, a devout Christian, runs
for the glory of God, Abrahams runs in
anger and defiance - to prove that he is
''as good an Englishman as any of them,"

Each ultimately finds his assumptions
challenged as they prepare for the race of
a lifetime. 1981, 124 mins.


Following the 1917 Russian devolution,
a bitter Civil War was fought between the
Red Army Bolsheviks and the White Army.
Many of the battles raged in areas of
Jewish settlement, resulting in great
devastation and, often, in widespread
massacres by reactionary elements.
Commissar, set against these events, was
banned by the Soviet government for 21
years and was only given new life with
the coming of Glasnost.

A tough Red Army commander's military
career is disrupted by an unwanted
pregnancy. Forced to stay with a poor
Jewish family until her child is born, she
comes face to face with a different
culture and finds herself transported by
the warmth and compassion of her hosts.
Ultimately, she is forced to make a most
difficult decision: to rejoin her troops or
stay with her child. 1967, 105 mins.

East and West

East and West, a silent comedy made in
Vienna in 1923, takes a satirical look at
some of the stereotypes of the Jewish
world shortly after World War I, It is the
earliest extant film with Molly Picon, one
of the most prominent actresses of
Yiddish stage and film.

Molly Brown, a young American woman,
and her immigrant father, a wealthy
businessman, are invited back to his
Polish hometown for a family wedding.
Molly finds her Old World relatives old-
fashioned, while they are shocked by her
modem, carefree ways. Molly's rebellious
pranks are climaxed by a mock wedding,
in which she unintentionally becomes
married for real to a devout yeshiva
student. The deed, it turns out, is not
easily undone. 1923, 85 mins.

Fiddler on the Roof

The brilliant and poignant musical
Fiddler on the Roof astounded
audiences and critics when it debuted on
Broadway in 1964. This film adaptation,
which was nominated for an Academy
Award(r), serves to reaffirm the show's
stature as one of the greatest musicals
ever written.

Based on Sholem Aleichem's stories, this
fable takes place in the Russian shtetl of
Anatevka. It follows a poor milkman
named Tevye, who is loud and tender,
strong and sentimental. Together with
his wife, five daughters, and neighbors,
Tevye struggles to preserve tradition in
the face of religious persecution. Yet even
as the hostile outside world encroaches,
there is joy in Anatevka, Songs such as
"If I Were a Rich Man," "Sunrise,
Sunset," and "Tradition" are gems that
lift the heart amid the tears.
1971, 180 mins.

Get Thee Out!

Get Thee Out! is based on the stories of
the great Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem,
who wrote about shtetl characters in
tsarist Russia, and the stories of Isaac
Babel, who chronicled Jewish and
Ukrainian life in Odessa. The film takes
place at a time when political and
popular antisemitism is endemic - but so
is a familiarity and accommodation
between Jewish and Christian neighbors,
Still, it is not unusual for a drinking
partner to join a pogrom.
Motl is a successful businessman who
has just opened a dairy outside the shtetl.
He wants to believe that with "a good
head and a pair of hands, everything is
possible," After all, his habits and
appetites are not so different from those
of his neighbors. Indeed, the son of his
Christian friend Ivan is courting his
daughter. Yet Motl can never feel secure,
and this affects the wrenching choice he
makes at the end. 1991, 90 mins.

Homage to Chagall: The
Colors of Love

Throughout his life, painter Marc
Chagall drew upon his Jewish roots for
inspiration. Born in tsarist Russia in
1887, Chagall derived much of his
artistic sensibility from his shtetl
childhood. In his 98 years, he painted
hundreds of scenes from the Bible in a
distinctive fairy-tale style - dreamy and
unpretentious, with sublime color.

Narrated by James Mason, Homage to
Chagall celebrates the artist's life and
work. An extensive interview with the
artist and his wife at their home in
Southern France reveals his deep
affection for the poetry of the Bible, and
his faith in the Jewish people,
Throughout the film, we see hundreds of
examples of Chagall's work, from
paintings to stained glass windows,
1977, 90 mins.

Image Before My Eyes

Before World War II Poland was the
largest and most important center of
Jewish creativity, scholarship, and culture
in the world. Jews had lived in Poland
since the twelfth century, and in 1939
Poland's 3.5 million Jews comprised
about one-tenth of the population.

Image Before My Eyes, depicts the full
spectrum of Jewish life in Poland - from
remote villages and small towns to major
cities, from the traditionally pious to the
ardently secular. It shows the great
range of Jewish involvement in political
and cultural movements such as
bundism, Zionism, and anarchism, and
in the creation and sustenance of
educational and social institutions.

Through interviews, photographs, and
rare and remarkable film footage, the
film pieces together a warm and
evocative portrait of Jewish life in Poland
between the wars. 1980, 90 mins.

Itzhak Perlman:

In the Fiddler's House*

"If there's any kind of music I can call
my own, it's klezmer music. Of course, I
haven't done it before - but I like the
adventure." So begins this entertaining
and poignant documentary, in which the
classical violinist Itzhak Perlman
explores his roots and plays some terrific
music with top klezmer bands. Red
Buttons and the actor Fyvush Finkel
share some Yiddish vaudeville numbers
and memories.

Klezmer was the music of European
Jewry, and with that world's destruction,
klezmer too was almost eradicated. But
some dedicated American artists have
introduced to a new generation this
music that is soaked with Jewish joy,
pathos, and dancing energy. For
Perlman. it is the music of his Polish-
born parents and his childhood; within
minutes of "fiddling" with
it, he's "at home." The film travels to
Cracow, Poland, where Perlman meets
klezmer musician Leopold Kozlowski,
and to the wedding of Perlman's
daughter, where klezmer contributes to
the joyous celebration, 1995, 55 mins.

The Last Marranos

In the late fifteenth century, the glory of
Sephardic Jewry on the Iberian peninsula
came to an end. In 1492, the Jews of
Spain were expelled; in 1497, the Jews of
Portugal forcibly converted. Now they
were subject to the Inquisition's harsh
punishment for heresy. Despite the
danger, however, many of the converted
- called marranos (or pigs) by
Christians - continued to secretly
practice Judaism.

Five centuries later, The Last Marranos
takes a fascinating look at the village of
Belmonte, Portugal. Its rites and prayers
are an amalgam of Christianity and bits
of Judaism tenaciously preserved through
the ages, a tradition that bears the scars
of history - distorted by clandestine
practice and couched in symbols of fear.
Now, brought into the open and
reacquainting itself with mainstream
Judaism, the community faces a new
challenge. 1990, 65 mins.

Mirele Efros

No playwright had more impact on the
character of the Yiddish theater than
Jacob Gordin, Gordin was born in the
Ukraine and moved to New York at the
turn of the century. On New York's
Jewish rialto, his plays became renowned
for their sophisticated narratives that
expounded on the ideals of
menchlichkeit - the practice of honesty,
decency, and devotion to family and

Mirele Efros, often called the "Jewish
Queen Lear," is considered Gordin's
masterwork. It tells the story of a pious
widow named Mirele who handpicks a
wife for her oldest son, Yossele, But after
the wedding, Mirele discovers that her
new daughter-in-law, Shaindele, is selfish
and conniving. The resulting conflict
between mother, son, and wife provides
fertile ground for exploration of themes
inherent in Gordin's works.
1939,80 mins.

Operation Moses

For more than 2,500 years the Jews of
Ethiopia lived cut off from their people,
believing themselves to be the last
remnant of the religion they fiercely
preserved. A strong nation within the
African continent, it was not until 300
years ago that they were subjugated by
their neighbors, stripped of their
landowner status, and forbidden to
practice their religion. Nevertheless, they
struggled to observe, and shared with
Jews worldwide a desire to return to Zion.

Return began with a trickle following the
founding of the State of Israel. When
famine ravaged sub-Saharan Africa in
the mid 1980s, many of Ethiopia's Jews
were forced from their villages in an
attempt to find food and refuge from
political oppression. Families were
shattered, and many died along the way.
But the international Jewish community
responed, clandestinely assisting their
flight and resettlement in Israel,
Operation Moses describes this saga.
1985,27 mins.

Prisoner of Honor

In l894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish
officer in the French artillery, was
convicted of betraying military secrets
and sentenced to life imprisonment. Four
years later, the evidence used in his trial
was exposed as a forgery, but it was not
until 1906 that Dreyfus was exonerated.
The case became a cause celebre in
French political and intellectual circles
and focused world attention on
antisemitism in an ''enlightened"
democratic nation.

Prisoner of Honor dramatizes the
reopening of the case by Col. Georges
Picquarl (played by Richard Dreyfuss),
the new head of Counterintelligence,
whose code of honor is stronger than his
personal distaste for Jews. Ultimately, one
man's conscience forces a nation to face
its prejudices. 1991,88mins.

Routes of Exile: A Moroccan
Jewish Odyssey

Since Jewish traders settled in the Land of
the Berbers more than 2,000 years ago,
Moroccan Jewry has had a unique
culture, mingling Jewish and North
African influences. It also constitutes one
of the most successful models of political
and religious coexistence in the Islamic
world. But with the upheavals of the
twentieth century, the question is whether
Moroccan Jewry will retain its character
and identity into the twenty-first century.

Routes of Exile traces the history of this
branch of Jewry - from the first "Berber
Jews" to the vast migration and new
tensions set off by the creation of the
State of Israel, The film lakes a
particularly probing look at the most
recent stage of the journey - social and
political changes in Israel, the struggle
tor identity in France and Canada, and
the increasing isolation of the remnant
that remains behind in Morocco.
1982, 90 mins.


The character of Tevye the Dairyman
originated a century ago in a series of
stories by Shloime Rabinovitz (1859-
1916), the immensely popular Yiddish
writer who went by the pen name Sholem
Aleichem. Some of the Tevye stories were
adapted for the stage and silent screen by
Aleichem before his death. Much later
they were seen in musical form in
Fiddler on she Roof, the tremendously
successful American play and film.

This Tevye, directed by and starring the
great Yiddish actor Maurice Schwartz, is
considered a classic of the Yiddish
cinema. It focuses on the story of Chava,
one of Tcvye's daughters, who falls in
love with a Ukrainian peasant who reads
Gorky. The film explores issues of
assimilation and intermarriage, tradition
and modernity, as well as antisemitism
and the future of Jewish existence. Made
in New York on the eve of World War II,
the film depicts a life that was already
threatened. 1939, 80 mins,


The role of women in Judaism is an issue
that has become the focus of
considerable attention in recent years,
but it has always been a source of
frustration for some. Yentl, directed by
and starring Barbra Streisand, tells the
story of a determined and resourceful
Jewish girl who wants to study the Torah.
However, in the traditional society in
which she lives, in Eastern Europe at the
turn of the century, girls are forbidden
Torah study. So Yentl masquerades as a
boy, and gains entrance to a Yeshiva,
where she learns much about her
religion and herself.

Based on a story by Isaac Bashevis
Singer, this movie explores the limits that
religion can place on people, and
questions the wisdom of exclusion and
separation by showing how a person can
find fulfillment and love by ignoring the
constraints of social convention,
1983, 134 mins.


Arab and Jew: Wounded
Spirits in a Promised Land

David K. Shipler, who wrote a Fulitzer
Prize-winning book on the subject,
examines Arab-Jewish tensions in Israel,
the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, Here,
in this much-fought-over and most holy
of places, age-old disagreements and
animosities shape the modern world, and
the explosive and destructive power of
bigotry and hate is continually obvious.

Arab and Jew examines the forces that
led to and sustain this seemingly endless
conflict. Even those who rise above the
misunderstandings and confines of their
own suffering see little hope for eventual
settlement and lasting peace. Through
interviews with a wide range of people on
both sides, we see that nearly everyone
has suffered losses in the struggle.
1989, 120mins.

Black to the Promised Land

What happens when eleven black
teenagers from Bedford-Stuyvesant - a
tough New York City neighborhood of
drugs, guns, and graffiti - spend ten
weeks on a quiet Israeli kibbutz? How do
these youths with "bad habits and
unrecognized potential" adjust to the
demands of kibbutz living? All they
know of Jews are the black-garbed
Hasidim whose communities border their
own; all they know about Israel are the
headlines. But when their teacher
suggests the trip to the kibbutz, they're
eager to go.

With winning portraits of guests and
hosts, Black to the Promised Land
explores the different expectations of the
kibbutz members and the black teens.
Both were alien to each other and both
were surprised by what they found. As
the teens grapple with structure,
responsibility, and boredom, the kibbutz
is infused with the high spirits of their
Visitors. 1992, 95 mins.

Cast a Giant Shadow

In 1948, Mickey Marcus was made
General of the Armies of Israel - the first
in two thousand years. This Jewish-
American New Yorker, West Point
graduate and World War II hero defended
Israel's independence from six hostile
Arab nations intent on destroying the
newborn nation. When his troops
complained about the overwhelming
odds, Marcus reminded them, "David did
it with a slingshot, didn't he?"

Cast a Giant Shadow features an all-star
cast, including John Wayne, Yul Brenner,
and Kirk Douglas as General Marcus.
Shot in Israel with the Israeli Army as
battlefield extras, the film chronicles
Marcus's efforts to turn a green military
into a super-efficient fighting machine.
Battling against the sense of doom and
fear rampant in the country, Marcus
draws upon his own feelings of pride in
the birth of the Jewish state to
accomplish his mission.

1966, 142 mins.

Cup Final

In June 1982, in response to repeated
terrorist attacks on its citizens, the Israeli
army invaded Lebanon. Cup Final takes
place during the second week of that war,
which just happens to coincide with the
World Cup soccer tournament in Europe.

Cohen is an Israeli soldier captured by a
group of Palestinian fighters, led by Ziad.
Though sworn enemies, the two share a
love of soccer; both even root for the
same team. During the course of several
days, as Cohen is in turn terrorised and
protected by his captors, this shared
passion helps cut through barriers of
ideology, nationalism, and bloody
memories, creating an unlikely alliance
between the men. 1992, 107 mins.


Based on Leon Uris's bestselling novel,
Exodus is the epic story of the birth of
Israel. This powerful film stars Paul
Newman as freedom fighter Ari Ben
Canaan and Eva Marie Saint as Kitty
Fremont, an American nurse who joins
Canaan's fight for a Jewish state.

Disconsolate over her husband's recent
death in Palestine, the apathetic Kitty
meets Ari aboard the steamer Exodus
and finds herself involved with Jewish
refugees from war-torn Europe, As
warring factions clash over the sacred
land, and violence explodes following the
birth of Israel, Fremont's nursing skills
become invaluable. Unsure at first about
her role, Ben Canaan's passion and her
own experiences eventually convince her
to put her personal life aside for a greater
cause. 1960, 207 mins.

Fictitious Marriage

In contemporary Israel, Arab and Jew
often play familiar roles, each viewing
the other through the prism of political
and cultural stereotypes. But what
happens when an Israeli breaks through
these barriers and is mistaken for an
Arab laborer?

Eldad Natan is a quiet, responsible high-
school teacher from Jerusalem, a
husband and father of two. As he sets
out on a trip to New York, Eldad suffers a
mid-life crisis, which leads him to a
small hotel in Tel Aviv. There he discards
his previous identities as husband, father,
Israeli, and Jew. Fictitious Marriage, a
humorous and gently insightful film,
explores the ironies of Israeli life and
asks what finally defines us and binds us
to one another. 1988, 90 mins.

Golda Meir

Golda Meir's life was intertwined with the
development of the State of Israel, from
her involvement as a pioneer during the
struggle for statehood, through her rise
to lead the country as Prime Minister
from 1969-1974. Born in Russia and
raised in America, Golda moved to

Palestine as a young woman and devoted
herself to the creation of a Jewish
homeland. Her political style was
tenacious, yet she often brought to light
the human issues behind the problems
facing her country.

Walter Cronkite hosts this CBS News
Special Report on Golda Meir, which
aired in December, 1978 after her death
at the age of eighty. Photos, news clips
and segments from interviews illuminate
her personal and professional history,
Political leaders and officials including
Jimmy Carter, Yitzhak Rabin, Henry
Kissinger, and Abba Eban recall her
contributions and comment on her
career. 1978. 50 mins.

Hill 24 Doesn't Answer

Hill 24 Doesn't Answer takes place
during Israel's 1948 War of independence.
It focuses on the personal stories of
soldiers - an Irishman, an American Jew,
and a Sabra, who are assigned to defend a
strategic hill outside of Jerusalem,
Through their diverse stories, Israel's
birth and struggle to survive is captured
from a distinctly personal perspective.

On the way to their last mission - the
defense of Hill 24 - the soldiers talk of
their past battles and what influenced
their Zionism. Through a series of
flashbacks, the film reveals each soldier's
story, until they converge at the hill.
There, during a nighttime battle, the
significance of their mission becomes
apparent as their allegiance and bravery
undergo trial by fire. 1955,101 mins.

House on Chelouche Street

Set in Tel Aviv during the turbulent
period at the end of the British Mandate,
House on Chelouche Street centers on a
family that left a life of comfort in
Alexandria to settle in Palestine.

Klara, a beautiful young widow, cleans
houses to earn a living and finds a job
for her fifteen-year-old son, Sami, in a
factory owned by tier employer. Through
Samis eyes, we see the repression of the
people under British rule, the prejudice
of Ashkenazi Jews toward Sephardim, and
a boy's struggles to make sense of the
world around him and to make a better
life for himself. His successes, losses,
disappointments, and hopes are set
against the simultaneous emergence of
the State of Israel, 1973, in mins.

How Israel Won the War

The Six-Day War, fought from June 5 to
10, 1967, established Israel as the
greatest military power in the Middle
East. The battle was waged
simultaneously on three fronts, with
Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, and Israel's
victory was swift and impressive. In the
aftermath of the war, Israel was nearly
tour times larger geographically and in
possession of Judaism's holiest sites in
the Old City of Jerusalem.

How Israel Won the War, a CBS News
Special Report, is a detailed review of the
military strategies that enabled the
Israeli Defense Force to defeat the Arab
armies in the Six-Day War. Reporter
Mike Wallace and retired American
Brigadier General S. L. A. Marshall
analyze the events of the war through
visits to battle locations, documentary
film footage, and interviews with Arab
and Israeli military leaders.
1967, 35 mins.

Israel: Birth of a Nation*

Immediately following the proclamation
of Israeli statehood, on May 14, !948,
armies from Egypt, Syria, Jordan,
Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq
declared war on the new nation, Arab
soldiers overwhelmingly outnumbered
the Israelis, and their invading forces
were equipped with superior weaponry.

Israel: Birth of a Nation is the story of
Israel's War of Independence, told by
historian Martin Gilbert and illustrated
with archival footage and eyewitness
interviews with key figures. The film
details the stories of illegal Jewish
immigration, the siege of Jerusalem,
major battles, and the rise of the young
state's warriors and statesmen, including
the first prime minister, David Ben-
Gurion. With Gilbert's authoritative
commentary, the film provides a vivid,
textured, and dramatic portrait of tlie
birth of the new-state, 1996, 100 mins.

Israel: A Nation Is Born

One of Israel's most eloquent voices
provides a personal evewitness account of
five decades of Israel s history, beginning
with the years leading up to the War of
Independence. This five-part series
features Abba Eban's incisive narration
and includes archival footage, newsreel
clips, and interviews with Israeli leaders
and key international figures.

Eban, Israel's first United Nations
representative and one of the early
architects of its foreign policy, says, "The
whole of Jewish history is an eternal
celebration of resilience." Along with
commentary on the young country's
wars. Eban explains how the Israelis
"caused the desert to bloom." Finally, he
sounds an optimistic note about the
prospects of peace. 1992, 55 mins. each

The Israelis

Twenty-five years after statehood, Israel
continued to encounter deep rooted
dilemmas in times of peace as well as
times of war. As a democracy,
characterized by a wide diversity of social
and political points of view, the nation
faced unique internal challenges,
including the absorption of culturally
dissimilar waves of immigration and the
incorporation of an increasing Arab
minority. Inevitably, the constant threat
of a fourth war overshadowed all aspects
of Israeli life.

The Israelis was broadcast two weeks
after the start of the Yom Kippur War in
1973, as part of a series of CBS News
Specials exploring the national character
of different countries, Israeli journalist
Amos Elon presents his personal
perspective on the Israeli people. A rich
selection of everyday scenes conveys the
complexities of life in Israel.
1973, 36 mins.

Jerusalem with
Martin Gilbert*

Jerusalem links the physical world with
the world of faith and ideas, observes

Martin Gilbert, the distinguished
historian who leads an extended, in-
depth tour of this beautiful and complex
cily. Walking through arches and
alleyways, Gilbert surveys the city's
legends and traditions and uncovers the
layers of history that have been made
here: From its dim origins as a Jebusite
settlement to its establishment as City of
David, from its conquest by the Romans
to its significance for Christians and
Muslims to its reemergence as the Jewish
political capital in our time.

In Jerusalem, Gilbert makes history
palpable. Archeological finds, preserved
artifacts, eyewitness accounts, and other
clues let us see Jerusalem's many lives in
her massive stones.
1996, 2 vols., 150 mins. each

Late Summer Blues

The time: June 1970, The place: Tel
Aviv, where a group of teenagers are
about to graduate. The War of Attrition
continues at the Suez. The youths'
impending draft looms over them - they
cannot conceive of a future beyond it.
"There is a feeling," says the narrator of
Late Summer Blues, "that this is our
last summer vacation , . . the last
summer that we're together."

The film, which won first prize at the
1987 Jerusalem Film Festival, is a
poignant evocation of universal themes
of friendship, idealism, and the
confusion of growing up. But it also is
about the particular struggle of Israeli
youth living under war's shadow to
reconcile patriotism with [heir desire for
personal fulfillment - and the deaths
that haunt them just as they are ready to
burst free, 1987. 101 mins.

Moshe Dayan:

A Warrior's Story*

General Moshe Dayan - the dashing,
blunt, and charming Israeli with the
black eye patch - led the young state of
Israel in wars against its Arab enemies
and became the living image of the new
nation. Born the first child on Israel's
first kibbutz, Dayan was trained by die
British army. While in the Jewish military
underground, lie honed the daring and
unpredictability that became his
trademarks, then captured world
attention in the Sinai campaign and the
Six-Day War, Yet Dayan was more than a
brilliant warrior; he was a complex man
who not only fought his country's wars
but also paved the way to peaceful
coexistence with its neighbors.

Moshe Dayan: A Warrior's Story, part of
the A&E BIOGRAPHY(tm) series, combines
live footage and interviews with Dayan. In
it, he recalls the great events and
controversies of his life, talks about the
excitement of war, his feelings toward the
Arabs, his last wishes, and his abiding love
for the land of Israel. 1996, 50 mins.

Operation Jonathan

On June 27, 1976, Air France Flight 139,
enroute from Tel Aviv to Paris, was
hijacked by Arab and German terrorists
and commandeered to Entebbe, Uganda.
In short order, the 103 Jewish and Israeli
passengers (joined by the French crew)
were separated from the others, who were
then freed. The terrorists'demand: the
release of 43 Arabs held in Israeli prisons
in exchange for the Jewish lives. The
Israeli government negotiates, while
secretly planning one of the most daring
rescues ever attempted.

Operation Thunderbolt reenacts these
heart-stopping events in realistic and
thrilling detail, giving us an inside look
at the decisions that led to the dramatic
rescue. Many of the figures who played a
role - Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres,
Yigal Yadin, and others - appear in
cameo roles, lending the film a unique
authenticity. 1977, 124 mins.

Over the Ocean

Israel or North America? In this
dramatic comedy, an Israeli family
struggles with the question of where they
belong - whether in the land they feel
connected to or in a land of opportunity
"over the ocean,"

The winner of nine Israeli academy
awards including best picture, the film
is told through the eyes of the ten-year
old son, who dreams of becoming a
paratrooper. His teenage sister is
romantically involved with a
neighborhood bully, to the dismay of
her parents, Menachem and Rosa,
Holocaust survivors who want to create
a safe, secure home for the family.

Inspired by an old friend from their
childhood in Europe, Menachem dreams
of closing his modest shop and becoming
a real estate tycoon in Canada. To Rosa,
their roots in Israel are too strong to
sever. A battle of wills ensues,
culminating in a crucial decision about
their future. 1991, 90 mins,

Sadat in Israel

In the fall of 1977, Egyptian President
Anwar Sadat announced that he was
willing to address Israel's Parliament to
discuss peace and the return of
territories. Israeli Prime Minister
Menachem Begin officially extended an
invitation, and on November 19, Sadat
landed at Lod airport. After generations
of hostility and four major wars, Egypt
dramatically altered the politics of the
Middle East by becoming the first Arab
country to proclaim Israel's right to exist
and to negotiate for peace.

Sadat in Israel was presented as part of
the CBS News coverage of the Egyptian
President's historic visit to Jerusalem.
The program reviews the day's events,
including Sadat's tour of Muslim,
Christian, and Jewish sites, excerpts from
speeches by Sadat and Begin before the
Knesset, interviews with both leaders, and
reactions by Arafat, Kissinger, and
Mondale, among others, 1977, 20 mins.


The years after independence brought to
Israel hundreds of thousands of immigrants
- realizing the dream of a return from exile
and posing the huge practical challenge of
resettling diverse groups of people in a new,
struggling nation.

Sallah is a hilarious satire of the
experiences of one new immigrant who
finds less than the promised land. Sallah
arrives with his large family from an
unnamed Middle Eastern country,
Placed in a dilapidated transit camp for

new immigrants, Sallah begins scheming
to obtain permanent housing. But he is
lazy, and his ideas lead him into a series
of misadventures.

The film presents a wickedly funny
portrait of relations between Ashkenazim
and Sephardim, new immigrants and the
bureaucracy, kibbutzniks, native-born
Israelis, and wealthy Americans. Topol
stars as Sallah, described by Judith Crist
as "warm of heart, shrewd of head, and
rascally to the core," 1964,105 mins.

See It Now: Egypt-Israel

By the mid-1950s, tensions between
Israel and the bordering Arab nations,
particularly Egypt, began to escalate.
Egypt suffered a bitter loss in the 1948
War of Independence and viewed the
establishment of the State of Israel as an
effort by the West to undermine Arab
nationalism. Problems of Palestinian
refugees in Gaza were intensifying,
Eventually war with Egypt erupted in the
fall of 1956.

Edward R. Murrow hosts this portrait of
Egypt and Israel, broadcast on one of
early television's most significant public
affairs series, See it Now. The program,
filmed during three weeks in February
1956, includes scenes of everyday life in
both countries and extended interviews
with Egyptian President Gamal Abdul
Nasser and Israeli Prime Minister David
Ben-Gurion, 1956, 60 mins.


Israel's victory in the Six Day War
brought a feeling of euphoria and
superiority to its people. The resounding
triumph also created a feeling that future
political problems might be solved
through military dominance. Siege takes
place during this era of national

Tamar is an Israeli woman whose
husband has been killed in the Six Day
War. Her husband's army buddies want
her to keep his memory alive, and
mourn him as a respectable war widow
should. But Tamar wants to move on
with her life, raise her young son, and
enjoy the fruits of the Israeli victory.

When she meets a new man, one of her
husband's friends secretly arranges to
meet him, as if to decide whether he
approves. The psychological games take
their toll on Tamar, until she finds a way
to break from her past. 1970,  95 mins.

Under the Domin Tree*

The beautiful tree of the film's title is a
place of refuge for the group of teenagers
who populate a kibbutz-style youth
village in 1950s Israel. Based on the
memoirs of celebrated Israeli actress Gila
Almagor (who appears in the film), this
powerful coming-of-age story follows the
young people, mostly orphaned survivors
of concentration camps, as they begin to
rebuild their lives and commit
themselves to the young nation that is
their new home.

Bonded by their common losses, the
young people share their joys and
comfort one another in dark moments,
They dream of finding their parents
again; they try both to remember and to
forget the past. Aviya is the lone Israeli-
born youngster in the village, and she
too longs to learn about her dead father,
as she learns about herself.
1994, 102 mins.

A Wall in Jerusalem

For centuries the only part of the Temple
that escaped destruction by the Romans,
the Western Wall in Jerusalem
symbolized the desire of Jews to return to
Zion. But not until the late 1800s did the
call for a Jewish homeland make it
conceivable that significant numbers
might do so.

Through fascinating historical footage,
A Wall in Jerusalem tells the story of the
first nineteenth-century pioneers and
subsequent settlers in Palestine, Working
to cultivate long-fallow fields and tame
malarial swamps, they had to deal with
Ottoman control, Arab animosity, British
rule, and worldwide political disapproval
until the founding of Israel in 1948. The
film shows the forming of kibbutzim and
the gathering of Jews from Europe,
Yemen, and Iraq, as well as the political
history from the first years of statehood
to the end of the Six Day War in 1967
and the reclaiming of the Wall.
1970, 91 mins.

A Woman Called Golda

Golda Meir is best remembered as the
tough but grandmotherly fourth Prime
Minister of Israel - the role that
culminated her lifetime of service to the
State, A Woman Called Golda, a drama
starring Ingrid Bergman, tells what came
before, chronicling a life that parallels
Israel's early years.

In a visit to the Milwaukee school where
she was valedictorian, a retired Golda
recalls how, as a child during the
pogroms of Russia, she clutched at the
idea of a Jewish homeland in Israel. She
held onto this dream even after her
family found safety and opportunity in
the United States. Golda moved to
Palestine to pursue life as a kibbutznik,
but became caught up in the whirlwind
of politics and war that forged the State.
A Woman Called Golda portrays a
courageous feminist who accomplished
as much through irrepressible charm as
keen intelligence. 1982, 192 mins.

The Wooden Gun

In the years following the War of
Independence, tensions ran high in
Israel, The newborn nation was
preoccupied with securing its borders
from hostile neighbors while defining its
relationship with other nations of the

This film, made in 1979, looks back at
the early years of the state from the
perspective of a very different time. Set
in Tel Aviv in 1950, it depicts the war
games of two rival groups of children
who interpret the values of heroism and
toughness they have been taught by
anxious adults. Their encounter with a
troubled Holocaust survivor reveals a vast
gap between native-born Israelis and
those who experienced the war in
Europe, The Wooden Gun poses the
question: can a country justify violence
while simultaneously seeking peace?
1979, 91 mins.

The Wordmaker*

In 1910 the first modern Hebrew
dictionary was begun by Eliezer Ben-
Yehuda, This was more than a
publishing first; it was a cultural and
even political landmark. Spoken Hebrew
laid the groundwork for the character of
the future state of Israel, while making
clear its identification with Judaism's
biblical roots rather than its Diaspora

Eliezer Ben-Yehuda was a visionary who
foresaw the role language must play in
the realization of the Zionist dream and
who committed his life to the
transformation of an ancient language
used only for religious purposes into an
everyday spoken tongue. This single-
minded devotion to an ideal took no
small toll on his wife and children, the
eldest of whom he proudly raised as the
unique - and isolated - "first Hebrew
child," The Wordmaker presents a
multi-dimensional portrait of a
"national hero," flaws and all.
1992, 85 mins.

Yitzhak Rabin

Yitzhak Rabin's life story is closely tied to
the history of Israel. Born in Jerusalem
in 1922, he was both a witness and a key
player in most of the young nation's
most significant events,

Drawing on historical footage and
interviews with people in government,
military, and the media who knew him
well, this documentary traces Rabin's
evolution from soldier to statesman,
warrior to peacemaker, The film
spotlights Rabin's role in Israel's War of
Independence, his triumph in the Six-
Day War, his ambassadors hip in
Washington, his two prime ministerships,
his marriage to Leah Schlossberg, and
the celebrated 1993 handshake on the
White House lawn - when he and the
man who was once his worst enemy,
Yasir Arafat, signed the peace accords. It
depicts reaction both in Israel and
internationally to the prime minister's
assassination on November 4, 1995, as
lie attended a peace rally in Tel Aviv,
1995,  50 mins.


The Apprenticeship of
Duddy Kravitz

Driven, determined, scheming, and
manipulative, Duddy Kravitz breathes life
into many of the negative Jewish
stereotypes. Yet somehow, we root for the
rascally Duddy, played with humor and
vigor by a young Richard Dreyfuss.

Duddy's program for prosperity begins
with a job at a Jewish resort, where he
has a romance with a French Canadian
chambermaid. With her help, he
embarks on a plan to buy land, so that
he can build a lakeside community and
give his zeyde, his grandfather, the farm
he longs for. In order to pay for the
land, Duddy pursues several schemes,
lending comedy and tragedy to the story.
1974, 121 mins.

The Apprenticeship of
Mordecai Richler

Mordecai Richler is best known for his
brilliant depiction of Jewish immigrant
life in Montreal in his award-winning
novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy
Kravitz, made into a movie starring
Richard Dreyfuss. One of Canada's most
celebrated writers, Richler was born into
an observant religious family with a rich
immigrant tradition. At nineteen he
went to live in Paris, in the footsteps of
Hemingway, and he stayed in Europe for
twentv years, producing five novels,
before returning to Canada.

The character of Duddy Kravitz - a
difficult, funny, nervous and ambitious
Jewish boy - made Richler world-
famous, while his biting portrait of
Jewish life also drew intense criticism,
This documentary examines Richler's
Jewish identity, its themes in his novels,
and his own often difficult relationship
to the Jewish community,
1988, 57 mins.


Writer/director Barry Levinson drew upon
his immigrant heritage to create this
chronicle of Jewish family life in
Baltimore. As seen through the
Krichinsky family, this affectionate film
deals with traditional Jewish themes of
assimilation, ambition, and generational

Avalon opens with Russian immigrant
Sam Krichinsky's arrival in Baltimore on
the Fourth of July, l9l4. Along with his
three brothers, Sam sets out to make his
fortune in America and raise a family.
Through his son Jules, the film follows
the rise and decline of Krichinsky family
life as second-generation members drift
away from traditions and assimilate into
modern America. 1990, 126 mins.

The Chosen*

"The Chosen offers a deep, sympathetic
insight into the variety and profundity of
Jewish heritage and tradition." So said
the Minneapolis Tribune about the
Chaim Potok's novel, and the same is
true of the film. Through the eyes of two
teenage boys - one a Hasidic Jew, the
other secular - The Chosen dramatically
debates the value of ambition,
obligation, and Zionism.

The Chosen is set in Williamsburg,
Brooklyn, in I944. Robby Benson stars as
Danny Saunders, a Hasid who befriends
intellectual Reuven Malter, played by
Barry Miller, As World War II rages, the
question of a Jewish state arises between
the boys. At first, Danny toes the line of
his rabbi father - reject the 20th century
for orthodoxy, Reuven, on the other
hand, is a Zionist, like his professor
father. In time, each comes to appreciate
what the other's way of life can offer.
1982, 107 mins.

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Director Woody Alien debates ethics and
morals of modern life in his dark drama,
Crimes and Misdemeanor's. As seen
through the eyes of a respected doctor
who has lapsed into amorality, Alien
questions whether God pays attention to
our behavior - and if so, does He
distinguish between right and wrong?
Why do the wicked sometimes prosper
while the good suffer?

Martin Landau stars as Judah Rosenthal,
an admired doctor who is fooling around
with a lonely young woman (Anjelica
Huston). When she insists on telling his
wife about their affair, Judah becomes
desparate and hires his gangster brother
to kill her. All goes according to plan,
except for one thing-Judah's
conscience won't stop tormenting him.
In classic Allenesque fashion, several
engaging and humorous stories
intertwine, bringing full life to the
director's unique point of view.
1989. 104 mins.


Crossfire was the first major American
film to deal with antisemitism. It
appeared shortly after World War II,
when many people believed sympathy for
the Jewish people, after the Holocaust,
had rendered the subject irrelevant.

Crossfire stars Robert Young, Robert
Ryan, and Robert Mitchum. It begins
with the murder of a Jew, who is brutally
beaten in a hotel room. The finger of
suspicion points to a troubled young
soldier and to another soldier who openly
admits his bigotry. It's up to a detective
with a strong moral conscience to solve
the mystery. Utilizing flashbacks, cryptic
dialogue, and menacing shadows,
Crossfire's dark tone deals with a serious
social issue in a compelling way,
1947, 85 mins.

Crossing Delancey

In this charming comedy, an unrelenting
matchmaker, a Jewish grandmother, a
self-aggrandizing author, and a self-

effacing pickle merchant star in the
romantic adventures of a dazzling but
confused thirty-something Jewish

Izzy Grossman, played by Amy Irving,
faces two romantic choices, reflecting
two sometimes conflicting aspects of her
life: the "uptown" world where she lives,
working in an upscale literary bookstore
and mingling with famous writers, and
the traditional world of the grandmother
she adores on the Lower East Side.

Through her grandmother's exploits with
the local matchmaker, Izzy is introduced
to Sam the pickle man. The two older
women can't resist mixing in to promote
what Izzy sees as an unlikely match,
while she remains infatuated with a
handsome gentile writer. But Izzy comes
to see things in a way that takes her by
surprise, 1988, 97 mins.


Jewish activists in the Old Left became
ready targets for the witchhunts of the
McCarthy era, and many of those
accused as communists (rightly or
wrongly) were Jews. Among the most
famous casualties of the time were the
Rosenbergs, executed as spies in a
judgment that has long been the subject
of controversy.

Daniel fictionalizes the story of the
Rosenbergs, intertwining it with the story
of their grown children, who are haunted
by the legacy of their parents. The
daughter (Amanda Flummcr) has taken
the social activism of her parents to heart
in a series of failed causes, while the son
(Timothy Hulton) is driven to learn tile
truth behind his parents' death. A
complex and challenging film, Daniel
examines the importance of confronting
the past, shows the political environment
of both the Old and New Left, and quietly
indicts American antisemitism.
1983, 130 mins.

Dirty Dancing

Since the early part of the century, New
York's Catskill Mountains have been
home to summer resorts catering to a
Jewish clientele. Dirty Dancing takes
place at a fictional resort where conflicts
in class and privilege are played out
through the romantic relationship
between a naive Jewish girl and a
streetwise gentile dance instructor.

Dirty Dancing stars Jennifer Grey as
"Baby," an idealistic seventeen-year-old
vacationing with her family in the
Catskills in the summer of I963. Late
one evening she walks in on a private
dance party and becomes spellbound by
the resort's instructor, Johnny (Patrick
Swayze), Resenting her at first for her
affluence, Johnny slowly learns to
appreciate her values, and she, in turn,
learns about life and love.
1987, 105 mins.

Driving Miss Daisy

Racial prejudice, tolerance, and
friendship are the interwoven themes of
Driving Miss Daisy. This heartwarming
film, winner of the 1989 Academy
Award(r) for Best Picture, provides an
unusual view of bigotry in the deep south
through the working relationship of a
wealthy Jewish widow and her black

In her Oscar(r)-winning role, Jessica
Tandy plays Miss Daisy, an aging Jewish
woman in Atlanta who can no longer
drive her own car safely. When her son
hires Hoke (Morgan Freeman) to be her
driver, she can barely contain her
prejudice. Rut Hoke is a wise and patient
man, and as she ages, Miss Daisy comes
to appreciate his capabilities, and
understand his quiet suffering as a black
man in the deep south. Over the course
of 25 years, their relationship deepens as
the Civil Rights movement comes to
affect them both. 1989, 99 mins.

The Forward: From
Immigrants to Americans

Between 1880 and 1925, two and a half
million Yiddish speaking Jews
immigrated to America, leading to a
flourishing Yiddish publishing industry
The Forward, founded in 1897 bv
Abraham Cahan, was the most famous
and influential of the Yiddish
newspapers. It served as a guide to
transition, helping Yiddish speakers
assimilate into the American mainstream
by covering a vast range of topics, from
citizenship to canning fruit.

The forward strongly supported labor
unions, socialist candidates, and FDR. It
published translations of classics such as
Madame Bovary and the works of the
giants of Yiddish literature, including
Isaac Bashevis Singer. The film follows
the paper up to 1987, when it became a
weekly. 1989, 58 mins.

Free Voice of Labor:

The Jewish Anarchists

Anarchism, which rejected government
in all its forms, was the largest radical
movement among Jewish immigrants in
the 1880s and 1890s and continued to
attract fervent supporters in the early
decades of this century.

In 1977, as the Jewish anarchist
newspaper Freie Arbeiter Stimme was
about to close down after 87 years of
publication, the filmmakers interviewed
elderly anarchists about their experiences
in the movement. They talked about the
conditions that led them to join, their
fight to build trade unions, differences
with the Communists, attitudes toward
violence, Yiddish culture, and loyalty to
one another.

Free Voice of Labor: The Jewish
Anarchists introduces us to the authentic
voices of an era gone by. 1980, 50 mins.

Funny Girl

Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice was the
quintessential urban Jewish performer -
comically resilient with a blunt charm
that could win over audiences. Who
better to play Brice in the film biography
of her life than Barbra Streisand? In this
musical film, Streisand fills up the
screen with Jewish bravado.

Funny Girl traces Brice's rise nut of the
Lower East Side into stardom. When
Brice meets gambler Nicky Arnstein
(Omar Shariff), their torrid love affair
and subsequent marriage is the stuff of
headlines. From the beginning, theirs is
a stormy relationship. Still, Brice never
loses sight of her Jewish roots and pride.

Singing such outstanding songs as
"People," "Don't Rain on My Parade,"
and "My Man," Streisand's performance
garnered her the Academy Award(r) for
BestActress. 1968, 16S mins.

Gentleman's Agreement

Jewish executives from MGM and Warner
Brothers urged non-Jewish producer
Daryl Zanuck not to make Gentleman's
Agreement. They felt the film's taboo
subject, antisemitism, would expose
them all to backlash, and become a
black mark on Zanuck's career. But
Zanuck's daring proved them wrong, as
Gentleman's Agreement won three
Academy Awards(r) in 1947, including
Best Picture.

Gregory Peck stars as Phil Green, a
gentile who writes a magazine story
about antisemitism in America. To feel
first-hand the discrimination suffered by
Jewish Americans, Green poses as a Jew.
As he researches his story, he becomes
increasingly angered by the insidious
snubs he receives in his everyday life. In
the process he comes into conflict with
his fiancee and her social set, as they
adhere to the "gentleman's agreement"
-the exclusion of Jews.
1947, 118 mins.

Goodbye, Columbus

Based on a novella by Philip Roth,
Goodbye, Columbus is a biting look at
upwardly mobile Jewish life in the
suburbs. At the time of its release, some
Jewish groups were offended by the film's
blunt portrait of materialism. Many
insisted Roth had exposed an unseemly,
and unspoken, side of American
Jewish life.

Richard Benjamin stars as Bronx
librarian Neil Klugman, a discontented
soul of thel960s who falls in love with
Westchester princess Brenda Patimkin,
played by Ali McGraw, After meeting
Brenda at her country club, Neil
ingratiates himself with her family But
the crass materialism he encounters at
the Patimkins' repulses him. At the same
time, his snobby dismissal of his own
modest background leaves him
ambivalent about where he fits in.
1969. 105 mins.

Hester Street

Hesier Street portrays the life of a
Jewish community in transition, where
immigrants must reexamine their
identities as Jews in light of American
opportunities and values.

Jake, formerly Yankel, is a Jewish
immigrant living in New York's Lower
East Side at the turn of the century.
Since arriving from Russia, he has
shaved off his beard, found a job in a
sweatshop and learned English, and
he is enjoying his reputation as a
ladies man.

Then a letter from home prompts Jake
to send for his wife, Gitl, and son,
Yossele. Their arrival reminds Jake of
everything he has discarded and triggers
a confrontation between Old and New
World values. Gitl, too, faced with a
changed husband and a foreign world,
must decide what she is willing to give
up in order to become an American.
1974, 89 mins.

His People

Between 1880 and 1924 more than two
million Jews from Eastern Europe
arrived in America, many of them
settling in poor, congested area^ of big
cities, "Scattered for centuries," reads
•the film's opening title, "these people
have come from the four corners of
Europe, each bringing a dream of
prosperity and happiness." Newcomers
often found these two dreams mutually
exclusive; His People seeks to unify
them in a peculiarly American manner.

This superb 1925 silent film tells the
tale of an immigrant family whose
tradition and values are all but
shattered by the encounter with the New
World. The Cominsky family - the
learned, religious father who struggles
to survive in America; the big-hearted,
forgiving mother; and the sons, one a
lawyer clambering the social ladder, the
other a prizefighter, unlettered but
generous - embodies all the hopes,
conflicts, misunderstandings and regrets
of the era. 1925, 91 mins.


How far can assimilation go? Can one
leave behind all sense of Jewish identity?
Even the most assimilated Jews can
encounter circumstances which force
them to confront their Jewish self. When
the encounter involves overt
antisemitism, the response can vary from
puzzled to explosive.

In Homicide, police hostage negotiator
Robert Gold (Joe Montegna) confronts
his long-buried Jewish identity as he
searches for a criminal wanted by the
FBI for the murder of an elderly Jewish
shopkeeper. Assigned to the case because
he's a Jew, Gold grapples with his
unformed Jewish side while he learns
about the murdered woman and her
circle of acquaintances. His encounters
with others underscore the tensions
between his police work and his sense of
Jewish identification. The pressure to
"prove himself" leads Gold down paths
of corruption, manipulation, and
violence. 1991,100 mins.

The Imported Bridegroom

Asriel Stroon is an immigrant who's
made good in America. At the turn of
the century, he has a successful business,
a large home, and a beautiful daughter.
But the cost of such affluence is his
spiritual life. By marrying off his
precious Flora to an imported yeshiva
bocher, he hopes to compensate (on
some heavenly scorecard) for his own

But Flora has other plans. She wants to
marry an "uptown doctor" and lead a
sophisticated life. Flora tries to
manipulate her father as well as Shaya,
the Old Country bridegroom. But
nothing proceeds as any of the characters
plans - and Asriel, Flora, and Shaya are
surprised by developments that seem out
of their control.

Based on a story by Abraham Cahan, this
sad, funny, and wise film provides a
memorable view of the immigrant
experience. 1989, 93 mins.

Isaac in America

In his interviews and public appearances,
Isaac Bashevis Singer presented a
humorous and ironic image of himself.
While the best-known Yiddish author in
the United States, he positioned himself
as a renegade standing apart from the
"sentimental" tradition of Yiddish
literature. Instead, his writings dwelt on
folklore, the supernatural, and the lives
of refugees cast upon the shores of

Isaac in America looks at Singer's life
and art, from his early days in Warsaw to
his acceptance of the Nobel Prize. Singer
serves as the guide to his own life,
showing us a boarded-up house in
Brooklyn where he first lived in America
and the former offices of The Forward,
which published many of his stories in
serial form. We also see excerpts from
some of his speaking engagments, and
his Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
1986, 60 mins.

The Jazz Singer

The jazz Singer was the first feature film
to contain sound sequences. Its premiere
spelled the end for silent movies. This
break with the past for the glamour of
the present is the theme of the film itself,
in which the traditions of Old World
Judaism run headlong into modern

Al Jolson plays Jakie Rabinowitz, a young
man who adores jazz - "the sacred
music" of a new America. But Jakie's
intense desire to sing jazz conflicts with
his tattler's wish that his son follow in
his footsteps as a cantor. With audiences
clamoring for his talent, Jakie must
choose between honoring his parents and
the American dream. Jolson's songs,
including "Toot, Toot, Tootsie," and
"Dirty Hands, Dirty Face," attest to his
enormous talent and appeal,
1927, 89 mins.

A Life Apart*

Founded in the eighteenth century in
Eastern Europe as a radical alternative to
conventional Judaism, the Hasidic
movement today commonly is described
as "ultra-Orthodox." With their use of
Yiddish, distinctive clothes, and strict
observance of Jewish law, the Hasidim
have perpetuated a lifestyle that has
changed little over the generations. In
contemporary America, Hasidim tend to
live in their own neighborhoods, in the
midst of-yet apart from-the larger,
secular world.

A Life Apart explores the ways in which
the Hasidim have withstood the pressures
and temptations of contemporary society
to maintain their unique community. It
presents a rare insider's view of Hasidic
life, including holiday celebrations, the
role of rebbes, and the embrace of God in
all things. While they may be insular,
their values are those of many
Americans: family, community, and
spirituality. 1997, 97 mins.

Marjorie Morningstar

The daughter of upwardly mobile Jewish
parents in the 1930s, Marjorie
Morningstar is bright and beautiful, and
has ambitions for success. With her
college friend Marsha Zelenko, she gets a
job at a summer camp. When sneaking
into the nearby South Wind hotel,
Marjorie meets - and falls in love with -
Noel Airman, the handsome director of
the resort's summer theatre. The
attraction is mutual and highly charged.

Natalie Wood and Gene Kelly are a
striking pair in this once-in-a-lifetime
romance- When she resists his advances,
he denounces her conventional mores,
and their clash illuminates the mood of
the era. Ultimately, their romance leads
her to question her values and lifestyle,
and her ideas about love and success,
1958, 125 mins.

The Miracle of Intervale
Synonymous today with crime and urban
abandonment, New York's South Bronx
once teemed with Jewish life. Jewish shops
thrived and worshipers spilled onto the
sidewalks from hundreds of synagogues,
Feeling increasingly threatened by the
rise in crime, the Jews moved away- By
1983 only a handful remained.

Most are elderly and idiosyncratic,
refusing or unable to leave apartments
where they raised families and collected
memories. Some see no reason to stop
providing services as baker, tailor, or sign
painter to those of their black and Puerto
Rican neighbors trying to eke out a
decent life. One or two are African-
American Jews, Together this remnant
struggles to keep open the last synagogue
in the neighborhood, helped by a Jewish
cop, black youth, Puerto Rican clergy.
The Miracle of Intervale Avenue tells
their remarkable story, 1983, 65 mins.

Next Stop, Greenwich Village

The year is 1953- Larry Lapinsky is
packing his suitcase to move out of his
parents' Brooklyn home and into his own
Greenwich Village apartment. His mother,
brilliantly played by Shelley Winters, is
hysterical that her son is deserting her.

Next Stop, Greenwich Village, a
bittersweet comedy about post-immigrant
Jewish life, portrays Lapinsky's coming-
of-age. Struggling to make his way as
an actor, Larry collects an assortment of
bohemian friends and contends with his
long-time girlfriend. But his conflicts
with her pale in the face of constant run-
ins with his overbearing mother - who
appears at his home with gifts of food
and underwear.

Based on filmmaker Paul Mazursky's
own passage from Brooklyn to Greenwich
Village (and then to Hollywood), the film
is about much more than geographical
transition - it's about the dynamics of
leaving home, and trying to leave home
behind. 1976,109 mins.

Number Our Days

Anthropologist Barbara Myerhoff, whose
scholarly work focused on the study of
indigenous peoples, decides to research a
community where she feels an emotional
connection, that of elderly American

Jews. In this Academy-Award- winning
portrait, Myerhotff conducts field work at
the Israel Levin Jewish Community
Center in Venice, California, which is a
magnet for a group of men and women
in their eighties and nineties, many of
them originally from Eastern Europe.

Proceeding from the idea that one day
their fate will be her own, Myerhoff takes
much more than an academic interest in
the ways her subjects deal with poverty,
illness, loneliness, and old age. She
shows how they find important solace in
the company and activities of the center,
With unusual warmth and compassion,
she explores their histories and records
the texture of their lives, where nothing
is taken for granted, 1983. 29 mins.

The Purple Heart

This World War II film is one of the first
to depict an American character only
incidentally Jewish. Lieutenant
Greenbaum, identified as a graduate of
City College, is distinguished by his
articulateness, but is otherwise a typical
young man. Made in 1944, The Purple
Heart reflects American altitudes toward
the war, as well as the nation's own self-
image and values. It not only documents
Jewish integration into society but also
declares social inclusiveness to be an
American virtue.

After their plane is crippled in a raid,
eight Americans of diverse backgrounds
are captured by the Japanese and
subjected to a brutal trial in violation of
international law, as well as to physical
and mental torture. Unless they reveal
critical information, they will be found
guilty and executed. The men are
sustained by their sense of justice, loyalty
and patriotism. 1944, 98 mins.

School Ties

School Ties takes place in the 1950s,
when antisemitism was accepted as a
part of the American fabric. Like the
landmark movie Gentleman's
Agreement, School Ties explores the open
hostility directed toward Jews by members
of a privileged social set - in this case,
the boys of an exclusive prep school.

David Green is a football star at a
rundown high school in Scranton,
Pennsylvania. He is also Jewish. After
being recruited to play his senior year at
St. Matthews Preparatory School in
Massachusetts. David leads the team to
glory. But when his religious affiliation
is discovered, David learns firsthand
about the deeply imbedded antisemitism
among his peers. In a series of tense
confrontations, the boys of St. Matthews
search their souls for their true feelings
toward their trusted friend.
1992, 110 mins.

A Stranger Among Us

A Stranger Among Us explores the
mysteries of Hasidic Judaism through the
eyes of an outsider - a gentile police
detective - who enters this reclusive
society to investigate a murder.

Melanie Griffith stars as Emily Eden, a
tough New York City Police detective
assigned to solve the murder of a Hasidic
diamond merchant from Brooklyn.
While working undercover as a member
of the community, Detective Eden is
coached by a rabbi's son in the ways of
his people to help her maintain her
cover. Soon, however, the attraction
between these two opposites sends sparks
flying. As the pressure to solve the case
intensifies, so does their illicit
relationship, 1992. 109 mins.

Street Scene

Based on Elmer Rice's Pulitzer Prize-
winning play, Street Scene is a bold
exploration of Jewish immigant life in
America early in this century. It
examines the themes of assimilation,
socialism, antisemitism, and identity.

Abraham Kaplan lives with his family in
a row house populated by a kaleidoscope
of characters looking to break out of
poverty. Kaplan's revolutionary, socialist
views grate against some of his
neighbors, who are mystified by the
"gibberish" he reads in his Yiddish
newspaper and occasionally advise him
to ''go back where you came from."
Even his son, educated in America, wants
little to do with his father's politics or
heritage. The tension on the street, in
the building, and within Kaplan's family
build throughout the movie, playing
themselves out in the best tradition of
Rice's work, 1931, 78 mins.

Sweet Lorraine

New York State s Catskill Mountains used
to be known as the Jewish Alps. Dotting
the mountains were family hotels like
the Lorraine - resorts offering Jewish
food, Jewish humor, and a smart,
lovable Jewish mother running the place.

Sweet Lorraine captures the end of an
era. Now run-down, the Lorraine faces
its last summer. Molly Garber. The
owner's granddaughter, surprises her
grandmother by showing up to work, and
she falls in love again with the hotel of
her childhood. From the escapades of
the staff to the jokes of the hotel
comedian to romance for granddaughter
and grandmother, this funny and
touching film explores whether we can
hold onto the past - and go home again.
1987, 91 mins.

A Tickle in the Heart*

Klezmer, the celebrated folk music of
Jewish communities in Eastern Europe,
currently is enjoying a revival. This
captivating documentary profiles the
colorful Epstein brothers-Max, Julie, and
Willie-American klezmer music legends
on an international comeback tour.

The revival of klezmer brought renewed
interest in the Epstein brothers, for
decades a highly sought-after band in
Brooklyn who had retired to Florida.
Here they share their spirited, soulful
music and their wonderful stories, which
capture the essence of a past era. The
brothers are natural performers, and
their sense of life, music, and family as
they tour-from Brooklyn and Florida to
Germany and Poland-is as touching and
enthralling as the music they play.
1996, 84 mins.

The Way We Were

Katie Morosky and Hubbell Gardner
couldn't be more different. She's a
political activist, a working-class Jew who
attends college while holding several
jobs; he's a wealthy gentile, born to
privilege, who wins several varsity letters
for college sports. A pair of near-
opposites, they powerfully attract each
other when they meet again eight years
after graduation.

Katie and Hubbell marry, but theirs is no
easy relationship. The differences that
drew them together also strain their
marriage, overriding their affection,
Katie cannot stop trying to perfect the
world, and Hubbell cannot bear her
attempts to fix everything around her,
including him.

Set against the background of World War
II and the McCarthy era, The Way We
Were is an unforgeltable portrait of a
deep love that can't last.
1973, 118 mins.

The Way We Were

Katie Morosky and Hubbell Gardner
couldn't be more different. She's a
political activist, a working-class Jew who
attends college while holding several
jobs; he's a wealthy gentile, born to
privilege, who wins several varsity letters
for college sports. A pair of near-
opposites, they powerfully attract each
other when they meet again eight years
after graduation.

Katie and Hubbell marry, but theirs is no
easy relationship. The differences that
drew them together also strain their
marriage, overriding their affection,
Katie cannot stop trying to perfect the
world, and Hubbell cannot bear her
attempts to fix everything around her,
including him.

Set against the background of World War
II and the McCarthy era, The Way We
Were is an unforgeltable portrait of a
deep love that can't last.
1973, 118 mins.


Abraham Joshua Heschel

The prophets of ancient Israel spoke with
great urgency for the late Rabbi
Abraham Joshua Heschel. A refugee from
Germany who became professor of Jewish
ethics and mysticism at the Jewish
Theological Seminary', Heschel combined
deep scholarship with a strong moral
passion which led him to march with Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr, and to oppose the
Vietnam War.

This film begins with a discussion by
scholars Ismar Schorsch and Cornel West,
who focus on Heschel's efforts regarding
Black-Jewish relations. Following this is
an interview Heschel gave shortly before
his death in 1972, in which he discusses
his philosophy of God, his involvement in
social and political causes, the value of
Bible study, the "abrasive" nature of
prophets, and his thoughts on the
hereafter, lie defines humanity's deepest
passion as "a craving for the meaning of
existence." l973, 60mins.

The Disputation

For Christianity in the Middle Ages the only
impediment to the Second Coming was the
refusal of the Jews to accept Christ.
"Disputations" were arranged between
Christian and Jewish theologians to
convince the Jews to convert. One of the
most famous of these debates took place
before King James of Aragon in Barcelona
in 1263 between the monk Pablo
Christiani and Rabbi Moses ben Nachman,

Absorbing and elegantly mounted, the
Disputation recreates the extraordinary
exchange and the drama surrounding it:
Pablo Chrisliani is himself a Jew converted
to Christianity; Rabbi Moses courageously
takes advantage of a royal guarantee of
free speech to argue his side; King James
grapples with his ''pagan" soul
throughout; and his Queen would as soon
see the matter settled by sword,
1986, 65 mins.

The Eighth Day

Syrian King Antiochus ruled over Judea
from 175 to l63 B.C.E, outlawing all
ritual observance in his effort to Hellenic
the Jews. In 167 B.C.E. the Maccabees
rose to challenge him, attacking from the
Judean hills where they fled to continue
practising their faith.

In The Eighth Day a mother summons a
Maccabee physician to circumcise her
son, The father, a Hellenized Jew named
Micha, forbids the ceremony. It is not
only punishable by death, it will mark his
child forever, excluding him from the
"right" contacts. Micha is amazed when
the physician turns out to be one Joseph,
distinguished for his mastery of Greek
philosophy. Spotted by soldiers, the
family hides overnight with the
Maccabees. There the two men debate
over religious tradition until dawn, when
Micha must decide whether or not to bind
his son to his people, 1985, 23 mins.


A Bar Mitzvah is a turning point in a
Jewish boy's life, when he takes on the
responsibilities of adulthood. But what if
the boy is seriously disabled and cannot
speak the words of the Torah portion in
the synagogue, the ceremonial public
reading that marks his becoming part of
the community?

That is the case for Eugene
Chernyakhovsky a spirited, determined
boy who was born with severe cerebral
palsy In the documentary film Eugene,
we see how his school, synagogue, and a
community of friends and volunteers
unite to help Eugene prepare for a
meaningful Bar Mitzvah by transferring
his voice to a computer using only his
toe. As he learns the new skills that will
help him with the challenges to come,
Eugene affects all those around him with
a greater sense of their own humanity
1995, 60 mins.

Genesis: A Living

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, is the
great Judeo-Christian family history, the
story of our tribal and moral beginnings.
From the incantatory chapters of
Creation, to Abraham's call to faith, to
the power struggles that preoccupy his
descendants, the words and images seem
familiar. But what do they tell us about
the relationship between man and man,
man and woman, God and humanity,
humanity and nature? A fresh look at
the ancient text can yield meanings for
our own time and our own lives.

Genesis: A Living Conversation is a ten-
part PBS series based on a discussion
group led by Dr, Burton Visotzky at the
Jewish Theological Seminary, Inspired by
the group, Bill Moyers assembled his own
cast of Genesis readers-Bible scholars,
artists, writers, and philosophers-whose
differing interpretations make for
passionate discussion and abundant food
for thought.

Tape 1 • In God's Image: The Story of

• Temptation; Adam and Eve in
the Garden of Eden

Tape 2 • The First Murder: Cain and

• Apocalypse: Noah and the

Tape 3 • Call and Promise: Abraham
and Sarah

• A Family Affair: Abraham,
Sarah, and Hagar

Tape 4 • The Test: Abraham and Isaac
on Mount Moriah

• Blessed Deception: Isaac,
Rebekah, Esau, and Jacob

Tape 5 • God Wrestling: Jacob's

• Exile: Joseph in Egypt

Talking About Genesis: A Resource
Guide, a companion book to the series.

offers essays and commentaries,
discussion questions, suggested activities,
and a "how-to" section on forming your
own Genesis group.
1996. 5 vols., 120 mins. each

Great Figures of the Bible

With the presence of a master storyteller
and the scholarly insights of a historian,
Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel
explores the human condition through
tales of key Biblical figures in this six-
part series. The programs are:

• The Story of Temptation: Adam and
Eve and After

• Greatness and Passion: The Story of

• The First Murder: The Story of Cain
and Abel

• The Agony of Power: The Story of Moses

• About Fathers and Sons: Abraham and
the Binding of Isaac

• Suffering and Sacrifice: The Story of Job

Wiesel's fresh interpretations recall
Jewish heritage and apply directly to the
challenges of today's society. This
magnificent series is set against the
Israeli landscape, and includes art from
the finest museums in the world.
1993, 60 mins. each

Half the Kingdom

One of the most vital aspects of
contemporary Jewish life is the
reexamination of the role of women
within a historically patriarchal religion.
At a time when female rabbis and
cantors have become increasingly visible
within Reform, Conservative, and
Reconstructionist Judaism, many Jewish
women in all denominations seek greater
inclusion in ritual and communal life.

Half The Kingdom focuses on a group of
Jewish women in North America and Israel
who are committed to achieving a larger
role in religious observance. The group
includes a rabbi, a novelist, a professor of
religion, a Jewish feminist scholar, a
Hebrew School principal, a member of the
Knesset, and a journalist. They explore
the challenges of reconceiving rituals and
ceremonies - such as saying kaddish and
welcoming a new baby into the Jewish
community. The film captures their
struggle and the obstacles they face in
attempting to reshape Judaism to include
them. 1990, 59 mins.

In Her Own Time

When Barbara Myerhoff, whose life as an
anthropologist has been dedicated to the
studies of community, learns that she is
dying of lung cancer, she decides to
document her own search for solace in
the spiritual community of Jewish
religious observance.

Myerhoff engages in a journey through
the pathways of Judaism while studying
the life of an Orthodox community in
Los Angeles, A secular academic
accustomed to a life of individuality and
independence, she nonetheless feels
herself drawn to living in a way that is
more intensely Jewish, more bound by
rituals and traditions.

Her quest for a place for her soul is the
basis of In Her Own Time, as much about
life as about dying. 1985, 60 mins.

Intermarriage: When Love
Meets Tradition

Produced in association with the Reform
movement, this film explores the realities
of a growing phenomenon in American
Jewish life: Between 40 and 50 percent of
Jews today marry non-Jews, The five
couples in the film are participants in a
program designed to provide a Jewish
orientation for interfaith couples not
closely affiliated with the Jewish
community. Their real-life stories and
struggles are profound.

The couples are shown during group
sessions as well as at home with their
families; several parents also speak out.
Among the issues they grapple with are
raising children, celebrating holidays
and family milestones, and finding
community. Viewers will see
intermarriage close-up in this focused
look at a major dilemma facing the
American Jewish community, with far-
reaching implications for the future.
1987, 33 mins.

The Journey

Russia, 1941, The U.S. sends advisors to
help the Soviets fight the Nazis.
American engineer Joe Levinson is
among those sent. His work completed,
he heads back to the U.S. via train to
Vologda. By chance, young Nikolai Krohn
shares the ride. Or is it chance?

Hearing Levinson s Jewish name at the
station, Nikolai's aunt begs the American
to teach her nephew about Judaism, The
boy's thirteenth birthday - the start of
his Bar Mitzvah year - is the next day,
For Levinson, whose last Jewish
experience was his own Bar Mitzvah, the
request is too great - until he hears
Nikolai mechanically quote Marx on
religion. Challenged, the engineer takes
advantage of a train delay to spirit the
boy away from their guards and teaches
Nikolai to at least seek to learn about his
heritage. 1989, 34 mins.

A Jumpin' Night in the
Garden of Eden

By turns rollicking and plaintive, klezmer
was the popular "soul" music of Eastern
European Jews. More than a musical
style, it encompassed the world of Yiddish
culture with roots extending to itinerant
traveling musicians of the Middle Ages.
In recent years klezmer has enjoyed a
strong revival as skilled young musicians
rediscovered early recordings and added
their own sensibilities to the style.

A jumpin' Night in The Garden of Eden
highlights the best modern klezmer
groups, such as the Klezmer Conservatory
Band and Kapelye. The younger players
seek out musicians from an earlier era,
who provide them with technical insights
and historical perspective. The film details
klezmer's ability to embrace other
influences, ranging from gypsy musical
styles to new drumming techniques. At the
same time, it shows the broadening interest
in klezmer, through the Yiddish Folk Arts
Institute and Garrison Keillor's A Prairie
Home Companion. 1987, 75 mins.

The Longest Hatred

This documentary follows the 2,000-year
history of anti-Jewish sentiment and its
frequent expression in acts of hatred and
violence. Its three segments cover the
history of Christian antisemitism, its
presence and prevalence in Europe today,
and changing Muslim attitudes toward
Jews. It offers the views of Christian as
well as Jewish scholars who trace the
origins of antisemitism to early
Christianity, the validity of which was
called into question by the very existence
of Jews. Demonization of the Jews during
the Middle Ages fed into pogroms and
rampages of Crusaders on their way to
"liberate" the Holy Land and found
ultimate expression in the Final Solution
of the Nazis. The film also shows
antisemitism today, both in Eastern
Europe and in Muslim countries, where
opposition to the State of Israel has given
rise to a new kind of virulent anti-Jewish
sentiment, 1991, 150 mins.

Nova: Secrets of the bead
Sea Scrolls*

In 1946, three Bedouin shepherds in the
Judean desert stumbled across one of the
greatest archeological discoveries of the
century; in caves near Kumran, 40 miles
from Jerusalem, 800 manuscripts were
found. They contained the oldest biblical
texts extant, as well as unknown material
that could shed light on the origins of
Christianity and the variety and richness
of Jewish life prior to rabbinic Judaism.

Who wrote the scrolls and why? Secrets of
the Dead Sea Scrolls traces the political
and academic controversy that has
surrounded them - culminating in the
crumbling of a monopoly of scholars
who controlled publication and
interpretation for decades. The search for
the scrolls' true meaning is a fascinating
historical detective story. 1991. 60 mins.

Return Trips

In embracing the freedom and
opportunity of their new homeland,
many Jewish immigrants abandoned,
distorted, or watered down their spiritual
heritage. To many of their children and
grandchildren, Judaism held no
particular interest.

Against all odds, however, a remarkable
resurgence of Jewish identity began in
the late 1960s.

Using archival material, music, and
memories, Return Trips chronicles both
the Americanization of early Jewish
immigrants and the "return" of a
generation formed by the counterculture
movement. It charts the scope of
revitalization through visits to Jewish
communities in a number of American
cities and interviews with leaders of the
chavura, Jewish renewal, and Orthodox
return movements. The filmmakers share
their personal stories - from their
families' eager assimilation to their own
halting steps back: curiosity leading to
discovery and study, then to tentative
practice and, finally, commitment.
1995, 60 mins.

Ritual: Three Portraits of
Jewish Life

The practice of ritual affirms our place
within our faith, fosters a sense of
continuity and identity, and affords
stability. But does the process of
performing a ritual guarantee a spiritual
experience? Or are rituals merely tools
that help us express spirituality? Ritual:
Three Portraits of Jewish Life examines
the place and nature of rituals in Judaism,
and tries to answer these questions.

The film explores the importance and
meaning of ritual through examples
drawn from life: a rabbinical student
explains why she has incorporated daily
prayer into her life; a family builds a
sukkah to enhance their celebration of the
Sukkot holiday; and a mother and father
describe their emotions as they participate
in the circumcision ceremony of their
newborn son. Interspersed with these
moving examples, theologians discuss the
nature of rituals and try to define exactly
what they are, 1989, 60mins.

Saying Kaddish

A mother's death brings together her
husband and daughters for the week-
long mourning period. The older
daughter, Talia, returns home for the
funeral. The younger daughter, Annie,
was at her mother's bedside throughout
her lingering illness.

In the days following the funeral,
conflict arises between the sisters over
each one's relationship with the deceased
and the way each chooses to express her
loss, Reciting the kaddish, the Jewish
memorial prayer said in the presence of
ten Jews, becomes a point of contention.
The father and Annie say it dutifully;
Talia prefers private reflection. Their
sparring eventually leads to a sharing
both of grief and of the memories that
make them a family, 1991, 60 mins.

The Talmud and the Scholar

A strong legal system helped Jews
maintain a cohesive social structure for
centuries. Ancient study houses worked
with an oral tradition until the second
century C.E,, when the process of writing
down the Talmud began. However,
spoken discussion of the Talmud remains
a vibrant aspect of Jewish study, as
students follow the many threads of
commentary and argument. The text
becomes a "script" to be actively
"performed," rather than passively read.

One of the greatest contemporary
scholars of the Talmud is Rabbi Adin
Steinsaltz. The Talmud and the Scholar
examines Steinsaltz's thinking and
teachings; it also discusses the Talmud's
history and shows methods of studying
its endless pathways. Besides being a
tireless instructor comfortable with both
advanced and beginning students,
Steinsaltz is publishing a multi-volume
edition of the Talmud in English,
bringing the tradition to a new
generation. The Talmid and the
Scholar also shows the rabbi's personal
side, following Steinsaltz to a wedding
and the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem.
1989, 58 mins.


Catalog Supplement


Aaron's Magic Village

The town of Chelm is renowned in Jewish
folklore for the imbecility of its residents.
Isaac Bashevis Singer was the Nobel
Prize-winning author who wrote in
Yiddish about shtetl life and captured its
rich spirit world of golems, ghosts, and
assorted imps. Put Chelm and Singer
together, and you have a supernatural
tale that pits good against evil, told with
humor and gusto.

In Aaron's Magic Village, an animated
feature based on Singer's stories, an
orphaned boy goes to live with his uncle
Shlemiel in Chelm. Meanwhile, an evil
sorcerer-"a real no-goodnik"-is set
to destroy the town before Chanukah by
creating a Golem, a clay creature once
brought to life by me Maharal of Prague
to save Jews in peril. All the sorcerer
needs is the Maharal's Book of Marvels.
And only Aaron has the courage and
smarts to outwit him. l995,80mins.

The Animated Book of Esther

The story of Queen Esther has resonated
over the centuries for Jews, as well as for
the world at large: In the era of Persian
dominance over the Middle East, a
jealous minister decides to kill the Jews
of the Persian realm. The beautiful
young Queen Esther learns of the plot
and risks her life to save her people.

This animated version faithfully
transmits the tale preserved in me
Megillah of Esther which is retold each
year during the holiday of Purim,
Illuminated words from the text flow
beneath fanciful drawings, bringing this
abbreviated Megillah reading to life.
There's enough to teach children the
story, while holding their attention- The
drawings and dramatic musical score
enable adults to revisit a tale that
continues to have new meaning against
a backdrop of evolving history.
1991, 80mins.

Children's Bible Stories

The first chapters of the Old Testament
contain stories that have dominated the
imagination for millennia-the world's
creation, Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, and
the Tower of Babel. With their rich
imagery and drama, these also often
represent a child's first encounter with
religious concepts.

Children's Bible Stories tells these tales
through delightful animation, engaging
narration, and a whimsical score, while
laying out the basic tenets of religious
thought. The creation story, beautifully
depicted, imbues awe over God's work.
With its wise-cracking snake, indecisive
Eve, and trembling Adam, the Garden of
Eden story becomes a battle between
weakness and faith, Noah's Ark brings
comical life to those 40 days when man
and animals floated together. It also
shows how good people are rewarded,
and bad ones punished. An enjoyable
film for children, this is also a valuable
discussion starter for anyone involved
with them. 2000. 35 mins.

Noah's Ark

Noah is the first real hero of the Bible, a
good and tolerant man living in a world
of evil-doers. The story of how God
commands him to build an Ark to save
himself and the creatures of the Earth
from an impending flood that will
destroy the entire world is a favorite for
children. Yet it also contains serious
themes about faith, nurturing, and the
resilience of life.

Noah's Ark is an adaptation of Peter
Spier's award-winning children's picture
book- It brings the biblical words to life
with beautifully rendered animation, a
stirring narration by James Earl Jones,
and a dramatic score by Grammy-winner

Stewart Copeland. Children and adults
will enjoy watching Noah and his sons
build the Ark, the two-by-two procession
of animals toward it, the eerie calm of
endless water, and the lovely depictions of
nature in a reborn world.

1989, 27 mins.


Northern Exposure: Seoul

In a multicultural environment, all
religions flourish equally But this can be
unsettling, especially to a Jew used to
expressing pride, defiance, even a touch
of orneriness in his minority
celebrations. When symbols are
exchanged and, in the process, diluted or
universalized, how staunch will a not-
particularly-religious Jew be?

This episode of Northern Exposure, the
hit TV show of the early 90s, explores
these tensions. Joel Fleishman is a
quintessentially New York doctor who
identifies strongly with bagels and lox,
kvetching and his Chanuakah
menorah-especially against the
onslaught of Christian symbols at
Christmastime. But Joel is now working
in Cicely, Alaska, where tolerance is all,
and the holiday celebration is a pastiche
of the practices and beliefs of all its
residents. And perhaps there's something
about that Tree that has always attracted
him. Should he put one up? Fleischman
grapples with this dilemma, as he and
others celebrate differences and a
common humanity. 1991, 46 mins.

The Simpsons: Like Father
Like Clown

Bart Simpson has one hero: Krusty, the
TV Clown. When Bart does Krusty a huge

favor, his reward is a visit by the Clown to
his home for dinner. Asked to say grace,
Krusty discloses that he is Jewish,
descended, in fact, from a long line of
rabbis. The revelation causes Krusty to
break down in tears and reveal that he's
hated clowning since his father disowned
him for breaking with family tradition.

Unable to bear (trusty's misery, Bart and
his sister Lisa set out to reunite father
and son- In this legendary episode of The
Simpsons, 10-year-old Bart goes head-to-
head with the learned Rabbi Hyman
Kruslofsky, using Talmudic wisdom to
smash the barriers of guilt and
disappointment that characterize this
classic generational clash. Armed with
quotes from Judaism's holy texts, Bart
proves a worthy advocate.
1991, 50mins.


The Harmonists

Germany in the 1920s is no time to be
unemployed, especially for a musician
with untested talent. But Harry
Frommermann dreams of bringing
American-style harmony singing to
Europe. Together with five other barely
employed musicians he does just that,
forming the wildly popular "Comedian

Almost overnight, the cafe singers rise to
concert-hall fame throughout Europe,
and even the United States. They become
rich during Germany's depression and
bring glamour to an era of growing
desperation. But while their music offers
Germans an escape from the tightening
Nazi threat, the musicians become
entangled in the web of Nazi hatred,
When three of the six are disclosed to be
Jews, the group faces banning. The
Harmonists presents an elegant
fictionalized account of a musical
phenomenon in terrible times.
1998, 115 mins.

The Last Butterfly

The Nazis created in Terezin, a fortress
city near Prague, a "model"
concentration camp designed to deflect
international concern about the death
camps. Sent to Terezin were many Jewish
artists and performers, as well as
thousands of children, who were interned
there before deportation to extermination

The Last Butterfly powerfully weaves
Terezin's facts into a fable about a
famous French mime brought there to
perform during a Red Cross inspection.
Despite the Nazi occupation of his
country, Antoine Moreau remains
innocent of the Nazi threat. A reckless
performance spoofing Hitler lands this
non-Jew before Nazi authorities, who
promise freedom if Moreau performs in
"the city of the Jews." In Terezin Moreau
meets some of the greatest artists of his
day, and finally grasps the terror of his
Jewish peers. As he rehearses his
performance, he must decide what role to
play in the Nazi charade.

1994.106 mins.

The Last Days

The Germans entered Hungary in 1944
and immediately implemented the Final
Solution with a ruthlessness honed by
their experience elsewhere in Europe.
Even as the war was turning against the
Third Reich, Jews were quickly rounded
up and transported to concentration
camps, where the death machines went
into overdrive to exterminate them.

The Last Days, an outstanding 1998
Oscars-winning documentary produced
by Steven Spielberg, tells with great
empathy the story of five survivors of this
ordeal. Those interviewed Include U.S.
Representative Tom Lantos, an artist, and
a businessman. They talk about their
lives before the German invasion, when
impossible-to-believe reports about
atrocities reached them; their experiences
in the death camps; and their feelings
today as they visit childhood homes and
the camps that remain a bleak memorial
to loved ones. 1998, 87 mins.

Life Is Beautiful

Is it possible to make a comedy about the
Holocaust? That is a question raised by
this tremendously popular but
controversial film, acclaimed by many
critics for its freshness and humor while
criticized by others for trivializing and
sentimentalizing the reality of history.

Life Is Beautiful, directed by and
starring Roberto Benigni, is set in Italy
in 1930, as fascism was gaining ground.
It tells the story of a clownish waiter
named Guido who against all odds wins
the heart of his "princessa" by taking a
fanciful, optimistic approach to life-
Guido also happens to be Jewish.
Deported with his family and facing the
horrors of a concentration camp, Guido
invents games to keep his young son
innocent, and alive. A fable about the
power of love and imagination in the
face of an evil reality, the film won
Benigni Academy Awards(tm) for Best Actor
and Best Foreign Film. 1998, 106 mins.

The Long Way Home

The years 1945 to 1948 were momentous
ones in Jewish history, spanning the
ashes of the death camps to the birth of
Israel, while survivors struggled with the
enormity of their losses, they soon
learned that securing their future would
demand determination and courage.

Through the voices of those who
participated in the events, The Long Way
Home captures the complex historical
crosscurrents affecting Jewish destiny
during this profoundly sad, challenging,
yet thrilling sliver of time at the end of
the war, We see the often-chilling
reception given survivors, the abysmal
conditions in the DP camps, the political
cynicism. But we hear too from those
who married there, who became active in
religious and Zionist groups, who took
risks for the dream of a homeland.
Joining them against incredible odds
were spirited Americans who recall the
greatest adventure in their lives.
1997,119 mins.

The Sorrow and the Pity

After France surrendered to the German
army in 1940, the puppet Vichy regime
in southern France vigorously enforced
anti-Jewish legislation and deportations,
while French police helped the Germans
carry out these policies in the Occupied
Zone. Nevertheless, for many years the
myth prevailed that French citizens had
united in heroic resistance against the
Germans. It took Marcel Ophuls's epic
documentary The Sorrow and the Pity to
shatter that illusion.

The film relates how French people at all
levels of society really behaved during the

war years-how little appetite they had
for battle, how willing many were to get
along with their captors in return for
rewards, and how easily they became
accomplices to the Nazis, zealously
rounding up the Jews who lived among
them. Riveting interviews with fanners,
teachers, businessmen, resistance fighters
and soldiers, and government officials
shocked French audiences by revealing a
moral cynicism that, even years later,
rationalized acts of complicity and
justified antisemitism. Could the French
have responded differently to the
Occupation and still saved their families?
The film raises complex questions about
courage, honor, and individual
responsibility 1969, 265 mins.


Autumn Sun

What does it mean to be Jewish, and how
important should that be in the realm of
romance? Should it stand in the way of a
match that may otherwise be quite

That is Clara's dilemma in Autumn
Sun, a gentle, affecting film about a
middle-aged accountant in Buenos Aires
who places an ad to meet a Jewish
gentlemen. Instead, she hears from Raul
Ferraro, who definitely is not Jewish (one
mispronounced Yiddish word gives him
away). While Raul is intrigued by Clara's
differentness, she is suspicious of his- Or
perhaps she is afraid of mature love and
is using religious Incompatibility as an
excuse. Reluctant to let go, Clara devises
a plan to teach Raul enough about her
tradition so that he can pose as a Jewish
boyfriend for her brother. In the process,
she sorts out who she is and what she
really wants- 1999,103 mins.

A Gala Concert

In 1948 the Soviet Union began an
antisemitic campaign, instigated by
Stalin, that ultimately destroyed its
Jewish cultural and professional
leadership. It started with insinuations of
disloyalty and "cosmopolitanism"
against prominent Jewish artists who had
been members of the Anti-Fascist
Committee, which rallied support against
Germany during world War II. It
continued with the closing of Jewish
publishing houses, theaters, and schools.
Solomon Mikhoels, director of the
Yiddish State Theatre, was murdered by
the secret police. Hundreds of Jewish
writers, artists, and musicians were tried
and executed. In 1953 the "Doctor's
Plot" accused Jewish doctors of
conspiring to murder Soviet leaders
through harmful treatments. The next
step reportedly was to have been the exile
of the Jewish population to the outer
reaches of the country. Only Stalin's
death spared the doctors-and the Jews
of Russia.

A Gala Concert recounts this history
through the stories of those who lived
through it-mainly the spouses and
children of the accused. They recall the
professional integrity and party loyalty of
those who were targeted, how their
families' lives were shattered, and their
confusion and disbelief, as everything
they knew to be true was distorted.

1992, 143 mins.

A Kiss to This Land

When quotas stemmed the flow of
immigrants to the United Slates in the
1920s, Jews seeking respite were warmly
welcomed by Mexico. While remaining
attached to their roots, this diverse
group-hailing from Eastern Europe as
welt as Turkey and Arab-speaking
lands-embraced their new home's
vibrant colors, foods, language, and

A Kiss to This Land presents an oral
history of seven fascinating individuals
who arrived at Mexico's shores in the
early 20th century. Among them was a
socialist idealist, a bride, and a Yiddish
entertainer. In often poetic language,
they talk about their unlikely decision to
journey to an unknown destination and
how they came to love that place,
gradually building family and
community while moving from youth to
maturity. The documentary is enhanced
by archival footage, still photographs,
and an evocative soundtrack.

1994, 93 mins.


Even as European Jews acquired civil
rights and began participating in
mainstream society, they remained to
some degree a people apart, with their
own rituals and institutions. As the
outside world beckoned ever more
seductively, they often struggled to
balance personal fulfillment with an
ancient identity.

Sofie, the directorial debut of Liv
Ullman, explores these tensions in late
19th-century Copenhagen. The
unmarried daughter of protective
parents, Sofie leads an insular life
marked by visits to her maiden aunts and
the occasional ball thrown by her
assimilated uncle. Yet she longs for
romantic passion and spiritual
transcendence. Her parents would like
her to marry an introverted relative,
Jonas. But she falls in love with Hans
Hojby, a gentile artist who seems to speak
her inner language. Torn between fierce
attraction and a deep connection to her
roots, Sofie must make the most
important decision of her life.

1992,145 mins.

A Summer in La Goulette

Tunisia, 1967. The Middle East is about
to explode into war but meanwhile, in
the "paradise" of La Goulette, Jews,
Muslims and Christians live in harmony,
sharing drinks and gossip, family
problems and celebrations. While
religion has its place here, friendship
and neighborliness seem to be stronger
forces than politics and ethnicity

This gently comic film offers a rare look
at a vanished community of North
African Jews through die story of three
teenage girlfriends-a Muslim, a
Catholic, and a Jew-and their fathers,
also the best of friends. The rebellious
girls make a pact to lose their virginity,
each with a young man of a different
religion. When the fathers discover the
plan, each blames the others for the
girls' loose morals. Can the fathers
reconcile? Perhaps, but the coming war
will test the fragile spirit of coexistence
in a different way. 1995,100 mins.



According to Jewish law, if a married
couple wishes to divorce, the husband
must give the woman a get, or document
of release. If the husband refuses, the
woman remains bound to him. This
leaves her in a state of limbo, unable to
remarry or get on with her life. In
Israel-where marriage and divorce are
overseen by the rabbinate-even a
nonreligious woman is governed by these

This is the subtext of Get, a drama about
a woman who in desperation and rage
takes matters into her own hands. One
day Tikva (whose name ironically means
"hope") spies her errant husband. To
force the authorities to make him release
her from their marriage, she seizes
hostages, including a rabbi and an
intriguing man with her husband's
name. At the end of their ordeal, Tikva
makes a decision that surprises her
captives, her husband, and herself.istence
in a different way. 1992,34mins.

Ma'ale Film School

While Israel's early secularism endures,
in recent years it has been challenged by
new spiritual cravings. When that
happens, values often clash and
relationships-between man and
woman, parent and child, and old
friends-inevitably change. These five
short films, produced at Jerusalem's
Ma'ale School for Cinema and
Communication, deal with the personal
ramifications when religious and secular
desires collide. There is the story of Ido, a
rock musician who adopts a yeshiva
lifestyle, and its affect on his
uncomprehending friends and family
And the story of a 30-year-marriage that
is shaken when the husband "returns" to
religion, and the Bar Mitzvah celebration
of the son of a black American Jew and
his kibbutz-born wife. Among the
thought-provoking fictional pieces is the
tale of an attraction between an
Orthodox youth and a secular girl.
1998, 109mins.

Mona Lisa of the Galilee

For anyone who has dreamed of a voyage
of discovery, Mono Lisa of the Galilee
offers the excitement of such a journey
Documenting an archeological
expedition at the ancient Israeli city of
Tzippori, near Tiberias, this film shares
the thrill the archeologists experience
when they uncover a mosaic floor with
the face of a beautiful woman. The dig, a
joint effort of Duke University and the
Hebrew University in Jerusalem, also
yields statues and coins that are arresting
for their detail and intriguing for the
history at which they hint.

Artifacts, mosaics, and remains of
dwellings suggest that Jews, early
Christians, and pagans lived together
peacefully in early Christian times. The
significance of studying this harmonious
period and preserving its remnants is
emphasized as the team worries over
whether the mosaics will survive their
exposure after thousands of years.


Out for Love ... Be Back

Today many young Israelis question the
personal sacrifices that seem to have
been accepted by the generation that
created the Jewish state: disruption of
daily life, constant danger, personal loss.
Dan Katzir brilliantly explores these
tensions in his autobiographical
documentary, Out for Love, Be Back

Although the filmmaker insists that his
film will have a light, romantic theme,
he finds that "reality"-the army,
terrorism, angry demonstrations-keeps
intruding on the pursuit of love. His
relationship with Iris is punctuated by
almost-routine bombings, her
approaching draft, his grandmother's
memories of his grandfather's death by
terrorism, the heartbreaking
assassination of Itzhak Rabin. Hard as he
tries, he can't escape the burden of his
country. With depth and humor, Katzir
offers a penetrating portrait of young
people in Israel today, where public and
private life intersect so intimately it's
sometimes hard to distinguish between
them. 1997, 55 mins.

The Summer of Aviya

Aviya and her mother Henya survived the
Holocaust, but its scars remain apparent
as they try to build a new life in Israel.
Henya's nightmares result in frequent
breakdowns that send Aviya to the
children's villages where she is raised.

In the summer of 1951 Henya brings ten-
year-old Aviya home, where, as the
daughter of the local "crazy woman,"
Aviya is ostracized by the neighborhood
children and retreats into fantasy. But the
summer also brings Henya a few lucid
weeks during which Aviya learns that her
mother was a hero among the partisans
of the European Jewish resistance. With
her new understanding, Aviya finds the
courage to navigate the harsh reality of a
country that is struggling through the
early days of statehood. Gila Almagor
wrote, produced, and stars in this film,
based on her memoirs. 1989,96 mins,


Arguing the World

The turn of the last century brought
more than two million Jewish
immigrants to New York. By the 1930s,
many of their children converged at City
College, then a cauldron of political
ferment Among these students were four
men who continued to debate
throughout their lives, in books and
essays that would greatly Influence
American political thought and public
policy for the rest of the century.

lrving Howe, Irving Kristol, Daniel Bell,
and Nathan Glazer believed ideas could
change the world. Arguing the World
shows how these "New York intellectuals"
evolved in thought over the decades.
Their dialogue extends from radicalism
and patriotism through McCarthyism,
the Civil Rights and antiwar movements,
to conservativism, which Kristol fostered
and the others opposed. Tracing these
lives from immigrant origins to youthful
friendships to divergent beliefs, the film
offers an understanding of ideas that
shaped our world. 1997,109mins.

Classical Recipes for Jewish

Jewish cooking reflects the geographic
variety of the Jewish people. What binds
Jewish cooks everywhere are the laws of
kashrut and the themes of the Jewish
calendar Yet within those strictures,
cooks have adapted the flavors, colors,
and techniques surrounding them-
even when serving the most traditional

Joan Nathan, a cookbook author and
columnist, presents favorite cooks from
around the country preparing their
versions of "Jewish classics." Along the
way, they talk about their relationship to
food and family. They include a Gennan-
bom challah-baker; a 93-year-old
"firecracker" who makes the gefilte fish
of her Russian youth; a chef from Vail
who makes a perfumed Sephardic
brisket; a Miami celebrity chef known for
his old-fashioned latkes; and a
cheesecake baker from Berkeley. Enjoy!
1998, 108 mins.

Delta Jews

Among the 2.5 million Jewish
immigrants to the United States in the
early 1900s, a tiny minority found its way
to the deepest South-the Mississippi
Delta, Mostly merchants, they found
there a surprising acceptance, and
thrived. They also tenaciously held on to
their Jewish heritage.

Delta Jews introduces us to some
fascinating, articulate members of this
once-flourishing community. Professing
an abiding love for all things Southern,
these men and women also convey an
emotional and deeply rooted attachment
to Judaism. They describe the efforts
they've made to stay bonded as Jews and
with each other, maintaining their
identity and sense of community even as
their numbers have dwindled and their
offspring have settled in Atlanta, New
Orleans, and other places, They also
candidly discuss race-he fine line they
walked from early days but especially
during the civil-rights movement-and
their ambivalent feelings toward their
Jewish brethren up North.

1898, 57 mins.

Hollywood: An Empire of
Their Own

In the 1920s, six Jewish immigrant
businessmen headed for Los Angeles to
set up studios that became the
foundation of the nation's motion-
picture industry. Ostensibly, the movies
they produced reflected America's abiding
myths and soon became part of
mainstream culture. Yet it's possible to
look at these classic films in a completely
different way.

This documentary, based on Neat
Gabler's bestseller argues that the Jews
"invented" Hollywood: They created a
celluloid fantasy about family,
patriotism, and romance out of their own
wretched histories and desire for new
lives-seeking also to reinvent
themselves and erase their Jewish past.
Using old footage, interviews with family
members and film historians, Including
Gabler we view familiar images and
story lines in a new way, noting
intriguing intersections between
immigrant dreams and American
bravado, the success of the little guy, and
lifeslyles of glamour and beauty.

1997. 100 mins.

Liberty Heights

For America's Jews, the 1950s were a lime
of upward mobility and assimilation.
Social and racial barriers were breaking
down, as schools were forced to integrate,
and Jews began to infiltrate gentiles-only
enclaves. As they did, many abandoned
old social and religious rituals.
Sometimes all that was left of tradition
was family.

Barry Levinson's coming-of-age film, set
in 1954 Baltimore, captures a city in
flux, whose separate communities are
starting to know each other, Nate
Kurtzman, the father, a complex figure
who works outside the law, must deal
with black petty criminals who want a
piece of the action. One teenage son
pursues a gentile "Cinderella." The other
grapples with an attraction to a black
classmate, rock 'n' roll, and the power to
defy rules about race, class, and religion.

1999,128 mins.


Generation to Generation:

Jewish Families Talk about

Among the many dilemmas families face
upon the death of a loved one is the
poignant issue of what to tell the
children. Generation to Generation:
Jewish Families Talk about Death
answers that question through the words
of the bereaved themselves. Those who
have lost a spouse, offspring, sibling,
parent, grandparent, or close friend all
agree: Children should be included the
process-from illness through burial-
as much as possible.

In a moving series of interviews with the
bereaved, both adults and children, as
well as with a rabbi, a funeral director;
and a grief counselor, the Jewish rituals
related to death and mourning are also
explored. As the professionals explain,
many of these focus on comforting the
living and sanctifying the deceased; thus,
for children, participating in mourning
rituals is life-affirming, helping them
allay fears and face loss.

1999, 35 mins.


Moses, the towering figure of the Old
Testament, is in many ways contradictory
and inscrutable. The greatest prophet of
the Jewish people, he led the Israelites
from slavery to nationhood and
transmitted the Ten Commandments,
which became the basis of monotheism
and ethics for the Western world, But
Moses also was a man humbled by a
speech inpediment, Intimate with God yet
distant from his own family, with a
complicated, all-consuming relationship
to the contentious people he led.

This thought-provoking A&E biography
explores the life of Moses and his pivotal
time, making ancient history come alive
through the archeology, history, and
geography of the region. Location shots
place us in the epic Exodus story, and
Bible scholars offer insights to enhance
the familiar text, delving into the
psychology of a man who struggled with
God and his people, yet never failed
them. 1996,100 mins.

Classical Recipes for Jewish

Jewish cooking reflects the geographic
variety of the Jewish people. What binds
Jewish cooks everywhere are the laws of
kashrut and the themes of the Jewish
calendar Yet within those strictures,
cooks have adapted the flavors, colors,
and techniques surrounding them-
even when serving the most traditional

Joan Nathan, a cookbook author and
columnist, presents favorite cooks from
around the country preparing their
versions of "Jewish classics." Along the
way, they talk about their relationship to
food and family. They include a Gennan-
bom challah-baker; a 93-year-old
"firecracker" who makes the gefilte fish
of her Russian youth; a chef from Vail
who makes a perfumed Sephardic
brisket; a Miami celebrity chef known for
his old-fashioned latkes; and a
cheesecake baker from Berkeley. Enjoy!
1998, 108 mins.

Delta Jews

Among the 2.5 million Jewish
immigrants to the United States in the
early 1900s, a tiny minority found its way
to the deepest South-the Mississippi
Delta, Mostly merchants, they found
there a surprising acceptance, and
thrived. They also tenaciously held on to
their Jewish heritage.

Delta Jews introduces us to some
fascinating, articulate members of this
once-flourishing community. Professing
an abiding love for all things Southern,
these men and women also convey an
emotional and deeply rooted attachment
to Judaism. They describe the efforts
they've made to stay bonded as Jews and
with each other, maintaining their
identity and sense of community even as
their numbers have dwindled and their
offspring have settled in Atlanta, New
Orleans, and other places, They also
candidly discuss race-he fine line they
walked from early days but especially
during the civil-rights movement-and
their ambivalent feelings toward their
Jewish brethren up North.

1898, 57 mins.

Hollywood: An Empire of
Their Own

In the 1920s, six Jewish immigrant
businessmen headed for Los Angeles to
set up studios that became the
foundation of the nation's motion-
picture industry. Ostensibly, the movies
they produced reflected America's abiding
myths and soon became part of
mainstream culture. Yet it's possible to
look at these classic films in a completely
different way.

This documentary, based on Neat
Gabler's bestseller argues that the Jews
"invented" Hollywood: They created a
celluloid fantasy about family,
patriotism, and romance out of their own
wretched histories and desire for new
lives-seeking also to reinvent
themselves and erase their Jewish past.
Using old footage, interviews with family
members and film historians, Including
Gabler we view familiar images and
story lines in a new way, noting
intriguing intersections between
immigrant dreams and American
bravado, the success of the little guy, and
lifeslyles of glamour and beauty.

1997. 100 mins.

Liberty Heights

For America's Jews, the 1950s were a lime
of upward mobility and assimilation.
Social and racial barriers were breaking
down, as schools were forced to integrate,
and Jews began to infiltrate gentiles-only
enclaves. As they did, many abandoned
old social and religious rituals.
Sometimes all that was left of tradition
was family.

Barry Levinson's coming-of-age film, set
in 1954 Baltimore, captures a city in
flux, whose separate communities are
starting to know each other, Nate
Kurtzman, the father, a complex figure
who works outside the law, must deal
with black petty criminals who want a
piece of the action. One teenage son
pursues a gentile "Cinderella." The other
grapples with an attraction to a black
classmate, rock 'n' roll, and the power to
defy rules about race, class, and religion.

1999,128 mins.


Generation to Generation:

Jewish Families Talk about

Among the many dilemmas families face
upon the death of a loved one is the
poignant issue of what to tell the
children. Generation to Generation:
Jewish Families Talk about Death
answers that question through the words
of the bereaved themselves. Those who
have lost a spouse, offspring, sibling,
parent, grandparent, or close friend all
agree: Children should be included the
process-from illness through burial-
as much as possible.

In a moving series of interviews with the
bereaved, both adults and children, as
well as with a rabbi, a funeral director;
and a grief counselor, the Jewish rituals
related to death and mourning are also
explored. As the professionals explain,
many of these focus on comforting the
living and sanctifying the deceased; thus,
for children, participating in mourning
rituals is life-affirming, helping them
allay fears and face loss.

1999, 35 mins.


Moses, the towering figure of the Old
Testament, is in many ways contradictory
and inscrutable. The greatest prophet of
the Jewish people, he led the Israelites
from slavery to nationhood and
transmitted the Ten Commandments,
which became the basis of monotheism
and ethics for the Western world, But
Moses also was a man humbled by a
speech inpediment, Intimate with God yet
distant from his own family, with a
complicated, all-consuming relationship
to the contentious people he led.

This thought-provoking A&E biography
explores the life of Moses and his pivotal
time, making ancient history come alive
through the archeology, history, and
geography of the region. Location shots
place us in the epic Exodus story, and
Bible scholars offer insights to enhance
the familiar text, delving into the
psychology of a man who struggled with
God and his people, yet never failed
them. 1996,100 mins.
Rashi, A Light After the
Dark Ages

No examination of the Hebrew Bible or
Jewish laws elucidated in the Talmud Is

complete today without the study of
Rashi, the commentary on these texts by
Rabbi Shiomo Itzkhaki. Rashi, A Light
After the Dark Ages follows the life of
this eleventh-century sage from his early
study of Jewish law through his years as
the leader who represented the French
Jewish community to its Christian
neighbors at the dawn of the Crusades-
Through beautiful animation appealing
to adults and children alike, the film
focuses on the education the rabbi
bestowed upon his daughters, sons-in-
law, and grandchildren, whose own
writings would immortalize Rashi's
teachings. In showing how Rashi applied
ancient Jewish laws to the dilemmas of
his day, the film demonstrates how this
scholar established for posterity the
timelessness of the Jewish ethical system.
1999, 56 mins-