Category Archives: Judaica

Books and movies of interest to the Jewish community

“Jewish, Gay & Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany: Uncle Alfred Flechtheim’s Unexpected Legacies in Art, AIDS & Law” by Michael Hulton— A Look Back, A Look Forward

Hulton, Michael. “Jewish, Gay & Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany: Uncle Alfred Flechtheim’s Unexpected Legacies in Art, AIDS & Law”, Kieran Publishing, 2018.

A Look Back, A Look Forward

Amos Lassen

Michael Hulton brings together two fascinating eras and gives the reader a new perspective with which to address art and the law. As Hulton recounts the life of his great uncle and art dealer Alfred Flechtheim, a gay Jewish man in the decadent avant-garde movement during the Weimar Republic through to Nazi Germany, he gives us a look at homosexual history, how it was recognized in society from the end of the 19th century through its “coming out phase” in the 1960s.

He finds parallels between the denial of the holocaust and AIDS skepticism. Hulton is a medical doctor who was personally involved fighting for AIDS recognition and treatment. We also gain details about economic spoliation in Nazi Germany and his own pursuit of art restitution on behalf of his late uncle’s family. We get an unexpected legacy of law and art that gives Hulton the means to donate his share of his restitution inheritance to HIV research and Jewish organizations.

Hulton’s parents were Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany who met in wartime London. His father came from a well-off background. His aunt had married an eminent art-dealer, despite his homosexuality, which his father recalled with evident disapproval. Hulton became intrigued by this, and by his parents’ backgrounds. He graduated from Cambridge University as a doctor and settled down to a career in anesthesia in Toronto, until the eighties, when the AIDS epidemic surfaced. He found that the parallels with the Holocaust were overwhelming and began a part-time medical practice that led to AIDS activism and relocation to San Francisco. Unexpectedly, lawyers contacted him about his long dead great uncle, explaining the potential for restitution of his property lost in the Nazi persecution. Thus began a new career. The book traces the biography of his enigmatic flamboyant great uncle, and his own autobiography, with the amazing parallels of his own story and his newly discovered family history.

“Key to the Locked Garden: Learning to Enhance the Shabbat Experience” by Simcha H. Benyosef— Observing and Loving the Sabbath

Benyosef, Simcha H. “Key to the Locked Garden: Learning to Enhance the Shabbat Experience”, Menorah Books, 2018.

Observing and Loving the Sabbath

Amos Lassen

Rabbi Isaac Luria was known as the Ari and was a Chasidic master who had the ability to bring divine service to an experiential level. His descendant Rabbi Moses Luria also did the same and spent much of his life passing those teachings on. Simcha H. Benyosef was asked by Luria to make his teachings public and available in English and this book is the result of that request. We learn that Rabbi Luria once shared with Rabbi Yoel Benharrouche that he came to the world to transmit through his writings the teachings of the Inner Torah that the holy Ari could not do since his death deprived him on that. The Ari’s teachings originate in the Zohar and Rabbi Moses Luria’s explanations illuminate the complexity of those teachings as well as the Zohar and those of the Ari.

Luria, the younger, has added allegorical explanations that are based on human relationships that enable one to relate to these lofty concepts. Benyosef’s intention it to further amplify these teachings in order to make them available to Torah scholars who are able to understand the original writings, but to the community of Israel. This is quite a difficult task when we consider all of the various levels of the community regarding knowledge and insight. Benyosef so brilliantly brings the Kabbalistic concepts to life for both the layperson, that even for a Kabbalist who is familiar with them and there is a great deal of new information here.

Benyosef shares that his intention in writing this book was to bring the reader that “spiritual darkness is an optical illusion and that all we need to do to dissolve it is to draw to ourselves the Shabbat consciousness.” When Shabbat is over, the consciousness of the day leaves as well and we see here in “Key to the Locked Garden” how to unlock our inner garden and keep Shabbat consciousness to ourselves during the weekdays. The book gives us the teachings and instructions for Shabbat observance that once were available only to an elite few.

The book’s chapter headings go with each part of the eve and Shabbat being with the idea that Shabbat gives us a taste of the world to come and illuminates the darkness that is such a part of so many lives. There are three appendices, one of which is a collection of mystical readings for the Shabbat table. I found myself experiencing Shabbat differently this week by concentrating on some of what’s here and it was quite a welcome from the rest of the week.

“The Emperor of Shoes” by Spence Wise— Jewish in China

Wise, Spence. “The Emperor of Shoes”, Hanover Square Press, 2018.

Jewish in China

Amos Lassen

Alex Cohen is a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Bostonian who is living in southern China where his father runs their family-owned shoe factory. Alex against his own best wishes takes over the company and soon realizes that his employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and Alex’s own father is involved in bribes to protect the business. When Alex discovers this, he understands that his father isn’t the man he thought he was. He becomes involved with Ivy, a worker who works his way into Alex’s heart and head.

The novel is written in the tradition of many other Jewish coming-of-age stories. Alex is placed on the fault line between his father, a not particularly scrupulous businessman, and Ivy, a factory worker who is both a love interest for Alex and a mouthpiece for the dissonant movement that upends his sense of morality. Alex is forced to question if one should “honor thy father” if he runs a sweatshop. We become very aware of the conflict between the individual and society. has the potential to heighten both. Alex’s feeling are out of place both physically and emotionally and he is forced to think about place from different angles than one otherwise might do. The setting the story is during a period of labor unrest and the book focuses on the relationship between politics and emotion. By juxtaposing this particularly Jewish coming-of-age story to China, Alex is forced to ask what it means to be Jewish while separated from his home and community in Boston. It is easy for a character like Alex who was raised in established Jewish American communities to lose sight of it. Alex tries to understand his Jewish identity at the same time he adapts to living in another country.

When Alex meets a seamstress named Ivy, his sympathies begin to shift. She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow laborers. Alex must decide if he will remain loyal to his father and his heritage or join the revolution with Ivy.

We read about idealism, ambition, father-son rivalry and cultural revolution all set against the backdrop of social and technological change. We see not only the dangers and exploitations of his father’s system but as well as the hopes, dreams and delicate relationships that make it work and that must be risked if change is possible.

This is a funny and illuminating novel about an American father and son and a shoe factory in China. It is heartbreakingly personal, timely and political, written with unforgettable characters and dire circumstances.

“The Parting Gift” by Even Fallenberg— The Underside of Love

Fallenberg, Evan. “The Parting Gift”, Other Press, 2018.

The Underside of Love

Amos Lassen

There is something about a book by Evan Fallenberg that makes me realize what literature is all about. His two earlier books, “Light Fell” and “When We Danced on Water” mesmerized me and I knew that even before I opened the covers, the same would be true of “The Parting Gift”. I cleared my day, according to the advice of another reviewer and sat down and prepared to be lost in words and story and to be taken back to my second home in Israel.

“The Parting Gift” is an “erotic tale of jealousy, obsession, and revenge is suffused with the rich flavors and intoxicating scents of Israel’s Mediterranean coast.” The story is told by an unnamed narrator who writes to Adam, a friend from college. It so happens that Adam is sitting across the room from him as he writes. He has been staying at Adam’s since he abruptly came back to the States from Israel. He has decided that the time has come to move on and he shares with Adam how he came to get to him and that this was all the result of a coincidental encounter with Uzi, a spice merchant. His very first meeting with Uzi brought him to completely change his life and spend more time in the small village north of Tel Aviv. There was some kind of animal magnetism between the two men and as passion grew, the more the narrator became involved in not just Uzi’s life but also the life of Uzi’s ex-wife and children.

From his first meeting with Uzi, the narrator is overwhelmed by an animal attraction that will lead him to derail his life, withdraw from friends and extend his stay in a small town north of Tel Aviv. As he becomes increasingly entangled in Uzi’s life—and by extension the lives of Uzi’s ex-wife and children—his passion turns sinister, ultimately threatening all around him. 

Beneath the surface of the story, we explore how men assume or are forced to take on various roles and in this case we are speaking of the roles of lovers, fathers, Israelis, Palestinians. Just as these roles are often complex, so is our story. As we read, we look at ourselves and the roles we play and it should come as no surprise that there are roles that we would really rather not deal with but are forced into. Of course, there is lust and it should come as no surprise that the roles that sex and lust play in our daily lives is tremendous; they are both part of the human condition but it is man who decides how they are to be dealt with.

I cannot imagine how anyone can read this in pieces; it is a book that demands to be read straight through and then thought about afterwards. It is not enough that each page leads us to the next page but in Fallenberg’s gorgeous prose, each word leads us to the next word. I must admit that there were times when I almost shook from the profundity of what I read.

Here we find love’s underside to be brute sex between two men that makes us them and us to be selfless and selfish. Love can often be stubborn and even evil and while in love we often feel fear. Some may find this to be a new idea but I believe everyone ultimately will agree that this is true.

I see three distinct themes in “The Parting Gift”—sexuality, acceptance, and Middle Eastern culture. Everything seems to come out in the very long letter that the narrator writes. He explains what led up to his arrival. He had been visiting Tel Aviv with his friends when he met Uzi and was taken in immediately. He decides to leave his friends and stay with Uzi and the two become involved in an animalistic sexual relationship. Uzi invites the narrator into his home, to the surprise of his family, namely his ex-wife, who lives across nearby. But homosexuality is not important to Uzi’s family—their main concern is why this happened at the time it did. Uzi and the narrator lead a typical life and the narrator helps with the expansion of Uzi’s spice business. Everything goes well until Ibrahim, the son of a friend of Uzi, arrives to undertake an apprenticeship and brings jealousy, mistrust and resentment into the relationship of the two men. Feeling these, the narrator loses his mind. So perhaps the underside of love is heartbreak and not lust. The characters here have to deal with guilt and inadequacy and these feelings bring about their downfalls.

There is something naughty about reading someone else’s mail and this novel is written in the form of Adam’s letter and it punches us hard with the very first sentence. The story becomes complicated as we read about codes of honor and familial expectation as they hit business and acceptance, family and lovers, and self-realization head-on.

“The Imposter: A True Story” by Javier Cercas— An Infamous Fraud

Cercas, Javier. “The Impostor: A True Story”, translated by Frank Wynne, Knopf, 2018.

An Infamous Fraud

Amos Lassen

“The Imposter” is “a propulsive and riveting narrative investigation into an infamous fraud: a man who has been lying his entire life.”

Enric Marco is an elderly man in his nineties, living in Barcelona and claims to be a Holocaust survivor. He has given hundreds of speeches, granted dozens of interviews, received important national honors, and made government officials shed tears. But in May 2005, Marco was exposed as a fraud. It seems that he was never in a Nazi concentration camp. The story went global and Marco was transformed from hero to villain.

Marco also claimed to be a veteran of the Spanish Civil War, a fighter against fascism, an impassioned campaigner for justice. “The Imposter” is part narrative, part history, part essay, part biography, part autobiography and it author Javier Cercas unravels the mystery of the man. He explores “the ambiguous aspects of what makes us human – our infinite capacity for self-deception, our need for conformity, our thirst for affection and our conflicting needs for fiction and for truth.” This is a “charged examination of a surpassingly strange matter and of the masks and fictions we construct.”

The analysis of post-Franco Spain is a wonderful way to understand this complex period. Did the climate of the country have anything top do with the methods of the deceiver and/or the willingness of the deceived to accept such untruths.

Cercas tells Marco’s story with great skill as seen in his impressive detective work and its ironic that it is sometimes amusing and sometimes appalling. In looking at Marco’s deception, we face the dilemma of the justifiable lie, and the collective lies Spain told itself as she moved from dictatorship to democracy.

 The book also looks at the nature of fiction and how it can infiltrate life and upset it. We read about a culture in which truth is less important than appearance and to perform is the best way of being and living. Cercas maintains that fiction has replaced reality in the world we live in and that we have no real interest in average people from the real world.

Marco’s story becomes the basis for a “penetrating meditation on truth and story-telling, identity and self-fashioning.”

Today, Marco is unrepentant about his fabricated stories and ‘The Imposter’ exposes his reasoning, and his claim that he is am imposter and not a fraud. While writing this book, Javier Cercas interviewed Marco and people who knew him to try and uncover the man behind the myth and he writes at length about the philosophical and moral issues that Marco’s situation raises and the line between fiction and truth, whether that is in attempting to understand Marco and the question about whether Marco’s constructed past had a positive effect in helping to keep the memories of those lost in the Holocaust alive.

The philosophical questions Cercas that raises about truth, identity and how we present ourselves in our own lives will keep you thinking.

“OPERATION FINALE”— Finding Eichmann

“Operation Finale”

Finding Eichmann

Amos Lassen

Fifteen years after World War II, a team of secret agents comes together to track down Adolf Eichmann, the infamous Nazi architect of the Holocaust. It was Eichmann who organized the transport of Jews from countries all over Europe to concentration camps where millions were murdered. After the war, he fled to his home country of Austria and then moved to Argentina. The Israeli intelligence agency Mossad uncovered the whereabouts of the infamous Nazi in 1960, and teams of Mossad and Shin Bet agents staged a raid to capture the war criminal and brought him to Israel to face crimes against humanity and the Jewish people. He was sentenced to hang and was executed in 1962 and remained unrepentant all the way to noose. This is the story of the manhunt for one of the most diabolical war criminals of the 20th century.

Ben Kingsley plays Eichmann and Oscar Isaac is Peter Malkin, the Mossad member and head of a group of Israeli spies who took him down. Eichmann had murdered Malkin’s sister and her children so he had his own personal interest in capturing the man. He was sentenced and executed by hanging. Writer, humanitarian and Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal was instrumental in finding the location of Eichmann. The reaction of the world to the entire affair was as different as can be imagined and debates took place about Israel’s right to extradite and try the man for crimes against humanity. Hannah Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem” and her theory of the banality of evil both hurt and helped her career as a political philosopher and perhaps even tarnished her reputation as one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century.

In the newly released trailer, we see Eichmann supervising the mass murder of hundreds of concentration camp prisoners, then defending his actions in a voiceover,  “You have no interest in what I have to say,” he says. “Unless it confirms what you think you already know. My job was simple: save the country I love from being destroyed. Is your job any different?”

Chris Weitz directed the drama from Matthew Orton’s screenplay about the capture of Eichmann, who organized the transport of Jews from all over Europe to concentration camps, where an estimated 6 million people were killed.

In the same trailer, Isaac’s Peter Malkin is warned,” If you succeed, for the first time in our history, we will judge our executioner… If you fail, he escapes justice, perhaps forever. I beg of you, do not fail.”

The film also stars Lior Raz, Melanie Laurent, Nick Kroll, Joe Alwyn, Haley Lu Richardson, Michael Aronov, Ohad Knoller, Greg Hill, Torben Liebrecht, Mike Hernandez, Greta Scacchi and Pêpê Rapazote. “Operation Finale” opens in theaters on August 24, 2018.

“The Collected Plays of Chaim Potok” by Chaim Potok and edited by Rena Potok— Potok the Playwright

Potok, Chaim. “The Collected Plays of Chaim Potok”, edited and with an introduction by Rena Potok, Monkfish 2018.

Potok The Playwright

Amos Lassen

Most of us know Chaim Potok as a novelist and he did, indeed, wrote nine novels. Yet he also wrote Young Adult fiction, children’s books, novellas, biographies, a history of the Jews; and numerous essays and short stories. He was also a playwright, and an ordained rabbi. “The Collected Plays of Chaim Potok” is the first volume of his plays to be published.

All his plays are collected and published here for the first time as well as a post-performance discussion on” Out of the Depths” featuring Chaim Potok and Professor David Roskies that appears for the first time in print. The volume contains the following:

Out of the Depths (Previously did not exist in written form—the last version was a 1992 video of a staged workshop performance; this play was reconstructed in this collection by Rena Polok and David Bassuk using that version.)

Sins of the Father (The Carnival and The Gallery) (Staged in Philadelphia in 1990. Few copies existed, and the plays would have been lost if not for electronic preservation and updating.)

The Play of Lights (Performed in Philadelphia in 1992. Few, if any, copies of the play were left, and it would have been lost if not for electronic preservation and updating.)

The Chosen (Performed in 1999. Adapted from the novel of the same name into a play by Chaim Potok and Aaron Posner.)


“About Executing Eichmann”

The Arguments

Amos Lassen

On December 15, 1961, in Jerusalem, Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death for crimes against the Jewish people and against humanity. Eichmann had been a major player in the mass deportation of Jews to Nazi extermination camps, and the judgment of the court was largely met favorably. However, a group of Holocaust survivors and intellectuals, including Hannah Arendt, Hugo Bergmann, Martin Buber, Yehuda Bacon and Gershom Scholem, called for Eichmann’s sentence to be commuted. By opposing Eichmann’s execution, they felt they were defending the values of Judaism, and raised questions about Jewish morality, and the very nature of a Jewish State.

“About Executing Eichmann” examines their arguments, bringing together texts, eyewitness accounts, archival footage, audio recordings, and materials from the time, along with discussions amongst contemporary Israeli historians and philosophers, including historians Anita Shapira and Hanna Yablonka, and philosophers Moshe Halbertal and Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin.

Not many remember this debate but it was central to its time and shows how relevant the issues continue to be today, and why we should revisit them.

Florence Jammot’s riveting documentary explores the moral and philosophical questions raised around Adolf Eichmann’s trial and execution. The film juxtaposes the two overarching themes of vengeance and justice as it explores the drama behind the attempt of a group of Jewish intellectuals to spare Eichmann’s life. Using letters, court footage, and eyewitness testimonies, Jammot reveals the astonishing true story of Buber, Scholem, Arendt, Bacon, and others who lobbied Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi not to execute Eichmann, but rather to commute his sentence. Their thoughts revolved around how could death of one man atone for the deaths of six million and if Israel had the authority to pass judgment on behalf of all Jews. Since Eichmann’s indictment was (for the most part) crimes against the Jewish people, how could he receive a fair and unbiased trial in Israel? Jammot explores each of these questions interview style, and allows her speakers generous time to make their points. Her choices of commentators make the film.

In the film there are two important informational omissions: Eichmann’s trial was the first one to be televised in history and that Eichmann has been the only person in Israeli history to be executed.

Jammot’s film is not for the novice, as it provides little background information. It assumes that the viewer has knowledge of not only the Holocaust and Eichmann’s role in it, but also of the various Israeli statesmen and intellectuals involved. For those who are familiar with these events of the early 1960s, the film is a wonderful work. Particularly moving is the large segment given to painter Yehuda Bacon, an Auschwitz survivor, who conquers his own demons and petitions for Eichmann’s life to be spared.

“Turning Points in Jewish History” by Marc J. Rosenstein— Thirty Pivotal Moments

Rosenstein, Marc J. “Turning Points in Jewish History”, Jewish Publication Society, 2018.

Thirty Pivotal Moments

Amos Lassen

Don’t ever let anyone say that history is boring. I firmly believe that history can be great fun depending on the way you look at. Mark J. Rosenstein looks at Jewish history, for example, through thirty pivotal moments and I imagine that he did not easily come to just these thirty. Finding thirty important moments over a span of thousands of years means great thought is required and I am sure that if we all did the same, we would all probably have different lists. Rosenstein gives us what he considers to be the most important events in Jewish history. We can look at the major epochs and see which events he has chosen—- eight turning points in the biblical period, four in Hellenistic-Roman times, five in the Middle Ages, and thirteen in modernity. Rosenstein then discusses each formative event with a focused history, a timeline, a primary text with commentary and a discussion of its legacy for subsequent generations. He also analyzes various controversies and schisms that came out of “Judaism’s encounters with power, powerlessness, exile, messianism, rationalism, mysticism, catastrophe, modernity, nationalism, feminism, and more.”

The turning points are distinct yet connected events and each of them could be a topic for a course. Since each chapter also includes discussion questions, we can continue on with the topic. Rosenstein wonderfully shows the importance as well as the essence of each turning point. His insistence that Judaism is a combination of nation, culture, and religion can be felt throughout the text and in itself is debatable. Yet Rosenstein also gives us what we need to debate that. We have had a fascinating history and what better way to look at it than through a series of major turning points? It is important to remember that thirty pivotal moments also become thirty pivotal hours and so on. By looking at our history in this way, we see balance. Below is the Table of Contents with the thirty moments:

Table of Contents

List of Maps



Additional Notes on Biblical Texts

  1. Imagining the Beginning: The Call to Abraham, ~1500 BCE?
  2. Liberation from Slavery: The Exodus from Egypt, ~1200 BCE?
  3. The Covenant: Revelation at Sinai, ~1200 BCE?
  4. Entering the Promised Land: Crossing the Jordan, ~1200 BCE?
  5. Establishing a State: “Give Us a King!” ~1000 BCE
  6. The Fall of Israel: Exile of the Ten Tribes, 722 BCE
  7. The Babylonian Exile: The Destruction of the First Temple, 586 BCE
  8. The Second Temple: Return to Zion, 538 BCE
  9. Confronting the Challenge of Hellenism: The Hasmonean Revolt, 167 BCE
  10. Roman Rule: The Great Revolt and Destruction of the Second Temple, 70 CE
  11. Finding a Messianic Equilibrium: The Bar Kokhba Revolt, 132–135 CE
  12. The Oral Law Becomes Literature: The Mishnah, ~200 CE
  13. The Golden Age of Iberian Jewry: Maimonides, 700–1100 CE
  14. The Rise of Eastern European Jewry: The Crusades, 1100–1300 CE
  15. Kabbalah Enters the Mainstream: Nahmanides, ~1300 CE
  16. The End of Iberian Jewry: Conversion, Expulsion, Diaspora, 1300–1600 CE
  17. The Rise and Collapse of Polish Jewry: The Cossack Revolt, 1648 CE
  18. The Rise of Hasidism: The Baal Shem Tov and His Disciples, ~1750 CE
  19. The Challenge of Emancipation: The Napoleonic Sanhedrin, ~1780–1880 CE
  20. Reform and Reaction: The Hamburg Temple, 1818 CE
  21. The Rise of North American Jewry: The Great Migration, 1881–1924 CE
  22. Jewish Nationalism: Theodor Herzl, 1896 CE
  23. The Secular Zionist Revolution: Ahad Ha’am, ~1900 CE
  24. Zionist Settlement of the Land of Israel: First and Second Aliyot, 1882–1914 CE
  25. The Destruction of European Jewry: The Holocaust, 1933–45 CE
  26. The Jewish State: Proclaiming and Defending Independence, 1948 CE
  27. East Meets West: The Mass Aliyah from North Africa and the Mideast, 1949–64 CE
  28. Benefits and Costs of Military Power: The Six-Day War, 1967 CE
  29. The Feminist Revolution: The Ordination of Women, 1972 CE
  30. The Fall of the Iron Curtain: The Liberation of Soviet Jewry, 1989 CE




“TO AUSCHWITZ & BACK: THE JOE ENGEL STORY”— Persecution and Perseverance



Persecution and Perseverance

Amos Lassen

To be a good storyteller, one must have a story to tell and Joe Engel has such a story. At 90 years of age, he gives us an unforgettable tale of persecution and perseverance. We have had Holocaust stories by the thousands but I do not believe we have ever had a story as profound or as moving as this one.

Joe Engel’s story is one of persecution and inner-strength and fortitude as well as of a daring escape from internment in Nazi Germany. Engel was born in Zakroczym, Poland in 1927 and was taken by the Nazis at 14 and never saw his parents again. From the Warsaw Ghetto where despair was everywhere to the death and suffering that was Birkenau and Auschwitz, Engel shares the hell he endured until his escape from a Death Train at 17 and covert work as a freedom fighter until Liberation in 1945. Director Ron Small with the assistance of The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s film and photographic archives brings us Engel’s incredible story. 

It was through his will to live that Engel was able to overcome unimaginable horrors, earn his freedom, and then fight to free others. His story is of faith, renewal, inner-strength and redemption and it is his passion for life that allows him to tell his story today so that the Holocaust is never forgotten.  Joe Engel is living history and today he is a treasured citizen, community leader and philanthropist. To say anymore about what we see in the film would ruin the viewing experience so I am telling you to find out where you can see it or wait and buy the DVD. I do not believe that I have to say what an important film this is.

This is the first film to be released “from the newly launched Holocaust Education Film Foundation, a 501c3 organization founded with the objective of assuring that the painful legacy of the Holocaust is never forgotten by producing documentaries with survivors from around the world, sharing their astounding stories through the medium of film.”

This powerful documentary comes out on DVD and digital this August from Dreamscape Media and the Holocaust Education Film Foundation, in conjunction with Anchor Media Group and Synagogue Emanu-El.