Monday, January 21, 7:30 p.m., at the JCC
Inventing Hollywood: The Moguls’ Ambivalent Jewish Identities and How They were Refracted in the Movies
Speaker: Shlomo Schwartzberg
Sponsor: London Lodge of B’nai Brith Men in memory of Max Valinsky
It’s undisputable that Hollywood was founded by Eastern European Jewish immigrants who fled to Southern California to make new lives for themselves. In discovering the power and influence of the movies, however, these moguls rarely made films that reflected their religion. The Jazz Singer
, for example, sent a not-so-subtle message of assimilation, and even shame, about being Jewish. The fact that those movies were primarily aimed at Protestant American audiences in a country rife with anti-Semitism also meant that the moguls, many of whom exchanged Jewish first wives for Christian second wives, were determined to minimize, even expunge their own Jewish identities. Our speaker will discuss how vestiges of Jewish attributes couldn’t be entirely eliminated despite the best efforts of the movies’ founders.
Shlomo Schwartzberg is a Toronto-based arts journalist, film programmer, film critic, and teacher. He is the former Director of Programming of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival and the former Chair of the Toronto Jewish Film Society. He is also the co-founder of and regular contributor to the noted online daily cultural website, Critics at Large (www.criticsatlarge.ca). Shlomo has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Jerusalem Report, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and theCanadian Jewish News.
Monday, January 28, 7:30 p.m., at the JCC
Finding Yourself: Genetic Genealogy and Internet Resources for Your Jewish Genealogy Research
Speaker: Steven Dain
Sponsors: Harold and Susan Merskey
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