UC Berkeley Library

Jews in America

A Home on the Range: The Jewish Chicken Ranchers of Petaluma.

This quintessentially American story of immigrants tells how a group of Eastern European Jews founded the chicken industry in Petaluma, California. Meet this idealistic and intrepid group through the reminiscences of their descendants, as they confronted obstacles of language and culture in their journey towards becoming Americans. Produced, directed and edited by Bonnie Burt and Judy Montell. 52 min.

Arguing the World.

This documentary traces the story of four Jewish intellectuals, Daniel Bell, Nathan Glazer, Irving Howe and Irving Kristol, born in New York and educated at City College during the 1930s and 40s. Explores their controversial role in the McCarthy era, their battle with the New Left in the sixties, and their vastly differing political views today. A film by Joseph Dorman. 1997. 84 min. ;

Blacks & Jews

Early in the 20th century black and Jewish Americans joined forces against bigotry and for civil rights but in the late 1960's each group turned inward and the coalition fell apart. This film examines the history of this collaboration and recent racial conflicts between Afro-Americans and Jews and attempts at understanding and reconciliation, with particular emphasis on events in New York City and Oakland, California. A film by Deborah Kaufman. 1997. 85 min.
Related web sites:Description from California Newsreel catalog

Brownsville, Black and White

This powerful documentary explores the complex history of interracial cooperation, urban change, and social conflict in Brownsville, a neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, from the 1930s to the present. A case study of the tragedy of urban American race relations, the film recounts the transformation of Brownsville from a poor but racially harmonious area made up largely of Jews and blacks to a community made up almost entirely of people of color. Directed by Richard Broadman. 2000. 83 min.

Chicks in White Satin.

Here comes the bride ... both of them! A student produced Academy Award winning film documenting the formal Jewish wedding of two California women, Heidi Stern and Deborah Ellis, and the reverberations among each of their families. A film by Elaine Holliman. 1993. 25 min.

Ellis Island

Immigrants of every ethnic background recall their extraordinary adventures, historians explore the sometimes insensitive national policies, and the Ellis Island Oral History Project reveals what the immigration experience was actually like. Features rare photographs and film. 1997. 150 min.

Free Voice of Labor--the Jewish Anarchists.

Look at lives and ideals of the participants in the Jewish anarchist movement in the United States who believed in the possibility of society without government. The centerpiece of the film is a series of clips from interviews with members of the collective that published the Yiddish language anarchist paper Freie Arbeiter Stimme together with still photographs of anarchist demonstrations, and old newsreel footage. Produced and directed by Steve Fischler and Joel Sucher. Dist. Cinema Guild. 1997. 60 min.

From Swastika to Jim Crow

Before and during the Second World War Jewish scholars who escaped Nazi Germany and immigrated to the U.S. faced anti-Semitism at major universities and a public distrust of foreigners, so a significant number secured teaching positions at historically Black colleges in the South. In many cases they formed lasting relationships with their students and had an important impact on the communities in which they lived. This is a story of two cultures, each sharing a burden of oppression, brought together by the tragic circumstances of war. Dist.

Isaac in America: A Journey with Isaac Bashevis Singer.

Presents a biography of Nobel Prize winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer as he converses with friends in a popular cafeteria, responds to postlecture questions, and addresses people in his study. Also includes documentary footage from the 1978 Nobel ceremonies, and Judd Hirsch reads excerpts from Singer's stories. Dist.: Direct Cinema. 1987. 56 min.

Island of Hope, Island of Tears.

From 1892 to 1943 Ellis Island was used as an immigration reception and processing center. During this period approximately 12 million immigrants passed through its halls either to begin a new life in the United States or to be deported back to their mother country because they lacked some entrance requirement. This is their story. 28 min.

Pages