Classics & Crackerjacks: DOCtober
October 19 and 22
Individual Film Tickets: $10/$8 Members
DOCtober Series: $18/$14 Members
Join us as we close out our cinema series with two documentaries that examine, commemorate, and celebrate America’s love of the game.
The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (USA, 1999, 95 minutes)
Sunday, October 19 at 2:00 pm
This critically-acclaimed documentary explores the story of the Detroit Tigers slugger who fought antisemitism and came close to breaking Babe Ruth’s homerun record. He was baseball’s first Jewish star. Tall, handsome, and uncommonly good-natured, Greenberg was a secular Jew from the Bronx who became “the baseball Moses,” an icon for everyone from Walter Matthau to Alan Dershowitz.
Featuring Director Aviva Kempner in conversation with Professor of Religion and advisor to Chasing Dreams, Rabbi Rebecca T. Alpert, Temple University (Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball).
Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story (USA, 2010, 91 minutes)
Wednesday, October 22 at 7:00 pm
This first major documentary to chronicle Jewish involvement in baseball spans from the 1860s to the present, sweeping audiences across time and touching on various social and political issues along the way. Players, writers, and—most importantly—fans explore their connections to baseball and what the sport has meant to them. Look forward to clips of Larry King, Ron Howard, and even Sandy Koufax in a rare interview! Narrated by Dustin Hoffman.
Featuring Director Peter Miller in conversation with the Museum’s Associate Curator and Chasing Dreams Co-curator, Ivy Weingram.
Rabbi Rebecca T. Alpert is Professor of Religion at Temple University and advisor to Chasing Dreams. Alpert was one of the first women to be ordained as a rabbi in the 1970s. She is the author of several books on twentieth-century American Jewish history and culture, gender and sexuality, and Jewish ethics. As an extension of these interests, she has, over the past several years, developed an expertise on Jews and sports. She is the co-chair of the Religion and Sport Section of the American Academy of Religion and created and taught a course on Jews, America, and Sport for undergraduates at Temple University. She has published several journal articles on Jews and baseball. Alpert was featured as an expert commentator in the film, Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story (Willow Pond Films, 2010, directed by Peter Miller). Her major work in the field, Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball, was published by Oxford University Press in June 2011. She is currently at work on a case study textbook on Religion and Sport for Columbia University Press.
Documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner investigates non-stereotypical images of Jews in history, focusing on and celebrating the lesser-known stories of Jewish heroes. Her films Partisans of Vilna (1986), The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1999), and Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg (2009) have earned numerous awards and critical acclaim. Her latest documentary, The Rosenwald Schools, will be released in early 2015. Kempner founded the Washington Jewish Film Festival in 1989 and writes film criticism and feature articles for numerous publications, including The Boston Globe, The Forward, Washington Jewish Week, and The Washington Post.
Peter Miller is a documentary filmmaker and director of Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story, narrated by Dustin Hoffman. His award-winning documentaries also include the critically-acclaimed A.K.A. Doc Pomus; Sacco and Vanzetti, released nationally in theaters in 2007; A Class Apart, which aired on the PBS series American Experience, and which was awarded the 2009 Imagen Award for Best Documentary/Television; and The Internationale, which aired on PBS and won Best Documentary the Woodstock Film Festival. Miller recently completed Sosua: Make a Better World (shown on public television stations nationwide), Refugee Kids One Small School Takes on the World (now in film festivals), and Projections of America about a little-known American WWII propaganda film unit. He has been a producer on numerous documentaries by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, including the epic PBS series The War and Jazz, as well as the Peabody Award-winning Frank Lloyd Wright. He has also been a producer on many other acclaimed documentaries, including The Uprising of ‘34, Passin’ It On (winner of twenty film festival prizes), and the Academy Award-winning American Dream. He teaches filmmaking at Wagner College and works regularly as a script consultant, writer, and music supervisor.
Ivy Weingram is an Associate Curator at NMAJH and serves as co-curator of Chasing Dreams. She participated in the development of the Museum’s core exhibition, and continues to play an active role in the Museum’s special exhibitions program, including managing the forthcoming ‘Twas the Night Before Hanukkah (opening November 4th). Weingram has also served in the curatorial departments of The Jewish Museum, Yeshiva University Museum, and the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary.