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Jewish Studies to Present 'Blacks & Jews' Film


Scene from the film

  • February 12, 2009

"Blacks and Jews," a provocative film and discussion, will be presented from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26 on the Hayward campus of California State University, East Bay, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd. It will take place in room 1203 of the Art & Education building.

Admission is free to the program, which is presented by the university's Jewish Studies Program in recognition of African-American History Month. Filmmakers Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman will introduce the film and answer questions after it is presented.

When students at an Oakland high school laughed at a showing of Schindler's List, Director Stephen Spielberg and others were pulled into a lively discussion of the complex relationship between African Americans and Jewish Americans. This incident and others are explored in this sensitive film, which cuts through stereotypes to examine key conflicts from the perspectives of both sides.

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown said: "'Blacks & Jews' will help make it possible for African Americans to understand Jewish sensitivities - and help make Jewish Americans more attentive to the challenges facing the black community. Members of both communities - indeed, all communities in America - need to see and discuss this important film."

Produced by Snitow, Kaufman, and Bari Scott for Snitow-Kaufman Productions, "Blacks and Jews" had its theatrical premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1997 and its national broadcast premiere in the PBS series "Point of View" in July 1997.

The Jewish Studies Program is part of a broader effort by CSUEB's College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences to engage the university and the community in global affairs and multicultural understanding. As part of this effort, the Committee on Jewish Studies is sponsoring speakers and cultural events on, among other topics, Jewish culture and its relation with other ethnic cultures in the U.S.; Jewish history; and Jewish music, theater, and dance; as well as programs on Israel and the contemporary Middle East.

History Professor Henry Reichman is heading the committee; funding is by the Amy and Morton Friedkin Foundation of the East Bay Jewish Community Foundation.

As new programs in the series are announced, they are listed at:

Parking on the Cal State East Bay campus is $5 per vehicle per day. Machines in lots accept dollars and quarters. CSUEB welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Please notify event sponsor at (510) 885-3161 well in advance if accommodation will be needed.

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