The Jewish Americans

From March ’08 Spotlight: The Jewish Americans, a six-hour series broadcast on PBS in January, is now available on DVD. Although it begins with the arrival of refugees from Recife in 1654, The Jewish Americans doesn’t really become compelling until the mid 19th century, skipping lightly over the first two hundred years and never once using the word Sephardic. But as soon as Jews begin arriving in large numbers, first from Germany and later from Eastern Europe, the depth and breadth of images and issues become truly riveting. Kudos to director David Grubin (already a winner of multiple EMMY awards) for recording a surprisingly great diversity of Jewish American voices, including many religious and academic leaders, rather than settling for a parade of over-exposed celebrities

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