My Grandfather’s House

From March ’10 Spotlight:

“Me ken makhn der kholem greser vi di nakht.”

(“You Can Make the Dream Bigger than the Night.”)

New York journalist Eileen Douglas will be here in Chicago with her producing partner Ron Steinman to show two documentary films in celebration of Women’s History Month.

First up is My Grandfather’s House, Eileen’s first-person narrative about her search for roots in Eastern Europe. Growing up in Syracuse, New York, Eileen was very close with her mother’s father, but whenever she asked him about his family, all he would say was “they died in the War.” Never encouraged to dig deeper, Eileen thought his secrets were lost forever until she found albums filled with old pictures and letters written in Yiddish. “My family was subject to all of the insanity of the 20th century,” she says. “I can see now why my grandfather never talked.” After piecing clues together in Lithuania, Eileen brings her scattered cousins to Tel Aviv for a reunion, where they agree that “Alts is rekht.” And in this wise and heartwarming movie, it’s true: in the end, “Everything is OK.”

Next comes Luboml: My Heart Remembers…

My Grandfather’s House will screen at the Harold Washington Library Center (at State and Congress) on Weds evening Mar 24 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Luboml will screen at Skokie Public Library (5215 Oakton) on Thurs afternoon Mar 25 from 12:15 PM to 2 PM. Both screenings will be introduced by Eileen, and end with Q&A sessions so audience members can address their questions directly to Eileen and Ron.

Both screenings are free and open to the public. No reservations are required, but seating is limited. Sponsoring organizations include Chicago YIVO as well as several local women’s organizations, with additional funding from the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. For more information, visit http://www.chicagoyivo.org

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