DISTANT RELATIVES (1995)

Three chapters' series, each one 52 minutes long

Narration and subtitles: English
CO-Producer: American Jewish Committee


Synopsis
Video Clip
Screening History
Reviews
International Distribution
Contact
Production Team
External Links

 

SYNOPSIS

Historians tend to view Jewish history in tragic terms. History books describe Jewish destiny as a summation of constant persecution, expulsion and mass-murder. The American Jewish history challenges that typical narrative. American Jews are enjoying a political and cultural freedom unprecedented in history. Jews are influential in federal and local administrations, elite universities, banking and business. Their leading positions in media, cinema, literature and theater are not even considering. Throughout the last 50 years, the Golden Jewish Age of America rivals that of Spain. The American Jewish community has achieved almost everything that immigrants dream about. In short, Jews have build in the USA the most successful Jewish community in history.

It happened because Judaism in the US has been transformed. From one side, Jewish immigrants were eager to abandon their backward European ghetto-style of life and join the larger society. From the other hand, the American system of life enabled them to demonstrate full participation in federal and local political and cultural life.

This impressing revolution became possible when masses of Jewish immigrants had separated themselves willingly from the influence of the Jewish orthodoxy and departed from the absolute rule of orthodox rabbis. By accepting the American pluralistic system, where church and state are separated and religious is voluntary, Jews gained the right to flourish.

 

This was the main purpose for producing the series “Distant Relatives” - to make Israelis familiar with the American Jewry and its great achievements. The production had chosen ten American Jewish families and individuals from various ages, states and professions to tell the history of the American Jewish community and to demonstrate how American Jews see themselves, their faith and their attitude toward Israel.

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VIDEO CLIP

 

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SCREENING HISTORY

Television Networks:

Debut on Israel's Public Channel (Channel One), November-December 1995

Second screening on Israel's Public Channel, spring 1996

A short version of the serious for educational purposes is exhibited by the American Jewish Committee in the US and in Israel by Beth Hatefutsoth (The Museum of Jewish Diaspora), The Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora in Tel Aviv University (catalog nr. DON_06\01.DOC).

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REVIEWS

B'nai B'rith

NEWS From the World's Largest Jewish Organization

Jerusalem (May 19, 1996)- The fourth B'nai B'rith World Center Award for Journalism in Memory of Wolf and Hilda Matsdorf was conferred yersterday upon Israel Television investigative reporter Michael Karpin (50) for directing and presenting a penetrating 3-part series on the Jewish community in the United States (Distant Relatives) broadcast in November and December 1995 on Israel Television-Channel 1.

Karpin said that his series presented a composite picture: on the one hand the most successful Jewish community in history, realizing the 'American dream' they themselves invented in the movie industry, which they themselves established. On the other hand, a community which has abjectly failed in protecting its instinct of self preservation. Karpin also warned that too little investment is made in documenting Jewish life. He blamed this on current fad to use viewer rating as the judge for all media undertakings. Documentaries, Karpin said, enjoy respect among viewers and this is the real rating, not the fashionable rating in which 'silly television' is venerated. He expressed regret that the media is seemingly imprisoned by the average taste of the viewer ship and said that he discerns a tendency of the public media too to surrender to the idol of the rating. Ratings, he said, have no connection to reality and are simply a tool used by marketing executives in a commercial war of attrition against people of culture. If public television does not maintain a certain quota of quality programs and instead copies the programming of the commercial stations, its existence will be in question because it will lose its uniqueness.

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION

michael.karpin@gmail.com

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CONTACT

For Lectures' Booking - Screenings - Conferences - Queries
E-mail Michael Karpin:

michael.karpin@gmail.com  

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PRODUCTION TEAM

Cameraman: Charlie Shitrit
Editor: Ronnie Hadar
Sound: Amnon Altshuler
Research: Laurie Chock
Cameraman Assistant: Gali Shesh 
Producers: Amnon Berkai, Laurie Chock, Rachel Nechushtai  
Sound Track Design: Yanai Yaakov& Moshe Aloni
Executive Producer: Shulamith Bahat, AJC

Produced by the AJC & Israel Channel One

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EXTERNAL LINKS

American Jewish Committee
http://www.ajc.org/site/c.ijITI2PHKoG/b.685761/k.CB97/Home.htm

AJC – Archives
http://www.ajcarchives.org/main.php

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