Join us for Saratoga Jewish Community Arts Series...

Open to the Public - A series of fun and family-friendly events!

Nov. 6, 7 PM - Saratoga Jewish Community Arts presents a social justice zoom discussion of Just Mercy. A Harvard graduate, Bryan Stevenson, passes up lucrative jobs to defend those wrongly condemned in Alabama. Supported by a local advocate, Eva Ansley, he picks up the incendiary case of Walter McMillian, a death row inmate convicted of a notorious murder. Bryan facing a legal political labyrinth and unabashed racism. Bryan fights for Walter and others like him in a system stacked against them. This zoom discussion will be on November 6 at 7 PM. Registration required at [email protected]

Nov. 20, 7 PM - Saratoga Jewish Community Arts presents a zoom discussion of Joseph Pulitzer, Voice of the People who championed what he regarded as the sacred role of the free press in a democracy. Coming to the United States during the Civil War as a penniless immigrant with Hungarian Jewish roots and speaking no English, he proceeded to create two bestselling newspapers, the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the New York World with his well-known cantankerous editorial voice. He created a fortune from his papers and was elected to Congress. This zoom discussion will be on November 20 at 7 PM. Registration is required at [email protected]

Dec. 11, 7 PM - Saratoga Jewish Community Arts presents a zoom discussion of The City Without Jews, a 1924 film, based on a bestselling novel by Hugo Bettauer which follows the consequences of anti-Semitic laws in Utopia (thinly disguised stand-in for Vienna) forcing all Jews out. This film predicted the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe a decade later. It was shown in public for the first time in 1933 in Amsterdam as a protest against the rise of Hitler’s Germany. This zoom discussion will be on December 11 at 7 PM. Registration is required at [email protected]

Jan. 8, 7 PM - Saratoga Jewish Community Arts presents a zoom discussion of The Last Suit, telling the story of an 88-year-old tailor and Holocaust survivor who proposes to leave Buenos Aires and return to Poland to find the friend who saved his life. The actor creates a convincing three-dimensional character who exhibits wisdom, humor, suffering, and shrewdness. Also, one must consider the logic behind the story’s inciting incident. His family, unbeknownst to him, has decided to sell his home and place him in assisted living. Why should a proud, determined man who survived the Holocaust and brought forth four generations, passively accede to the contemporary practice wherein a family disposes of a relative as though he were as outdated as last year’s iPhone? This zoom discussion will be on January 8 at 7 PM. Registration is required at [email protected]

Feb. 12, 7 PMSaratoga Jewish Community Arts presents its ninth annual Matthew M. Neugroschel Jewish Storytelling Program named in memory of Matthew M. Neugroschel, a most creative and remarkable storyteller, whose life was cut short in 2020. Storytelling is not just a reading or recitation of a story. It is an enthusiastic interpretation of a tale so that the listeners are transported through time and to places they have never been. So many are of the opinion that storytelling is for children. But stories of centuries past tell us something different. In fact, almost every culture has storytelling in it from long ago. It was the way, long before books were available, that custom, culture, and morality passed from one generation to the next. Listening to stories connects us to the vast possibilities that life can hold. The love for storytelling is what storytellers have in common and they come to SJCA to share their passion with you. The Storytelling program will be on February 12 at 7 PM at Skidmore College. Registration is required at [email protected]

Feb. 23, 7 PMSaratoga Jewish Community Arts presents a social justice zoom discussion of If Beale Street Could Talk, adapted from James Baldwin’s acclaimed novel and surprisingly narrated by a woman, Tish. In 1970s Harlem, a young couple, Tish and Fonny, plan their future when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. We learn why he is in prison. A belligerent white policeman, whom we have seen threaten him, later arrests him for raping a white woman, although Fonny was nowhere near the attack. The pair and their families must fight for justice. Historically, the accusation resonates with more than a century of such wrongful charges against black men. This zoom discussion will be on February 23 at 7 PM. Registration is required at [email protected]

Mar. 23, 7 PMSaratoga Jewish Community Arts presents a zoom discussion of The Lemon Tree. A Palestinian widow, Salma, tends her family’s West Bank lemon grove when the Israeli Defense Minister and his wife (Mira) move next door and demand the trees be uprooted. The defense minister's wife, Mira sympathizes with Salma and gently resists the security apparatus. Exasperated by the military's overreaction to the grove, Mira gives a newspaper interview that complicates her husband's life. Two women must find justice in a culturally divided country. This zoom discussion will be on March 23 at 7 PM. Registration is required at [email protected]

Apr. 16, 7 PM Saratoga Jewish Community Arts presents a zoom discussion of The Zookeeper’s Wife, a 2016 film that takes place in 1939 Poland. Antonina Zabrinska and her husband run the Warsaw Zoo. Their world is turned upside down when Nazis invade, and they are forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed zoologist. To fight back, they risk everything by covertly working with the Resistance and using the zoo’s hidden tunnels and cages to save families. This zoom discussion will be on April 16 at 7 PM. Registration is required at [email protected]

May 1, 7 PMSaratoga Jewish Community Arts presents a social justice zoom discussion of Black Klansman, the Spike Lee story of the first African American detective in Colorado who sets out on a dangerous mission to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. The award-winning film offers a fearless, real examination of race relations in 1970s America that is just as relevant in today’s chaotic world. Black Klansman is intending to show how, while the white hoods are gone, the racial hatred that defines the KKK is still rampant in American society. This zoom discussion will be on May 1 at 7 PM. Registration is required at [email protected]

May 18, 7 PMSaratoga Jewish Community Arts presents a zoom discussion of Hannah Arendt, the story of the life of the influential and controversial German Jewish philosopher and political theorist. Arendt’s reporting on the 1961 trial of Adolph Eichmann in The New Yorker was controversial for her now famous concept of the “banality of evil.” Rather than taking exception to Eichmann’s, “I was only taking orders” confessional, Arendt, a former German Jew who had fled to America from Nazi tyranny, argued that, far from being maniacal sociopaths with ungodly desires, the Nazis were mainly a bunch of pen-pushing bureaucrats, intent on furthering their careers rather than being devoted to some sort of supreme, fanatical ideal. As such, the atrocities committed against European Jews during the war took on a far more horrific, and universal, meaning: appropriately motivated, all humans were capable of inhuman acts. This zoom discussion will be on May 18 at 7 PM. Registration is required at [email protected]

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