Jewish Soldiers
in Blue and Gray

USA, 2011, 86 minutes, color
Directed by Jonathan Gruber 

Buy Now

Public Exhibition Formats: Beta, DVD



As seen on Public Television

Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War

"Fills a good-sized gap in the history of American Jewry… A must-see for all Jewish and American history buffs.” -San Diego Jewish World

“Moving …surprising.” -Philadelphia Jewish Voice

Synopsis

Brother against brother, Jew against Jew, 10,000 Jewish soldiers fought in the nation’s deadliest war, in numbers proportionally higher than other American groups. Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray explores the little known history of the Civil War Jews who fought on both sides of the battlefield—7,000 for the Union and 3,000 for the Confederacy.

Allegiances during the War Between the States split the Jewish community as deeply as it did the nation at large: some prominent Jews, including Jewish slave owners, cited the Torah to justify slavery, while others were leaders in the abolitionist movement or established their synagogues as stops on the Underground Railroad.

Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray unreels remarkable history, including Ulysses S. Grant’s infamous "General Order No. 11" expelling Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi; the rise of Sephardic Jew Judah P. Benjamin to Secretary of State of the Confederacy; the imprisonment of Confederate spy Eugenia Levy Phillips; and the unlikely story of Abraham Lincoln’s Jewish doctor who moved through the South as a Union spy.

A dramatic and visual rich film narrated by Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Milius (Apocalypse Now) with Sam Waterston (Law & Order) voicing Abraham Lincoln.

Selected Screenings

Park Avenue Synagogue, New York, NY (2013)
IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy (2013)
Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum (2013)
Maine Jewish Film Festival (2013)
Orange County Film Festival (2012)
Michiana Jewish Film Festival (2012)
Sioux City Jewish Film Festival (2012)
Altoona International Jewish Film Festival (2012)
Charleston Film Festival (2012)
Columbus Jewish Film Festival (2012)
Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival (2012)
Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival (2012)
Mobile Jewish Film Festival (2012)
The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Jewish Arts and Film Festival of Fairfield County (2011)
North Louisiana Jewish Film Festival (2011)
American Jewish Historical Society (2011)
Nashville Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Rutgers New Jersey Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Jewish Museum of Maryland (2011)
Dallas Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Berkshire Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Cleveland Jewish Film Festival (2011)
St. Louis Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Rochester Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Toronto Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Savannah Jewish Film Festival (2011)
National Museum of American Jewish History (2011)
Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival (2011)
East Bay Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Cherry Hill Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Washington DC Jewish Film Festival (2011) - Civil War Anniversary Screening
Asheville Jewish Film Festival (2011)
National Civil War History Museum, Harrisburg (2011)
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (2011)
San Diego Jewish Film Festival (2011)
NEW ENGLAND PREMIERE NCJF Film Festival, Jewishfilm.2011
WORLD PREMIERE New York Jewish Film Festival (2011)

Credits

Produced by Indigo Films
With funding from The Shapell Manuscript Foundation
Executive Producer David M. Frank
Co-Producer/Co-Writer Robert Marcus
Director, Producer & Writer Jonathan Gruber

Experts interviewed in the film
Eli Evans Author, Judah P. Benjamin: The Jewish Confederate
Robert Marcus Civil War Historian
Robert Rosen Author, The Jewish Confederates
Jonathan Sarna Author, American Judaism: A History
Dr. Gary Zola Executive Director, American Jewish Archives
Rabbi Mordecai Ecovitz Touro Synagogue - Newport, RI
Shalom Lamm Civil War Historian
Harold Holzer Lincoln Scholar
Catherine Kahn Archivist, Touro Infirmary - New Orleans
Gary Kross Battlefield Guide, Gettysburg National Military Park
Herbert Heltzer Lincoln Scholar
Rhetta Mendelsohn City Guide - Charlestown, SC
Bryn Greenleaf Great-great Granddaughter of Leopold Karpeles
Anthony Smith Great-great Grandnephew of Adolph Proskauer
Mildred Heltzer Great-great niece of Moses Ezekiel/Great-great Granddaughter of Rev. Michelbacher

Photo: Captain Jacob Jacobs of the 83rd New York Infantry commanded the regiment's artillery (Cannoneer) company. He was wounded in action on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. In 1896 he became a founding member of the Hebrew Union Veterans Association (forerunner of the Jewish War Veterans).

Press

Press Kit (PDF)

Maine Public Broadcating - Interview with director Jonathan Gruber

Director Jonathan Gruber on WABE-FM Atlanta

Philadelphia Jewish Voice - Review

Jewish Forward - Review

Libertas Film Magazine/J.B. Spins - Review

Washington Examiner - Review

San Diego Jewish World - Review

St. Louis Jewish Light - Review

Connect Savannah - Director Interview

External Links

What the Civil War Meant for American Jews by Jonathan D. Sarna (Jewish Forward, 3/1/11)

Jews and the Civil War: A Reader by Jonathan D. Sarna & Adam Mendelsohn

Civil War Sequisentennial- Was the St. Louis Jew Gray or Blue? (St. Louis Jewish Light)

Purchase the Film
LINE


Home Use DVD: $29.95

Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information

LINE

Classroom/Library Use DVD: $295

Does not include Public Performance Rights.
More Information

Digital Site Licensing (DSL) available - Contact us

Step down pricing for K-12 & public libraries may be available - Contact us

Arrange a screening - Contact us

Purchase the Film - 55 Minute Version
LINE


Home Use DVD: $29.95

Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information

LINE

Classroom/Library Use DVD: $295

Does not include Public Performance Rights.
More Information

Digital Site Licensing (DSL) available - Contact us

Step down pricing for K-12 & public libraries may be available - Contact us

Arrange a screening - Contact us

Also Recommended

Ahead of Time

American Jerusalem

From Philadelphia to the Front

Shalom Y'all

 

Back to Top

 

 

 

 
Loading


BROWSE BY SUBJECT



CONNECT WITH NCJF

Join our mailing list!