Joyce Antler is the Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Culture at Brandeis University. Ms. Antler holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history; her major fields of interest include women's history, Jewish women's history and culture, the history of education and history as theater. Ms. Antler is the author or editor of 10 books, including most recently You Never Call! You Never Write!: A History of the Jewish Mother. She is a founder of the Brandeis Women's and Gender Studies program and the Graduate Consortium of Women Studies at M.I.T., and has served as the chair of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. She is a founding member and chair of the Academic Advisory Committee of the Jewish Women's Archive and is co-author of the historical drama Year One of the Empire: A Play of American Politics, War and Protest, which was produced off-Broadway in 2008.
Peter M. Ascoli is the author of a biography of Julius Rosenwald, his grandfather: Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck and Advanced Black Education in the American South (Indiana University Press, 2006). Mr. Ascoli received a BA from the University of Chicago, a second BA from St. Catherine's College, Oxford, and a PhD from UC Berkeley, all in European History. He also has a Master of Management degree from Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. From 1971 to 1978, he was an Assistant Professor at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. In the late 1970s, Mr. Ascoli was a consultant to the Educational Testing Service for the Advanced Placement exam in European history. In 1979, Mr. Ascoli moved to Chicago and worked as a fundraiser for a variety of cultural and educational nonprofit organizations, including the University of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, Steppenwolf Theater Company, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Since 1995, Dr. Ascoli has been teaching at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago.
Rick & Laura Brown are award-winning artists who are on the 3-D faculty at the Massachusetts College of Art. Their sculptural works are large-scale environmental installations reflecting their pleasure in the physicality of building. They like to make pieces bigger then themselves and generally site specific installations that are influenced by family, nature, travel, culture and history. In 2002, the Browns co-founded Handshouse Studio, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization that initiates hands-on projects to explore history, understand science, and perpetuate the arts. In addition to the Gwozdziec synagogue project featured in Raise the Roof through Handshouse Studio they have built medieval trebuchets and raised an Egyptian Obelisk for PBS’s NOVA Secrets of Lost Empire Series. They have also researched and directed construction of a full scale working replica of America’s first submarine, ‘Turtle’ for the Discovery Channel and England’s Channel 4, Machines Lost in Time Series.
James Carroll, “one of the most adept and versatile writers on the American scene today” (Denver Post), is the author of eleven novels and eight works of non-fiction, including the National Book Award winning An American Requiem; the New York Times bestselling Constantine's Sword, now an acclaimed documentary; House of War, which won the first PEN-Galbraith Award; and Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World, which was named a 2011 Best Book by Publishers Weekly. He lectures widely, both in the United States and abroad. In the summer of 2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published his eleventh novel, Warburg in Rome. He is Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Suffolk University in Boston, where he lives with his wife, the novelist Alexandra Marshall. In the fall of 2014, Viking Press published Christ Actually: The Son of God for The Secular Age, his eighth work of non-fiction. In the Fall, 2015, he will be Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at New York University. James Carroll’s Boston Globe columns won the 2012 Scripps Howard National Journalism Award for Commentary.
Thomas Doherty, professor of American studies at Brandeis University since 1990, is a cultural historian with a special interest in Hollywood cinema who has also taught and lectured overseas as a Fulbright scholar. In 2005, he received recognition as an Academy Film Scholar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Doherty is the author of several highly regarded books, including Teenagers and Teenpics: The Juvenilization of American Movies in the 1950s;Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture and World War II; Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930-1934; Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism and American Culture; and Hollywood's Censor: Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration. His most recent book is, from Columbia University Press. In October 2013, NCJF mounted a special event in honor of the publication of Doherty's most recent book, Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939 (2013).
Entrepreneurs Sue & Lloyd Ecker have shared a fascination with Sophie Tucker for decades and have devoted the last seven years of their lives to adapting her story to different media. Their research has unearthed a trove of information about her and in addition to producing the film The Outrageous Sophie Tucker, they have co-written her fictional memoir (first of an intended trilogy). The Eckers also intend to take Sophie's story to Broadway with a musical, to Hollywood with a film version of that musical, and to television with a drama based on her unbelievable sixty-year showbiz career.
Nancy Harrowitz is chair of the Romance Studies Department and Associate Professor of Italian at Brandeis University, where she teaches courses on modern Italian literature; fascism and the Holocaust in Italy; and on Holocaust literature and film.
Oren Jacoby is an Academy Award nominated independent filmmaker. His work has been recognized by the American Film Institute, Sundance Institute, MacArthur Foundation, duPont Awards, Tribeca Film Festival, and Britain’s Royal Television Society. His films have appeared on HBO, BBC, ABC, PBS, VH-1, ITV, Arté, and NHK. Sister Rose’s Passion, (HBO Cinemax) was winner of Best Documentary Short Film at the Tribeca Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar®. He created and was executive producer for the original documentary series, Risk Takers for Bloomberg Television. Jacoby also produced, directed and co-wrote, Constantine’s Sword with James Carroll and, with Brook/Lapping Productions, The Second Russian Revolution, an inside look at Gorbachev and the collapse of the USSR, winner of the DuPont Gold Baton and called ‘the best BBC series of the decade’ by the London Independent. Jacoby’s stage adaptation of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man premiered at Chicago’s Court Theater and won a Jefferson Award for best New Play adaptation. Mr. Jacoby's other films include The Last Girl on Earth, Topdog Diaries with Suzan-Lori Parks and Don Cheadle, The Shakespeare Sessions starring Kevin Kline, Liev Schreiber, and Charles S. Dutton; The Beatles Revolution, Sam Shepard: Stalking Himself; Swingin’ with Duke for Duke Ellington’s centennial on PBS, and The Irish in America. Mr. Jacoby lives with his wife and daughter in New York.
A child of a Holocaust survivor and a US Army officer, Ms. Kempner was born in Berlin, Germany after World War II. Her heritage inspired Ms. Kempner to produce and co-write Partisans of Vilna, a documentary on Jewish resistance against the Nazis. In her award winning, critically acclaimed documentaries, Ms. Kempner investigates non-stereotypical images of Jews in history and focuses on the untold stories of Jewish heroes. These include the Emmy-nominated The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg and CINE Golden Eagle Award winning film festival favoriteYoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg. Her many accomplishments include recipient of the 1996 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2000 DC Mayor’s Art Award; 2001 Women of Vision award from D.C.’s Women in Film and Video chapter and the 2001 Media Arts award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. She writes film criticism and feature articles for numerous publications, including The Boston Globe, The Forward, Washington Jewish Week and The Washington Post. She also lectures about cinema throughout the country.
Ann Millin, Ph.D., is Historian in the Leadership Programs division of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Previously, Dr. Millin was the Special Assistant to the Director of the Museum’s Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and the Program Coordinator of the Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance. She was also Historian in the Museum’s Photo Archives. From1999 to 2005, she also served as Historian in the Museum’s Law Enforcement and Society Program for the FBI Academy-Quantico New Agent, Analyst, and National Academy programs.
Dr. Millin has been a research fellow at the University of Göttingen and an Inter-University Fellow at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has taught at the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Kentucky at Lexington. She is the co-curator of the websites for two of the Museum’s special exhibitions, State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda (2009) and Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity in the Holocaust (2013), and was a member of the Museum team under the leadership of filmmaker Raye Farr that created the award-winning documentary Path to Nazi Genocide (2014). Dr. Millin is also the translator of Götz Aly’s The Brief Life of Marion Samuel, 1931-1943
A multi-instrumentalist, composer, and scholar, Hankus Netsky teaches improvisation and Jewish music at the New England Conservatory. He is the founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, an internationally renowned Yiddish music ensemble. Mr. Netsky has taught at Hebrew College and Wesleyan University, and has lectured extensively in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. His essays on klezmer music have been published by the University of California Press. Mr. Netsky has produced dozens of recordings, composed extensively for film and television, and collaborated with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Robin Williams, Joel Grey, and Theodore Bikel. Mr. Netsky contributed to the restoration of several of NCJF’s Yiddish films, working with NCJF translators to translate the songs from Yiddish into English.
Shulamit Reinharz was born in Amsterdam, grew up in New Jersey, received her B.A. from Barnard College and her Ph.D. from Brandeis University. She was on the psychology faculty of the University of Michigan for 10 years, and then returned to Brandeis as a professor of sociology. In the 1990s Reinharz directed the Women's Studies Program at Brandeis University. Among many other innovations, she created its multi-faceted graduate program, including the first graduate program in Jewish Women's Studies in the world. She also initiated the Student-Scholar Partnership Program and the course on the Prevention of Violence against Women and Children, and created the National Board for Women's Studies. Reinharz chaired Hadassah's National Commission on American Jewish Women in 1993. Subsequently, in 1997, she established the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, which she heads to this day. Professor Reinharz is the author or co-author of twelve books including most recently, The JGirls' Guide, American Jewish Women and the Zionist Enterprise, Jewish Intermarriage around the World, Observing the Observer, and One Hundred Years of Kibbutz Life.
Born and raised in Israel, Yael Reuveny began her studies at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem in 2000. Ms. Reuveny’s work includes several short documentaries, which she directed and produced for the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the video installation Jerusalem Variations. Her first documentary, Tales of the Defeated (Toldot Ha’Menutzachim) from 2009, a personal voyage through family and Jewish history produced as part of the project A Triangle Dialogue, wonthe DEFA Foundation Sponsorship Award, the Short Documentary Award of the Jerusalem Film Festival, and the Cottbus Discovery Award.
Lisa Rivo is Co-Director of The National Center for Jewish Film, an independent nonprofit film archive, distributor and exhibitor located in metro Boston. Founded in 1976, NCJF owns the world’s largest archive of Jewish-content film, outside of Israel. The Center, which rescues, restores and makes available rare archival films, also distributes the work of 100 contemporary filmmakers, and responds to 7000 program inquiries each year. Ms. Rivo oversees the Center’s programmatic, distribution, curatorial and exhibition activities. Ms. Rivo has co-directed nine annual Boston-area film festivals and has curated many other series worldwide. She has a degree in Art History from Vassar College and focused on American visual culture and film at Emory University’s Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts PhD program. Ms. Rivo worked in the film program of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and as Director of Public Information at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. Prior to joining NCJF in 2006, she was at Harvard University as Associate Director & Senior Writer of the African American National Biography, an encyclopedia edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Sharon Pucker Rivo, Executive Director and Co-Founder of The National Center for Jewish Film, has been a leading force in the field of Jewish film and culture for more than three decades through her work as a curator, programmer, archivist, film distributor, film and television producer, and academic. In the mid-1970s she and co-founder Miriam Krant rescued a languishing collection of Yiddish-language feature films. Today, NCJF is the largest archive of Jewish film outside of Israel, and the largest film distributor of restored classic and new independent Jewish-content films. Ms. Rivo was an early advocate for the inclusion of film in the study of history and culture and for the historically accurate use of visual materials.
She has worked with hundreds of filmmakers around the world as a consultant and has appeared as an expert in many documentaries and television programs. She has curated film programs for venues from Boston to Beijing, including co-curating the first ever retrospective of Yiddish cinema, held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Ms. Rivo has been a member of Brandeis University faculty for more than twenty years and she lectures widely on the history of Jews in cinema, a field she helped pioneer. Internationally recognized as an authority on Jewish and Yiddish film, film archiving and restoration, and Jewish programming and distribution, she has been an invited lecturer at hundreds of venues and has served on numerous film festival juries.
Mr. Rudavsky’s feature Hiding and Seeking had a wide theatrical release and was selected for broadcast on the acclaimed PBS series POV. It was nominated as best documentary by the Independent Spirit Awards. The National Endowment for the Humanities funded his landmark film, A Life Apart: Hasidism in America. Narrated by Leonard Nimoy and Sarah Jessica Parker, the film had a highly successful theatrical release, was short-listed for the Academy Awards and received an Emmy nomination for its PBS release in 1998. Mr. Rudavsky’s fiction feature The Treatment was awarded Best Film made in New York by the Tribeca Film Festival. Oren is the producer of the PBS documentary series Time For School, which was nominated for Best Television Series by the Independent Documentary Association. Oren is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.
David Starr is founder and executive director of Tzion, a program for Zionist and Israel education. Dr. Starr is currently writing two books, a biography on Solomon Schechter, and a second on the story of contemporary adult Jewish literacy, through a study of the Me’ah program, which David created in 1994. He teaches History and Jewish Studies at Gann Academy/The New Jewish High School of Greater Boston Y.
Cary Wolinsky began working as a photojournalist for the Boston Globe in 1968 while completing a degree in journalism at Boston University's School of Communications. Mr. Wolinsky is known for his international, historical, scientific and cultural photographic essays published regularly in National Geographic magazine since 1977. His numerous stories include: Sichuan: Where China Changes Course, Inside the Kremlin, Australia A Harsh Awakening, New Eyes on the Oceans, Diamonds - The Real Story, and The Down Side of Being Upright. Mr. Wolinsky's articles and photographs have been printed in publications throughout the world. In 2006, he began collaborating with his son, Yari Wolinsky, to produce documentary films.
After graduating from Bard College in 2004, Yari Wolinsky worked for John Rubin Productions, Inc. on three one-hour, PBS documentary films: Raptor Force, The Living Weapon, and Ape Genius. He has worked as director and editor on narrative and documentary films for educational, editorial, nonprofit, and commercial clients that include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, National Geographic, PBS, AARP, Issey Miyake, Helping Hands Monkey Helpers, Life i
After graduating from Bard College in 2004, Yari Wolinsky worked for John Rubin Productions, Inc. on three one-hour, PBS documentary films: Raptor Force, The Living Weapon, and Ape Genius. He has worked as director and editor on narrative and documentary films for educational, editorial, nonprofit, and commercial clients that include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, National Geographic, PBS, AARP, Issey Miyake, Helping Hands Monkey Helpers, Life is Good, and Marriott Hotels. Wolinsky began documenting the Browns efforts to rebuild a Polish wooden synagogue in 2007.