Joyce Antler is the Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Culture at Brandeis University. 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.
Antler is the author or editor of 10 books, including most recently "You Never Call! You Never Write!: a 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 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.
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, Rick and Laura Brown 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.
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.
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 favorite Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg.
Kempner is a recipient of the 1996 Guggenheim Fellowship for filmmaking. 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.
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.
Born and raised in Israel, Yael Reuveny began her studies at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem in 2000. Yael Reuveny’s work includes several short documentaries which she directed and produced for the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the video installation Jerusalem Variations, which was part of the exhibition “My name is Esperanza” in Santander, Spain.
Her first and highly praised documentary film from 2009, Tales of the Defeated (Toldot Ha’Menutzachim) is a personal voyage through family history and Jewish history that crosses countries and cultures. It was produced as part of the project A Triangle Dialogue - a compilation of 5 documentary films from Israel, Poland and Germany exploring the clash of different cultures in society and politics. Yael Reuvenys contribution to this project was awarded the Sponsorship Award of the DEFA Foundation, the Short Documentary Award of the Jerusalem Film Festival and the Cottbus Discovery Award a.o. Tales of the Defeated is the investigation of a personal, unspoken family mystery, the story of Feivke Schwarz, an Eastern European Jew who turned into Peter Schwarz, a German communist. The allegedly lost and beloved brother of Reuveny’s grandmother had chosen to keep on living nearby the concentration camp where he had been a prisoner.
Co-Director of the National Center for Jewish Film, oversees the Center’s programmatic, distribution and exhibition activities and co-directs NCJF’s annual Boston area film festival. Prior to joining NCJF in 2006 , she was Associate Director & Senior Writer of the African American National Biography, an encyclopedia edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. at Harvard University and published by Oxford University Press. She has a BA in Art History from Vassar College and received a fellowship to Emory University’s Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts PhD program where she studied visual culture & film. Rivo worked at the Museum of Fine Arts and as Director of Public Information at The Institute of Contemporary Art, both in Boston. In addition to directing eight annual film festivals, she has curated many other festivals and series, sat on grant review panels, and written university textbooks.
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. 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. 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.
Oren’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.
Oren’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. He is also the producer of a series of films for the Russian Jewish History Museum and Tolerance Center which recently opened in Moscow. Oren is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.
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. 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. 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 is Good, and Marriott Hotels.