Charleston Jewish Community Brings “Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story” to Charleston

2010 marks the inaugural year for the annual Jewish Film Festival created by the Charleston Jewish Experience. For their first annual event titled “A Night of Jewish Film,” they selected Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story, a documentary produced for PBS (will air next year). This documentary that debuted earlier this year in Israel is produced and directed by Peter Miller, narrated by Dustin Hoffman, and written by the Pulitzer Prize winning former New York Times sportswriter, Ira Berkow.

Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story is a documentary about the contributions of Jewish major leaguers and the special meaning that baseball has had in the lives of American Jews since the 1860s .

More than a film about sports, Jews and Baseball is a story of immigration, assimilation, bigotry, heroism, the passing on of traditions, and the shattering of stereotypes. The film features a rare interview with the legendary Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax as well as interviews with Larry King, Kevin Youkilis, Shawn Green, Yogi Berra, Ron Howard and many others.

The film will light up the screen of The Sottile Theatre on October 24, 2010 at 7:45 p.m. Prior to the movie screening, the organizers will host a desert & champagne reception and present the Melvin and Judith Solomon Humanitarian Award for the Arts to Judith Solomon. Mrs. Solomon is the grandmother of my dear friend, Jessica Solomon Bluestein who is the executive director of the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts.

Since October is the National Arts and Humanities month, the timing of the award is really appropriate. The Melvin and Judith Solomon Humanitarian Award for the Arts was created to honor the Solomons as lifelong supporters of the arts in Charleston and Jewish culture and to inspire others to do the same. Melvin Solomon, a successful businessman, played a key role in establishing Spoleto USA, contributed to medical research and care at MUSC, and both he and Judith were recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals by their Lowcountry Philanthropy Award.

There are many reasons for establishing a Jewish film festival in Charleston, but first and foremost the organizers hope to inspire a greater appreciation and long-lasting connection among members of the broader Charleston community by showcasing our rich traditions but also our modern Jewish culture. The event will start a tradition of featuring iconic Jewish filmmakers and movies as well as honoring individuals devoted to supporting the arts and Jewish culture in our city.

The Sottile Theatre is located at 44 George Street. The desert and champagne reception starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 for the film and reception, and $20 for the film only. For information and to purchase tickets, please visit  www.CharlestonJewishExperience.com. To view the movie trailer, please visit www.jewsandbaseball.com/trailer.html.

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