18 January 2009

Los Angeles: The Joys of Jewish, Jan. 26

Award-winning producer/director Paul Mazursky will lead a screening and discussion of his film, "Yippee! A Journey to Jewish Joy," at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles.

The program begins at 7.30pm Monday, January 26, at the Skirball Cultural Center.

Yippee! chronicles the director’s whirlwind journey to Uman, a small Ukrainian town that is the site of a unique, annual gathering of Jewish men making pilgrimages to the burial place of Rabbi Nachman (1772-1810).

When Mazursky was told (by his optometrist) that 25,000—mostly Hassidic—Jews from around the world were expected to visit Uman for three days of praying, singing, and dancing, the director felt compelled to make the journey himself.

Arriving in Ukraine with a small film crew, Mazursky meets and interviews a wide variety of Jewish men from many countries, sharing meals, laughs, and a unique experience.

Mazursky visited the gravesite of Hassidic founder Baal Shem Tov - the great-grandfather of Nachman). He interviews the town's non-Jews about their reaction to this annual invasion of Hassidism.

Mazursky - an award-winning filmmaker, actor and scriptwriter - will take Q&A following the screening. His credits include Stop Greenwich Village, An Unmarried Woman, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, and Enemies: A Love Story.

The evening is open to the public. JGSLA members, free; others, $5. For more details, click here.

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