03 June 2011

New York: The Tree of Life, June 12

A film - "Tree of Life" - on a Jewish Italian family will be the focus of the next Jewish Genealogy Society of New York on Sunday, June 12.

The film celebrates the passion for life, love and family that unites Jews and Italians, as Israeli-born director Hava Volterra traces her roots in Ancona, Italy.
Beginning in the ancient Adriatic city of Ancona, Volterra and her feisty 82-year old Aunt Viviana travel extensively through Italy, digging up rare historical manuscripts, interviewing an array of quirky historians, and discovering the astonishing and humorous stories of their ancestors, including the da Volterra family of bankers in Florence of the Medici; Ramhal, a Venetian rabbi and mystic involved in the Kabbalah; renowned scientist and mathematician Vito Volterra; New York City’s legendary mayor Fiorello LaGuardia; and Luigi Luzzatti, Italy’s first Jewish prime minister.
The program - a joint meeting of the JGSNY and the Primo Levi Society - begins at 2pm at the Center of Jewish History, 15 W. 16th Street, Manhattan. The Levi Society's deputy director Allesandro Cassin will facilitate the post-screening discussion of this personal family saga that illuminates the fascinating history of Italian Jewish people.

Admission: JGSNY members, free; others, $5.

Read the NJ Jewish Standard's review here, and a review in The Forward here.

1 comment:

  1. How intriguing! It's something so often neglected, especially given the difficulty in connecting two seemingly opposite heritages. I attempt to investigate the American experience in reconciling my Italian and Jewish lineages -despite the assertion by others that my "Jewishness" doesn't exist- on my own blog at MatzohAndMeatballs.blogspot.com. I would love to hear your thoughts on some of my postings.