January 20, 2008
25th night of Tevet, 5769
This is an email announcement regarding the documentary film, Lonely Man of Faith: The Life and Legacy of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
Welcome to the 170 people who have joined this list since the last mailing!
O.K. There are some new screenings to announce, especially since it's been over a month since I last sent out an announcement.
NEW: Sunday night, January 25
(1st night of Sh'vat) at 7:30 PM
will be the Philadelphia Premiere
at Lower Merion Synagogue
, 123 Old Lancaster Road
, Bala-Cynwyd, PA. I will be conducting Q/A
following the screening.
The screening will be preceded by a special preview
at the University of Pennsylvania Hillel, 215 South 39th St.,
on Saturday night
, January 24
(29th night of Tevet) at 7:30 PM
. The screening is organized by the local Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus. I will be joined by Rabbi Menachem Schrader
, from Yeshivat Hamivtar
. The Facebook event is here
. I'm looking forward to revisiting my alma mater!
NEW: Wednesday, January 28
(4th night of Sh'vat) at 7 PM
, there will be a screening at Columbia University
in Manhattan. The screening will take place at the Kraft Center for Jewish life
, 606 W. 115th Street
. The screening is organized by the Center for the Study of Science and Religion
and co-sponsored with Columbia/Barnard Hillel and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. You can RSVP here
. The Facebook event is here
(7th night of Sh'vat) will be the Las Vegas Premiere
at the Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival
. The screening will begin at 7 PM
, and it will be held at Congregation Shaarei Tefilla. Notice the date change.
(The organizers realized that screening the following night would mean competing with the Superbowl, so they wisely moved it back a day.) The Facebook event is here
NEW: March 23 (28th night of Adar) there will be a screening at the Matnas Bet Foster in Herzeliah, Israel. More information to follow.
NEW: March 29
(5th night of Nisan) at 5 PM
, there will be a screening at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning
. Following the screening, there will be a discussion led by Dr. Neil Gilman
of the Jewish Theological Seminary
Once again, I'd appreciate it if you could forward this email to anyone else who might be interested in this information. And here's a link to the Facebook group for the film.
Since I sent out the last email, there have been a couple of articles in the press about the film.
- The Jewish Star of Long Island had a very positive review of the film, as well as an editorial, in which they admitted that they "couldn't turn away" from the film once they started watching it!
- Last week, the NY Jewish Week featured an article on p. 3 that both discusses the film and the fact that my wife and I are moving to Los Angeles (from Manhattan) in three weeks.
Also, I'm excited to announce that two new books connected to Rabbi Soloveitchik have recently come out:
- And From There You Shall Seek is the long-awaited English translation to what many consider to be the Rav's most important essay, "U-vikkashtem Mi-sham". The work was written in the 1940s as the sequel to "Ish Ha-Halakhah" ("Halakhic Man"). However, although the Rav wrote that he considered it to be "superior to the first", he didn't publish the work until the late 1970s. The book is available from KTAV publishers and your local Jewish bookstore.
- The Seder Night: An Exalted Evening is a Passover Haggadah featuring a commentary based on the writings of Rabbi Soloveitchik. It is edited by R. Menachem Genack and published by the OU. It should also be available at your local Jewish bookstore, as well as from KTAV.
was the Great Neck, NY Premiere
at Great Neck Synagogue
. The screening was co-sponsored by Young Israel of Great Neck
. Rabbi Dale Polakoff
of GNS and Rabbi Yaakov Lerner
of YIGN spoke following the screening. I understand that there was a nice turnout, but I'm not sure about the number.
there was a screening in Silver Spring
at The Kemp Mill Synagogue
. About 130 people attended. Following the screening, there was a great panel discussion featuring myself
, Rabbi Jack Bieler
, and KMS members Ari Tuchman
and Zev Eleff
, on the third night of Chanukah, there was a screening at Ohab Zedek of Belle Harbor
, NY, as the Henry Kaye Memorial Lecture. Afterward, I did some Q/A
January 3, 2009, there was a screening on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in conjunction with the Moshe Roshwalb Memorial Lecture Series of the Young Israel of Manhattan. Rabbi Yeshaya Siff of Y.I. shared some remarks following the screening, and I understand there was a nice turnout.
, there was an almost sold-out screening at the JCC in Manhattan
. Around 170 people showed up and participated in a lively Q/A session afterwards!
I got a decent amount of feedback after that screening, so I thought I'd share a couple comments:
"I was so inspired and moved by the movie
that tears were trickling down. I also really enjoyed the Q & A,
which was exciting and informative. Thank you for that experience, I am
so glad I went!"
"I now want to read Lonely Man of Faith
(trying to get a hold of it before shabbat, in fact). On an even more
personal note, your movie left me feeling inspired and wondering about
the balance of spirituality and halacha that I want in my daily
practice of Judaism..."
January 8 there was a screening at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Around 120 students and faculty turned out and I understand that it was a pretty diverse crowd. Dr. Edward R. Burns, Executive Dean of Einstein, gave an introduction, and Rabbi J. J. Schacter, Senior Scholar at Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future (as well as an advisor and interviewee in the film) shared some remarks.
was the Riverdale Premiere
at the Riverdale Jewish Center.
and cold temperatures kept some people away, but around 100 people
still managed to turn out and particapte in the Q/A with myself.
the film screened in Manhattan
at the Brotherhood Synagogue
This was a bit of a milestone, as it was the first time the film had
been screened in a non-Orthodox synagogue. Hopefully, there will be
many more! There was a pretty diverse crowd, with some shul members,
others from the local community, and even a couple men who had driven
in from Borough Park! I conducted Q/A after the screening.
January 14 was the Detroit Premiere, in conjunction with the Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival and Young Israel of Southfield. Around 175 people made the trek to the West Bloomfield JCC,
despite very cold conditions (in the single digits farenheit), snow,
and icy roads! It just goes to show that in some communities, they
just learn to cope with tough weather conditions. I participated in
Q/A after the screening and fielded some interesting questions.
there was a return engagement at The Maimonides School
in Brookline, MA
. Here's a report on the screening by Mike Rosenberg, Director of Community and Alumni Relations:
evening -- more than 120 people from throughout the community,
including current students, alumni, parents and parents of graduates,
teachers, miscellaneous folks from area shuls… The screening ended at
9:40 p.m. but virtually everyone remained to hear more than a half-hour
of reflections by four panelists: Rabbi Reuven Cohn '65 [who appears in
the film], son of the principal emeritus; Dan Langermann '69, whose
father was hired by the Rav to teach at Maimonides in the 1940s;
Charlie Weinstein, a vice president of the school almost 50 years ago
who chaired the committee that built the Brookline campus; and Rabbi
Abraham Shonfeld [who also appears in the film], 95 years old, who was
Dan Langermann's third-grade Chumash teacher and also had a personal
relationship with Rabbi Soloveitchik."
If you have an interesting experience or story connected to the film, please don't hesitate to share them with me. You can simply reply to this email (don't worry, it will only go to me).
All the best,