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Purim Celebration Event for Adults

An Adult Purim Celebration — “What’s Not to Like? Hollywood’s Love Affair with Jewish Humor” Saturday, March 16, 7:30 - 10:00 p.m.

In the spirit of Purim, the Adult Education Committee proudly presents an evening of laughter, learning and lighthearted socialization and celebration, paired with Havdalah, appetizers, Hamantaschen and adult beverages. Reservations closed on Wednesday, March 13!

The Jewish contribution to American movies tends to focus on its legendary producers and studio moguls such as Samuel Goldwyn, the Warner Bros. and Steven Spielberg.  Just as important is the unmistakable stamp of Jewish humor that has made a lasting — and hilarious — impression on movie audiences worldwide over the course of 100 years of American cinema.  Presenter Peter L. Stein is a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker and freelance film writer, programmer and presenter.  He is the former Executive Director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and currently serves as Senior Programmer for Frameline, the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival.

This entertaining presentation and review of hilarious movie clips looks at some of the hallmarks of Jewish humor that have come to define American movie comedy. Beginning with tricksters like the Marx Brothers, wise-cracking their way into the halls of power, we find that much of Jewish humor in the movies is rooted in Jews’ status as outsiders. We’ll also examine the particular American Jewish characters (even stereotypes) that form the foundation of Jewish movie comedy: the endearing nebbishes and shlemiels of early Woody Allen and Gene Wilder; guilt-dispensing Jewish mothers and bookish scholars; funny misfits (think young Barbra Streisand); culminating in the high-wire ridicule acts of Mel Brooks and Sacha Baron Cohen. Along the way we’ll see how the changing status of Jews in America — moving from the margins (Fanny Brice) to the mainstream (Judd Apatow) — has impacted the kind of movie humor we think of as Jewish.


Clips will include a selection from: Animal Crackers (1930), Young Frankenstein (1974), The Frisco Kid (1979), The Producers (1967), Funny Girl (1968), Take the Money and Run (1969), Annie Hall (1977), Torch Song Trilogy (1988), West Bank Story (2005), Borat (2006) and The Guilt Trip (2012).

Bring your friends, co-workers and neighbors…Jewish or not, they’ll leave laughing! All attendees MUST be 21 years of age or older and advance registration and payment for the educational presentation is required.  Donations of $18 per CBH partner ($25 per non-partner) are suggested to offset costs.  Underwriting sponsorships at the $180 "Queen Esther" level and $90 "King Ahasuerus" level will ensure that the experience will be accessible to all in our community regardless of their ability to pay. The deadline for RSVPs is past; a limited number of seats will be available at the door.

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