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Arts & Culture: Film

A look at the legendary Jerry Lewis

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The only comic to ever be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, legendary Jewish entertainer Jerry Lewis, 89, added another award to his trophy case in April, when he received the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Gordon Smith, NAB’s president and CEO, said the organization was “honored to recognize not only [Lewis’s] comedic innovation, but also his remarkable philanthropic efforts that have bettered the lives of thousands of children.”

Previous recipients of the NAB award include Jorge Ramos, Bob Schieffer, Michael J. Fox, Mary Tyler Moore, President Ronald Reagan, Edward R. Murrow, Bob Hope, Walter Cronkite, Oprah Winfrey, and Charles Osgood.

 
 

Debut documentary on Polish Jewry

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After 70 years, the saga of Polish Jewry will be featured in an exclusive debut screening of an original documentary, “Once Upon a Family,” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in Battery Park. The film, produced by Project Witness, will be screened on Tuesday, July 14. The evening, hosted by a group of second-generation Holocaust survivors, begins with a buffet dinner reception at 5:30 p.m. The program follows at 7 and will include reunions between survivors and their liberators and remarks from the chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau — the “miracle child of Buchenwald” — who symbolizes the destruction and rebuilding of a world that was. His remarks will be followed by the film premiere.

Representatives of hundreds of New York’s most prominent Jewish families, including elected officials, survivors, liberators, and their children, are expected to attend.

“This is not a dry historical narration; it is an experience that will take you back in time,” Project Witness’s director, Ruth Lichtenstein, said. “It’s about living daily life through the eyes of a Jewish family in Poland — the joy, the holidays, the education, the experiences of rich urban Jewish life — and then the sheer horror.”

Ms. Lichtenstein, the daughter of two Holocaust survivors and publisher of the daily newspaper Hamodia, has made Holocaust remembrance her life’s mission. Project Witness is the nonprofit New York-based Holocaust resource center she founded; it merges research and scholarship with media to provide materials for schools, communities, and lay readers.

Featuring live interviews from survivors conducted in Jewish communities in the United States, Israel, and Poland, “Once Upon a Family” is the latest in a series of documentaries from Project Witness covering little-known or grossly underrepresented facets of the Holocaust.

Seating is limited and pre-assigned. For information, call (718) 305-5244 or book online at premiere.projectwitness.org.

 
 

Art classes in Washington Township

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The Bergen County YJCC in Washington Township offers summer painting classes taught by Paulette Cochet of Cochet Art Studio.

The “Joy of Watercolor” offers a combination of instruction, inspiration, and insight, with easy-to-follow demonstrations, practical and sensitive guidance, tips, and advice. It meets on Mondays, from July 13 through August 24 at 10 a.m.

“Finding and Expressing Your Visual Voice” invites students to create a series of watercolors on a topic with personal meaning while developing skills in a supportive instructional environment. The class runs from July 13 through August 24 at 1:30 p.m.

“The Art of Acrylic Painting” enables students to discover the freedom, simplicity, and ease of painting with a modern, permanent, non-toxic, and versatile medium. This class is on Thursdays, from July 9 to Aug. 27 at 10 a.m.

The YJCC is at 605 Pascack Road. For more information, call (201) 666-6610.

 
 

bergenPAC showsphotographs by a nine-year-old

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Joseph Moretti

The Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood will display photography by Joseph Moretti in its Intermezzo Gallery on the second floor through July 30. The gallery is open to the public, free of charge, during box office hours. There will be a reception on Monday, July 6, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Joseph, a 9-year-old from Oradell, has been taking pictures since he was 4. Joseph’s photographs have been exhibited at Martin Hick’s Gallery/The Belskie Museum in Closter. For the last two years, he was awarded Bergen County honors from Reflections — the National PTA arts recognition program. For information, call (201) 227-1030, or go to www.bergenpac.org or www.ticketmaster.com.

 
 

Remembering the Concord Hotel

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John Conway, the historian for Sullivan County, N.Y., offers a presentation, “The Concord: Sullivan County’s Acropolis,” as part of the Sullivan County Historical Society’s new exhibit, “The Concord Remembered.” The lecture is on Sunday, July 12, at 2 p.m. at the Sullivan County Museum in Hurleyville, N.Y.

A preview of the exhibit will be open on July 4 and 5. On July 5, from 1 to 4 p.m., there will be a reunion of former Concord employees, suppliers, and contractors. Visitors are encouraged to bring memorabilia to share and refreshments will be served. For information, call (845) 434-8044 or go to www.scnyhistory.org.

 
 

NCJW schedules Pittsburgh trip

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A few seats remain on the bus that the Jersey Hills section of the National Council of Jewish Women has arranged for its “Pittsburgh Express” trip, set for July 17 to 19.

The three-day trip leaves from Fair Lawn early Friday. Lodging will be at the Comfort Inn & Suites, with dinners at Grand Concourse and Buca de Beppo. Breakfast will be provided.

In addition to a guided tour of Pittsburgh, the trip will include stops at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the Flight 93 memorial. There will also be a Gateway Clipper Cruise, casino gambling, and a stop at the Harrisburg state capital on the way home.

The trip costs $425 for double occupancy and $500 for singles. Call Leona Sesholtz at (201) 391-9354 or Shelley Schneider at (201) 692-0167.

 
 

‘A Borrowed Identity’

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In Israel, making films during the early years of the state was a difficult enterprise.

With no government funding, creative movie-makers got minimal investment monies and often knocked out low-budget films to a public generally not interested in seeing them. But by the 1980s funds had been created to assist filmmakers, and seed money to jump-start movie production has become more readily available during the last 15 years. The result has been a growth in the number of film schools in Israel, and increasingly in the production of world-class films that can compete on the world market with films from anywhere.

A few decades ago, a filmmaker often would wait seven or eight years before making the next film; today, many Israeli directors are making films every two or three years, and the movies are getting better and better. The result is that an increasing number of Israeli filmmakers now have a body of work that can be seen, studied, and analyzed. One of these filmmakers is Eran Riklis, whose latest film, “A Borrowed Identity,” opens today in New York.

 
 

Summer concert series begins in Wayne

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Natalie Douglas

Vocalist Natalie Douglas kicks off the Summer Concert series at the Wayne YMCA with a performance of “Hello Dolly … The Music of Dolly Parton” on Thursday, July 2, at 7 p.m. The series, produced by Naomi Miller, runs through August 20. The Metro YMCAs of the Oranges is a partner of the YM-YWHA of North Jersey. The Wayne Y is at 1 Pike Drive. For information, call (973) 595-0100.

 
 
 
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