Jewish Community Center of LBI Showing Monthly Documentaries

Jun 28, 2017

The Jewish Community Center of Long Beach Island, located at 2411 Long Beach Blvd. in the Spray Beach neighborhood of Long Beach Township, will partially turn into a movie house in the coming months. Starting on Sunday, July 7, the JCC will be screening Jewish-themed documentaries once a month through October.

Actually, the screenings began in June with the showing of “Body and Soul: An American Bridge,” which discussed the cross-cultural encounters between Jews and African Americans that could be documented in the jazz movement.

The series will continue on July 7 with a screening of “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy.”

That legacy is indeed great. A song in the Monty Python musical “Spamalot” pays comedic tribute to that fact. The Knights of the Round Table insist King Arthur produce a Broadway musical. But Sir Robin tells Arthur in song that “You Won’t Succeed On Broadway:”

To get along on Broadway,

To sing a song on Broadway,

To hit the top on Broadway and not lose,

I tell you, Arthur king,

There is one essential thing…

There simply must be, simply must be


“Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy” offers a more serious exploration of just how important the Jewish influence has been on the Great White Way, taking a look at the contributions of a veritable pantheon of composers and lyricists such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein III, Kurt Weill, Jerry Block, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. It is difficult to imagine what Broadway might have been without them.

The film scheduled for Aug. 20 is called “There Are Jews Here.” It tells the emotional stories of four once-thriving small-town synagogues that are either struggling to survive or have already been closed for good. It has a local connection. The movie includes the story of a synagogue in Latrobe, Pa., that was shuttered two years ago. It sold its Torahs to the JCC.

Sept. 10 will bring “Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown.” Did you know Lewis was born 91 years ago as Joseph Levtich?

The season will end on Oct. 1 when “Monsieur Mayonnaise” will be screened. It tells the story of an Australian filmmaker who investigated his family’s secret past including his father’s role in the World War II French Resistance and his mother’s escape from the Nazis as she was being shipped to Auschwitz.

All of the screenings will start at 7 p.m. A $5 contribution would be appreciated at all showings, where light refreshments will also be served. —R.M.

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