WHAT IS FILMSHUL?
FilmShul is an informative, engaging and fun presentation on Hollywood and the Jewish American Experience, curated by noted film historians Irv Slifkin and Laurence Lerman and specifically designed for Zoom interactivity.
FilmShul is all about movies, movies, movies! You know what movies we’re talking about--the funny ones like The Producers and Broadway Danny Rose; the romances like Crossing Delancey and Goodbye, Columbus; the musicals like Funny Girl, Fiddler on the Roof and Cabaret; the classic dramas like The Pawnbroker, Crossfire and Gentleman’s Agreement. And so many, many more, from 1927’s The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson all the way up to last year’s An American Pickle with Seth Rogen.
FilmShul also focuses on the history and role of Jews in the entertainment industries, which they have been involved with since the earliest days. The Jewish people were trailblazers in all mediums--vaudeville, theater, radio, movies and television--and their stamp has remained indelible throughout the decades.
The role of FilmShul is to reflect on and relate to the American Jewish experience so audiences will be informed and entertained, and recognize the valuable contributions made by entertainment innovators of the Jewish faith.
But what exactly is FilmShul?
Film experts Irv and Laurence, a pair of nice, middle-aged Jewish guys who write, review and talk about movies a whole helluva lot, have been professional colleagues and friends for nearly 30 years. They’re a pair of “Movie Mensches” who are teaming up for a series that Irv launched a couple of years ago that was met with acclaim and success from synagogues, JCC’s, libraries and other Jewish-related organizations.
With 2020’s pandemic and lock-down, FilmShul has been re-tooled as a live Zoom presentation, complete with stills, film clips and the always ripe potential for Irv and Laurence to get into heated film squabbles in front of an online audience.
Seriously, how does FilmShul work on Zoom?
First, sponsoring organizations schedule and host one or more FilmShul courses. After the Zoom session is scheduled, the host organization serves as the Zoom host and invites its members to attend (no more than 50 screens, please!) and makes us co-hosts. Attendees will receive a Zoom invitation; and then they sign on at the scheduled time and enjoy!
Each session in FilmShul runs for approximately 1 1/4 hours. The first 60 minutes of each session features Irv and Laurence offering an overview of the week’s theme, placing it into an historical and Hollywood context and then talking about the movies that best represent the topic.
For the final 15 minutes or so, Irv and Laurence open up the forum to questions and discussion for all attendees who wish to unmute their screens and offer their opinions. In other words, it gives everyone a chance to talk about their favorite movies.
Okay, I’m interested! Now what?
Fill out the FilmShul contact form for information and we’ll quickly get back to you with answers for all your questions on scheduling and arranging your first FilmShul Zoom event!