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34 Reviews
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done
I watched the second and third two-hour segments on PBS. It was very beautifully done, very moving. Caveat: I am Jewish and I grew up post-WWII with parents who were children prior to WWII. This presentation gave me a background I needed; it filled in a lot of holes in my understanding of what my parents life was like and what was the context that I was raised in. It...
Published on January 25, 2008 by Art M.

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a little bland
Liev Schreiber's narrator voice is really neutral - I imagine some pale old Yankee wearing khakis and a button down shirt,

This series was okay - a little mild mannered and slow for my tastes- led me to believe that possibly Nellie Olsen was Jewish. Certainly, this series made me think that given the five hundred year history of the Jews in America, it was...
Published 16 months ago by Dwight


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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done, January 25, 2008
By 
Art M. "Art" (San Carlos, California United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jewish Americans (DVD)
I watched the second and third two-hour segments on PBS. It was very beautifully done, very moving. Caveat: I am Jewish and I grew up post-WWII with parents who were children prior to WWII. This presentation gave me a background I needed; it filled in a lot of holes in my understanding of what my parents life was like and what was the context that I was raised in. It also has beautiful music, and graphics are used extremely well. But, CAUTION: I have no idea how well this collection will be received by people for whom the information is NOT so personal. Will this interest you if you did not live it? Perhaps.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Watch for Jews and Non-Jews!, January 26, 2008
By 
Jeffrey R. Brant, MD (Cartersville, GA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jewish Americans (DVD)
I viewed the full six hours of this wonderfully rendered series on PBS. It provides an excellent, moving history of the American Jews, their changing culture, and their important contributions to American society. The series explores this by bringing to light personal stories of many individuals and families. It does this by incorporating beautiful graphics, music and interviews with famous American Jews and their descendants.

The series answered a lot of questions I had about Jewish American history. Viewers of all faiths and nationalities should find it appealing and educational.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Story Wonderfully Told, February 23, 2008
This review is from: The Jewish Americans (DVD)
This great series is a Jewish version of a Ken Burns documentary. The images are great and the characters fascinating. But what stood out for me was how all the material was told in story form. It would have been easy just to assemble material without trying to make sense of it as a narrative. This film did tell that story magnificently.

The final episode was especially valuable because it helped viewers not just witness but also make sense of the American Jewish experience.

Lawrence J. Epstein, author of "At the Edge of a Dream: The Story of Jewish Immigrants on New York's Lower East Side."
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PBS Does It Again-Excellent Documentary!, March 5, 2008
By 
Kim K. (Bayonne, New Jersey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Jewish Americans (DVD)
I watched the entire series when it recently ran on PBS. Once I started watching it from the very beginning, when the Sepphardic Jews came to America, I was instantly hooked. I especially enjoyed the commentary by various people that recalled what Jewish life was like during the 1940s, especially during WW2. The insight provided by rabbis was informative as well. Another segment that stands out is the 1950s when Jewish Americans vacationed in the Catskills of upstate New York. Any big name Jewish comedian that you've seen in various TV sitcoms, variety shows and movies got their start at the many nightclubs of the Catskills. Sid Cesar himself even said that performing there was like his 'going to college'. If audiences in those clubs laughed, they knew they were doing their job right. Anyone interested in learning about the Jewish religion, customs and ways of life can't go wrong with owning this series. Fascinating through and through.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexplainable omission, June 27, 2008
By 
Anso (Las Vegas) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Jewish Americans (DVD)
This is a good doc about Jewish Americans and how they emigrated to the United States. It was quite interesting to discover that the nursing profession was invented by a Jewish woman in New York. There are very fascinating facts throught this piece. There are many contributons discussed including commentary from Michael Tilson Thomas on his grandfather's contribution to early Yiddish theatre as well as Irving Berlin's impact on the music world. However, good this may be I am baffled at the omission of a great American Jewish composer who is not mentioned in this film or the comapnion book: George Gerswhin. His contribution is unparraled and there is not one word about him. By no means is this a comprehensive history. And there is a key point that Younger Jews today who have money and did not grow up in poverty or victims of Anti-Semitism will probably be out of touch with the early Jewsih experience and not realte to this at all. As is the case with many younger generations who don't seem to appreciate the roads that are paved a little further for them so that they may struggle less than those before them. Still overall an interesting and importatn look into Jewish historylook
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, March 30, 2008
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This review is from: The Jewish Americans (DVD)
This video revealed things to me my grandparents didn't or couldn't pass
on to me about their lives before and after coming to America. All I
ever got was a nasty scrunched facial expression when Russia-Poland was mentioned to them so this video was very important for me to view.

Their command of the English language was pretty good considering they probably only received the equivalent of a 6th grade education but the subject was never covered well.

I have no idea how large or small my true family is or was but I know
now how impossible their lives were made to be and how inventive and creative they were to make it in America. As their descendants we are indebted to them, The Jewish Americans.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to be Jewish ... but it couldn't hoit !!, January 24, 2008
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This review is from: The Jewish Americans (DVD)
What a wonderful mini-series!

From Ruth Bader Ginsberg to Sid Caesar; from the first Jewish immigrants to contemporary Jewish life; from the Holocust to Jewish humour; from Chasidic Judiasm to the Reform movement. I am familiar with much of the material but never before has it been presented in such an informative and entertaining way.

I am a secular Jew married to a Shiksa. I have a grandson named Christian. Oi veh! I am ordering this DVD so that my grown sons and eventually mein yingele can fully understand their heritage.

Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Documentary, July 13, 2008
By 
P. Duffy (Wenatchee, WA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jewish Americans (DVD)
I loved it. One of the best documentarys I've seen. Educational, informational and insightful. It's a keeper.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Learning Experience, May 28, 2009
By 
M. Lafferman (Baltimore, MD, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jewish Americans (DVD)
I purchased this dvd for my dad for Hanukkah. I saw this series on PBS and was entertained and educated by seeing it. It definitely made a lasting impression on me.

I thought my dad might like it too. He did. Even at his age, 81, he learned things he didn't know about Jewish people and their history.

I love things that entertain me, but also educate me at the same time. This dvd does both.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History of Jews in America, February 8, 2008
By 
Jeanni Tavlin (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jewish Americans (DVD)
A wonderful compilation of the contributions that Jewish people have make to America that is truly poignant. These people's contributions have made life better for all people -- regardless of religious preference.
It is remarkable that one group in America, the Jews, have achieved so much and made so many contributions to make life better for everyone!
Makes me proud to be a Jewish American.
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The Jewish Americans
The Jewish Americans by David Grubin (DVD - 2008)
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