Special Guests

Ron Blau (Our Time in the Garden)
Boston area filmmaker Ron Blau is an award-winning producer, writer and director of hundreds of film and video projects including full-length television documentaries, news-magazine stories, children’s productions and corporate videos. Blau has written and produced film programs for the Discovery Channel, The History Channel, A&E, National Geographic Channel and Discovery Health Channel. He is a cum laude graduate of Harvard and an occasional blogger at Seeing Your Story.

Michael Feige (Love During Wartime)
Michael Feige is visiting scholar at The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University where he teaches course in Anthropology and Near Eastern & Judaic Studies. Dr. Feige is a sociologist and anthropologist at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev where he teaches courses in Israeli society, collective memory and political myth. He is currently working on the commemoration of Ben-Gurion in Israel society and is co-editor of the academic journal 'Hagar: Studies in Culture, Politics, Identities'.

Lisa Fishbayn Joffe (Women Unchained)
Dr. Lisa Fishbayn Joffe is Director of the Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law at the Hadassah Brandeis Institute and a Visiting Scholar at the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis University. After completing her doctoral work at Harvard Law School, she taught family law, legal theory and the philosophy of multiculturalism in the Faculty of Laws, University College London. She has published articles on gender and culture issues in constitutional law, political philosophy and policy. Her current work examines the intersection of civil and religious law in the struggle to find remedies for the agunah problem.

Detlef Gericke-Schönhagen (Max Davidson 1920s Comedies)
Detlef Gericke-Schonhagen is Director of the Goethe-Institut Boston, prior to which he was coordinating director of the Goethe-Instituts’ international film and television programs at the Goethe-Institut head office in Munich.

Eugene R. Sheppard (In Heaven, Underground)
Eugene R. Sheppard is associate director of the Tauber Institute and associate professor of modern Jewish history and thought in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis. He is most interested in modern German Jewish thought and the influence of European Jewish refugees on public life and academia in the United States. 

Joel Katz (White: A Memoir in Color)
Joel Katz makes films and videos that expand upon micro-histories to examine broader themes of social history and race in America. His works include Corporation with a Movie Camera (1992, PBS broadcast), Dear Carry (1997, premiere at Museum of Modern Art), and Strange Fruit (2002, national PBS broadcast; theatrical release, Jewishfilm.2002). Katz has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Independent Television Service, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Jerome Foundation. Katz has served on the Board of Directors of Third World Newsreel since 1999, and was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 2008. Katz is on the faculty of New Jersey City University and he lives in upstate New York

Evan Kleinman (Punk Jews)
Evan Kleinman earned four Emmy nominations for his work as a producer for the NBC lifestyle shows “LXTV 1st Look” and “Open House.” Kleinman receiving a BA from Ithaca College and has worked as an editor and cinematographer for several films, including Race to Execution, a PBS Independent Lens film about the death penalty. In 2011, Kleinman released his first feature film, We Are Still Here. Evan also produces commercial work, music videos, and online media for New York Magazine, Broadway.com, fashion brands, PR companies and musical acts.

Marian Marzynski (Never Forget to Lie)
Marian Marzynski was born in Poland and survived the Holocaust as a Jewish child hidden by Christians. He has been making documentary films for decades, first in Poland, then in Denmark, and for the last 20 years in the United States. Today, he is a major contributor of documentaries to such PBS series as American Experience, NOVA and Frontline. Marzynski won Emmy awards for his 1986 film Out of the Shadows and again in 1990 for Messenger to Poland. The following year his film Inside Gorbachev's USSR was awarded both the Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia University Golden Baton for Excellence in Broadcasting Journalism and the George Polk Award in Broadcasting Journalism. Marzynski’s most lauded film, the 1996 documentary Shtetl, won the director as second Du Pont prize as well as the Grand Prix at the Cinema Du Reel and First Prize at the Jerusalem International Film Festival. Little Mexico (2007) and Mysterious Crash of Flight 201 earned Marzynski additional Emmy nominations. Marzynski’s film Settlement was screened at Jewishfilm.2008. Marzynkski lives in Brookline, MA.

Martin Marks (Max Davidson 1920s Comedies)
Senior Lecturer in Music. Ph.D., Musicology, Harvard University, Martin Marks is a music historian and pianist, with an expertise in film music. Marks is a Senior Lecturer in the Music and Theater Arts Section and in the Comparative Media Studies Program. Frequently Marks creates and performs live piano accompaniments for silent films screened across the USA and abroad. He has served as the Music Curator for three critically acclaimed DVD sets created by the National Film Preservation Foundation: Treasures from American Film Archives: 50 Preserved Films (2000 / “Encore Edition” issued in 2005); More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931 (2004); and Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934 (20007). For each set he composed, performed, and commissioned scores for dozens of silent films, as well as providing written notes on the music. His other scholarly writing includes the book Music and the Silent Film (Oxford University Press, 1997).

Jesse Zook Mann (Punk Jews)
Jesse Zook Mann is an Emmy-Award winning documentary producer and cinematographer who recently produced the NBC series “My First Time.” Mann was also field producer on MTV’s The Vice Guide to Everything, shooting segments on topics including Palestinian car thieves and the Russian mafia. Mann has produced segments for the NBC shows “LXTV 1st Look” and “Open House” and he co-produced Splitting Hairs, a documentary on the world beard and mustache championships, which screened at Silverdocs 2009.

Beverley Siegel (Women Unchained)
Beverly Siegel has written and produced award-winning documentaries for commercial and public television in Chicago, as well as for corporate clients and not-profit organizations. Her shows include “Blind Love: The Story of Josh,” which won a Chicago Emmy, and “Romance of a People: The First 100 Years in Jewish History in Chicago,” which aired for years on public television as a free standing special and subsequently as part of the popular Chicago Stories series. Siegel works as a freelance writer and public relations professional. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Rabbi Shlomo Weissmann (Women Unchained)
Rabbi Shlomo Weissmann, Director of Beth Din of America received rabbinical ordination from RIETS in 2001. He is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Prior to his association with the Beth Din of America, Rabbi Weissmann worked as an attorney at several prominent law firms, most recently Kelly Drye and Warren LLP.


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