ISLAM, WOMEN AND ANTISEMITISM: JOURNEY OF A MUSLIM REFUSENIK
Islam today is a religion symbolized by the intolerance of the Iranian Ayatollahs; the Saudi Wahabists; Al Qaeda; the Taliban; the Moslem Brotherhood and its offspring Hamas, and by its universally known hatred of Jews, Judaism and Israel. Into this maelstrom of hatred and violence enters Irshad Manji, author of The Trouble With Islam. Manji decries this corrupted view of her religion, whose true message is that of toleration, justice and peace. The Islamists whose corrupt practices deny any rights to women, who tolerate slavery, practice the brutality of honor killings and stoning of women, give only lip service to the Koran's principal message of respect for all human beings — including women, Jews and Christians — and its overriding toleration for different points of view.
In her own words, “A Muslim Refusenik is... [the refusal] to join an army of automatons in the name of Allah [who preach] the ideological occupation of Muslim minds.” Irshad Manji has become an important voice for a progressive Islam that seeks to create a different path for the millions of Muslims who want their religion to absorb the best of the western world, but who now hear only words of self-pity and blame from their clerics. Manji's Project Ijitihad is an initiative to renew Islam’s own tradition of critical thinking, debate and dissent.
Irshad Manji is Director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University and author of The Trouble With Islam, and Allah, Liberty and Love. She was awarded Oprah Winfrey's first annual Chutzpah Award for “audacity, boldness, nerve and conviction.” MS. MAGAZINE named Manji a “Feminist for the 21st Century,” and she has also been named a Muslim Leader of Tomorrow by the American Society for Muslim Advancement. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Puget Sound in 2008.
DVD - 95 Minutes - ISBN: 978-1-877684-33-3
And There Was Light
The King James Bible was the culmination in the English speaking world of translations from the Greek, Latin and Hebrew, to the Bible of today. And There Was Light tells the story of the origin of the Bible, its formation, its translators and its struggle for survival.
Originally written in Hebrew, the Bible was initially translated into Greek for Alexander The Great, as the Septuagint. With the Birth of Christianity, the New Testament was first written in Greek and probably in Hebrew and Aramaic (a language similar to Hebrew, spoken in Israel in the time of Jesus). Later the Bible was translated completely into Greek, and then under Jerome into Latin (The Vulgate).
Each new translation, before and thereafter, added a new dimension to the spirituality of the Holy Writ, and in effect provided a reflection of the civilization of its time. Following William Tyndale's and Miles Coverdale's Bible of 1539, in 1604 King James I of England convened a conference to write a new translation. Begun in 1607 with 47 scholars working for four years, the final translation was printed in 1611.
The King James Bible has become both the standard and most beloved Holy Book of the English speaking world, and has served as the bedrock of Christianity in America. And There Was Light beautifully illustrates the history of the Bible's long journey across the centuries, from its inception in the days of antiquity, to The King James Bible, its rendering into the English language.
DVD - 33 Minutes - ISBN: 978-1-877684-50-0
You Never Know
Shlomo Carlebach's career as the leading singer and songwriter of Orthodox Judaism spanned 40 years. He recorded more than 25 albums and performed in countless concerts, and his musical legacy continues even to this day. Carlebach was also an ordained Rabbi with roots both in Misnaged (Lithuanian) Judaism at the Lakewood Yeshiva, as well as in Hasidic Judaism at the Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Brooklyn.
He combined this eclectic grounding in Orthodox Judaism to help disenchanted Jewish youth to re-embrace their Jewish heritage. This outreach, eventually known as the Baal Teshuva Movement, has had a wide and salutary effect on Jewish life today. In You Never Know, Shlomo Carlebach's life and religious influence are retold by his friends and followers.
DVD - 63 Minutes - ISBN: 978-1-877684-04-3
Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran, and The Revolt of Islam (2007). A political documentary by Joel Gilbert
This film is an historic overview of Islam through its 1200 year reign of power to the last 300 years of its decline and domination by the West, culminating in its humiliation by the founding of the Jewish state.
In this groundbreaking film, the total rejection of Israel by Muslim states since 1948 comes to light as a religious duty for Believers. The Islamic roots of Anwar Sadat's 1977 Camp David Accords with Israel are exposed as "The Diplomatic Strategy Against Israel," by which Egypt sought to defeat Israel through diplomacy, rather than establish a "Western Peace."
Israel's misunderstanding of Islamic goals and values are highlighted by its enthusiasm for Yasser Arafat and the 1993 Oslo Accords. Next, President George Bush's tragic misunderstanding of 9/11 as a "War Against Freedom," in which the United States played into the hands of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic cause by advocating democratic reform across the Middle East, is revealed. Finally, the Iranian strategic agenda for acquiring weapons of mass destruction to eliminate Israel comes clearly into focus.
Today, at the direction of Iran, Islamists are preparing for a fateful coming war for Islam — and Israel is the number one target and obstacle in the path of Islamic revival. Only with the return of Jews to their historic status as "Dhimmi," or "Tributaries," tolerated and protected within Islamic society, can Islamic revival succeed — resulting in "Islamic Peace" in the Middle East. FAREWELL ISRAEL reaches the unavoidable conclusion that Western and Israeli misunderstanding of Islam is leading to a coming war.
2 hours 15 minutes
Fossils & Faith
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At one time when Science was called Natural Philosophy, religion and Science started out as allies. Later with the revolutionary discoveries of Galileo, Newton, and Darwin, many religionists saw a waning of their influence and mistakenly adopted a rigid counterview toward any idea that questioned traditional beliefs. By the end of the Nineteenth Century, Science had triumphed over religion among the educated and informed in explaining the world - creation and mankind. Religion by now was relegated to the ignorant and superstitious, or by the educated, for its ethical precepts and life cycle ceremonies. Science even adopted a philosophical grounding in Logical Positivism or the Vienna School of Philosophy to replace religious beliefs. However, in recent years with the epoch-making discoveries in all facets of Science, a reevaluation of the Bible and science is past due.
Professor Nathan Aviezer, an orthodox Jew and world-renowned physicist, continues this look at the Bible and Science that he began in IN THE BEGINNING: BIBLICAL CREATION AND SCIENCE, with FOSSILS & FAITH, by examining, with the latest scientific discoveries, the most fantastic topics of religion: Miracles, Extreme Longevity in Biblical times before the Flood; The Spread of Languages and the Tower of Babel; and by discussing the subjects of Free Will, The Anthropic Principle, and the Age of the Universe. Aviezer shows that modern science today provides an illuminating confirmation of these seemingly primitive and false descriptions of the ancient world and of creation.
Returning to his initial discussion of Evolution in IN THE BEGINNING: BIBLICAL CREATION AND SCIENCE, in FOSSILS & FAITH, Professor Aviezer introduces some of the most recent findings in evolutionary research (Complexity Theory, Impact Theory, Punctuated Equilibrium, Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution) which clearly contradict much of what the Ultra-Darwinists (Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Peter Atkins) proclaim. His reconciliation of Science and religion provides a bridge for all believers who are searching for a meaning to the world both physical and spiritual.
FOSSILS & FAITH features narration by Michael Jarmus, a veteran broadcaster, voice artist, and actor whose audiobook credits include two Lawrence Block mystery novels, and two H. P. Lovecraft novels. Film credits include LAST NIGHT I DREAMED OF PEACE, the true story of the diaries of Dang Thuy Tram, and the supernatural thrillers NOTHING SACRED and LEEDS POINT. He also can be heard as Maxima in the video game KING OF FIGHTERS MAXIMUM IMPACT, and has appeared in voice or on-camera in hundreds of radio and TV commercials and industrial videos.
7 Hours 9 Minutes ISBN# 978-1-877684-78-4
The ancient city of Thessaloniki, now called Salonica, was the center of Greek Jewry for 500 years, until it was destroyed by the Germans in World War II. Paolo Polini's film, SALONICA, documents the remnants of the once strong community, showing the survivors of the Holocaust who returned, and the very few Jewish children still living in this formerly "Judeo-Greek" community, which is today a city totally cleansed of its Jewish life and character.
Until 1912, Salonica was part of the Ottoman Empire, with Jews constituting one third of the population, and the other two thirds made up of Greeks, Turks, Slavs and other ethnic groups. The Jewish community, originally from Spain, maintained its distinct identity, speaking a Spanish Jewish dialect called Ladino. After the German takeover of 1941, aided by Greece's neighbors who like jackals plundered Jews' properties, the formerly cosmopolitan and open character of the city was replaced by a religio-nationalist policy, marking the Jews for eventual destruction and systematically marginalizing the Jewish community. After the War, when the small remnant of Greek Jewry returned to their homes, like much of Europe they were met with outright hostility. All traces of Greek Jewry were eliminated by the government. A prime example of this is the Jewish cemetery which today serves as the ground for Greece's second largest university.
SALONICA shows the Jewish remnant which hearkens back to its tragic history and eventual dissolution.
87 Minutes DVD ISBN 978-1-877684-79-1
In the Beginning: Biblical Creation and Science
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Of all the accounts of creation, the first chapter of Genesis is perhaps the most fantastic, with its sweeping pronouncements of the birth of the universe, of the world and of man. In comparison to our advanced scientific understanding, it seems to rely on an almost fairy-tale logic. While many present-day theologians and believers play down this seem- ingly incongruous history lesson, Professor Nathan Aviezer, a world-renowned physicist and orthodox Jew, offers a balanced counterpoint. Combining a technical understanding of modern evolutionary science with the scholarly insight of three millennia of rabbini- cal commentary, Aviezer is able to forge remarkable connections in this dichotomy of approaches to creation. Although the sages Aviezer quotes (Maimonides, Rashi, Nachmanides et al.) are not widely known to the non-Jewish public, the explanations they propose are both divinely inspired and scientific, and valuable to any believer in the modern world.
At a time when champions of atheism such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens top the bestseller charts with an almost cultic belief in Darwinism, Aviezer's reconciliation of science and religion comes as a refreshing alternative. In The Beginning: Biblical Creation and Scienceprovides an antidote to this growing divide by elucidating the core of all religious belief — the question of how we came to be.
In The Beginning: Biblical Creation and Science features narration by Michael Jarmus, a veteran broadcaster, voice artist, and actor whose audiobook credits include two Lawrence Block mystery novels, and two H. P. Lovecraft novels. Film credits include Last Night I Dreamed of Peace, the true story of the diaries of Dang Thuy Tram, and the supernatural thrillers Nothing Sacredand Leeds Point. He also can be heard as Maxima in the video game King of Fighters Maximum Impact, and has appeared in voice or on- camera in hundreds of radio and TV commercials and industrial videos.
3 Hours 18 Minutes ISBN# 978-1-877684-73-9
The New Samaritans
The Samaritans are one of the most enigmatic people living in Israel today. Who are these people and where did they come from? According to their genealogy records, they are directly descended from Adam, and have existed as an independent people for 3600 years. Although they observe most Jewish holidays, they have a separate Torah (Bible), and worship at Mount Gerizim in Shechem (Nablus), Israel, instead of in Jerusalem. Samaritans have also lived separate ethnically, never intermarrying with either Arabs or Jews. However, in recent years, due to the small number of Samaritans in the world – fewer than 900 – and the inevitable inbreeding of their population, genetic disabilities have taken their toll, with 9% of their population being mute and retarded. It is this fear of having a disabled offspring that leads Yair and Rajaiiy to petition the High Priest of the Samaritans to marry outside the group.
In THE NEW SAMARITANS, Yair and Rajaiiy are given permission by the High Priest to marry wives from Ukraine and Russia. They do so, bringing them back to Shechem to become part of the Samaritan community. The film follows the wives of Yair and Rajaiiy and shows their acculturation to the Samaritan religion. It also provides an introduction to this interesting remnant of a people who are prominently featured in the New Testament, and have been living in Israel for the past 2500 years. 52 Minutes, DVD ISBN: 978-1-877684-71-5
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From Shtetl to Swing
Bursting with energy, this documentary examines the seemingly inevitable marriage of the Yiddish music of Russian Jewish immigrants to the raucous rhythms of Harlem jazz in the 1920s. Soulfully narrated by Harvey Fierstein in his trademark raspy voice, the film concisely explores the social conditions that produced Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Al Jolson, and others, noting themes and musical elements of instrumentation and composition shared with Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong.
The film posits that the swing music performed by Benny Goodman and his ethnically integrated orchestra combines elements of both Jewish music and jazz. Second only to the music in this film are the visual elements, consisting of vintage New York City footage and film clips, combining for an engaging look at the mingling of ethnicities, rising industrialism and elevation of pop music in the early twentieth century. — BOOKLIST, December 2007 Recommended, VIDEO LIBRARIAN, February 2008 52 Minutes, DVD ISBN: 978-1-877684-70-8
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The Holocause Collection — 7 DVDs
A Remembrance of History's Lowest Point
AMBULANCE -The classic trigger film of the Holocaust depicting the use of disguised ambulances as killing vans of Jewish children.
CHILDREN OF THE EXODUS -The uplifting film of child survivors of the Holocaust who miraculously sailed to Israel on the actual ship Exodus 1947.
EICHMANN: THE NAZI FUGITIVE -The architect of the Holocaust and his eventual capture.
LEGACY OF ANNE FRANK - One Jewish girl's testament to hope during the Holocaust. Featuring Otto Frank and Miep Gies.
MEMORANDUM -The survivors of Bergen Belsen concentration camp return to the scene of their torment.
POLAND/KOLBUSZOWA -A look back at the world of the Shtetl, which was destroyed by the Holocaust.
SIGHET, SIGHET -Elie Wiesel's haunting return to his hometown in Hungary, where the town's Jews were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz, never to return.
ORDER NOW! Individual titles $ 24.95 &mdash The entire set only $99.95 &mdash a saving of 43%.
From Life to Life:
These two films introduce and explain the Jewish laws and religious observances of death. Guided by Torah Law, FROM LIFE TO LIFE: DEATH AND MOURNING IN THE JEWISH TRADITION/JEWISH DEATH AND MOURNING show the preparation for burial, the simple pine coffin, the muslin shroud, the ritual of Taharah (washing the body), the role of the Chevra Kadisha and Shomrim (man and women who watch over the body and pray for its soul before the Levaya[funeral]), the burial itself, sitting shiva (the mourning period), and the need for a tombstone. The commentay by Rabbis Rokeach, Chair and Lamm is illuminating and edifying.
49 Minutes, DVD, ISBN: 978-1-877684-76-0
How to Kosher a Kitchen and Why
A fascinating film about kashruth and the methods of maintaining it. Demonstates how to kosher a stove, utensils and silverware, and answers questions in a direct and succinct manner. Expains kosher slaughtering, the purchase of meats, canned goods with akosher symbol, and the limitations on the use of grape products. Ends with the ushering in of the Sabbath and the singing of the Kiddush.
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THE CAVALCADE OF ISRAEL
A look at Israel Today and Yesterday
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CONFRONTATION AT CONCORDIA - 47 Minutes
In 2003 the Concordia University of Montreal Student Government, in tacit agreement with the Arab Student Union, banned the Jewish fraternal organization Hillel from the campus as part of a campaign of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic attacks on Jews and Israel. While the vehemence of Arab and left-wing hatred of Israel is now widespread on college campuses in North America, what made this especially ominous was that Hillel was blamed by the student government for a riot staged by Arab students and their left-wing cohorts against the appearance of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As a result of the riot, Netanyahu's speech was canceled. Further, the Hillel chapter at Concordia University was banned from the Concordia campus. This marked only the second time in history that a Hillel chapter was banned from a college campus; the first time being in Austria just prior to the Anschluss with Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
Is there a connection between the circumstances of the Jew hatred of prewar Europe and the present resurgence of anti-semitism and hatred of Israel today? Tacitly and openly supported by college administrators, who use the argument of a free marketplace of ideas, college campuses have turned into a refuge of authoritarian hate-filled groups that hide behind the myth of academic freedom. "Confrontation at Concordia," a new balanced and well researched documentary by Martin Himel, explores the phenomenon of what happened at Concordia University in Canada, and leads to the even wider question of what snowball effects such anti-Israel and anti-Jewish groups on college campuses may soon have on the general population itself.
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EYE WITNESS - 38 Minutes
We are reminded of the Holocaust by testimonies of victims who miraculously survived, by scant records kept by the perpetrators who survived, by third parties (Swedish businessmen and diplomats, German industrialists, members of various intelligence agencies such as M16, OSS, Italian Intelligence, and Project Ultra), and also by the artists who used whatever materials they had available to draw a record of this lowest point in civilization’ s epoch.
Eye Witness is a documentary about artists, both in concentration camps and in hiding, who sketched the evil, suffering and death wrought by the Germans during the Holocaust. Dinah Gottliebova and her mother were rescued by the notorious Dr. Mengele in Auschwitz and required to draw the features of Gypsies before the Gypsies were exterminated. Later Ms. Gottliebova drew pictures of Nazi officers themselves. Felix Nussbaum drew his great works "The Secret," "The Organ Grinder," and "the Dance of Death," while in hiding. Non Jews such as Jan Kompski and Mieczslaw Konschelniak drew scenes of Auschhwitz and other camps, both during and after the war.
The ineffable quality of their art brings to life the screams and cries of millions of victims of the Holocaust.
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SISTER WIFE - 60 Minutes
Weary of the harsh way of life in American black ghettos, and motivated by a sense of yearning for a place where they felt they belonged, the Black Hebrews of America moved to Dimona in Israel’ s Negev in 1969, to establish a new community as well as a new identity.
In Israel they have prospered as a separate community in the framework of their own definition of themselves as Hebrew Israelites, believing only in the Law of the Torah. As in biblical times, the Black Hebrews practice polygamy, with their culture permitting men to marry up to seven women.
Sister Wife describes this unique culture by following the integration of a second, much younger wife into a previously long, well established marriage. The pathos, ironies and complexities of a patriarchal community are shown with a winning mixture of seriousness and humor.
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BLUE AND WHITE IN RED SQUARE - 60 Minutes
Blue and White in Red Square is the story of the 1998 return of young Russian born Israeli musicians , along with 10 other youth orchestras, sto a giant concert in Red Square. The former Soviet Union, shown in footage of giant military parades with the dictator Stalin looking on, was a cruel, authoritarian regime where music was one of the few freedoms allowed to the Jewish population. Legendary Russian Jewish artists, all of whom fled Russia when the opportunity presented itself (with the exception of David Oistrakh who was too young at the time), include Jascha Heifetz, Vladimir Horowitz, Nathan Milstein, Mischa Elman, and Gregor Piatigorsky.
During the 1970’ s, 80’ s and 90’ s, there was a massive emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel. Many of these immigrants were musicians, and many of their children followed in their footsteps. In this film, The Young Israel Philharmonic, conducted by Zev Dorman, travels to Moscow for two concerts, the first the important concert at the Tschaikovsky Conservatory, and the second a massive gala concert conducted by Valery Gergiev in Red Square, with more than 1000 musicians from 25 countries.
In their free time, the Israeli musicians , keeping a low profile as Jews, reconnect with their former lives in Russia. A special concert at a Jewish camp is reflective of the changes in Russia, since it is held at a former vacation retreat for communist party members. The finale includes a light show, and a concert of 1000 musicians playing together with spirit and gusto.
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A Conversation with Isaac Bashevis Singer