The Forward: From Immigrants to Americans

The colorful story of America's most successful Yiddish language newspaper, The Forward. From its founding in New York in 1897, the paper served as a mentor and secular rabbi to hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants. The Forward was not only a socialist advocate for sweatshop workers, it was a literary beacon featuring giants like l.B. Singer as well as translations of world literature. It pioneered special features such as the famous and much loved "Bintel Brief" (the first "Dear Abby"), and its "Gallery of Missing Husbands." This is a funny, affectionate, and soulful film tracing the origins of a rich secular Jewish tradition handed down to us by our grandparents and parents.
Marlene Booth is an award-winning filmmaker, who has worked in film since 1975, both as an independent filmmaker for her own company, Raphael Films, and for public television station WGBH-TV in Boston. She has produced and directed several major documentary films screened on PBS, at national and international film festivals, and in classrooms nationwide. Among Ms. Booth's awards is the Cine Golden Eagle, an Emmy nomination, a Bronze Apple from the National Educational Film/Video Festival, and Outstanding Independent Film at the New England Film & Video Festival. Her films were selected for screening at the Margaret Mead Film Festival, the Atlanta Film/Video Festival, Cinema du Reel in Paris, and Jewish Film Festivals in San Francisco, Boston, London and Moscow. She has received funding for her films from, among other places, the Iowa Humanities Board, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Massachusetts Humanities Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts through the New England Regional Fellowships. Ms. Booth was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. She received a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Beloit College in 1970 and an M.F.A. in film from Yale University in 1975. She was a fellow at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College for the academic year 1985-86. In 1992, Ms. Booth founded Kesher, the Cambridge Community Hebrew School/After School. For her work at Kesher, Ms. Booth received the coveted Keter Torah Award from the Boston Bureau of Jewish Education, the Charlotte Bloomberg Award, and recognition as the parent Role Model of 1994 from the Boston Parent's Paper. FILMOGRAPHY Yidl in the Middle: Growing Up Jewish in Iowa, 1999. When I Was 14: A Survivor Remembers, 1995, (SF JFF 1996). The Double Burden: Three Generations of Working Mothers, 1992. The Forward: From Immigrants to Americans, 1989, (SF JFF 1989). Orange Line Symphony, 1987. Ra'ananah: A World of Our Own, 1981, (SF JFF 1981). They Had a Dream: Brown vs. Board of Education Twenty-five Years Later, 1980.
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