This fascinating film highlights the problem of maintaining Jewish community in the Diaspora. The little-known history of Irish Jewry begins in the Middle Ages, but the modern Jewish community has its roots in the flight from pogroms in Eastern Europe around the turn of the century. Irish Jews ran guns for the IRA, two generations of Briscoes- featured characters-served as Lord Mayor of Dublin, and the renowned Talmudic scholar Rabbi Isaac Herzog was the first chief rabbi of Ireland, and later became the first chief rabbi of the state of Israel. His son Chaim, born in Ireland, became president of Israel.
Valerie Lapin Ganley is a San Francisco Bay Area filmmaker. For the
past eighteen years, she has been making documentaries for television
that explore issues concerning race and class. She won an Emmy Award
for her work on KQED's Bay Window series for Price of Prosperity:
Squeezed Out, which examines how middle income families are struggling
to survive in the high tech economy of Silicon Valley. She was
Associate Producer for the PBS programs Not In Our Town, the story of
the residents of Billings, Montana who joined together to fight against
anti-Semitism and white supremacist activity in their community and
Digital Divide which looks at whether widespread computer use is
creating new opportunities in education and the workplace or deepening
social divisions of race and gender and between rich and poor.
Shalom Ireland is her feature-length directorial debut. The film was
inspired by her discovery that her Lithuanian great-grandparents were
the first Jewish couple married in Waterford, Ireland.