Hava Nagila (The Movie)

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Sunday, March 17, 2013 - 7:20pm

“Hava Nagila” is perhaps the best-known Jewish song in the United States. Jewish and non-Jewish wedding and bar/bat mitzvah attendees alike know that its first few notes are our cue to link arms on the dance floor and drag or be dragged through a never-ending and increasingly chaotic hora.

But how many people know that the song originated not in Israel (Hebrew lyrics not withstanding) but in Ukraine, and that its greatest ambassador was not Jewish at all? In Hava Nagila (The Movie), a documentary that opens in a limited theatrical release this month, director Roberta Grossman traces the song’s history from a Hasidic enclave in the Pale of Settlement to Palestine and then the United States. She also looks at how affection for the song has waxed and waned, in some ways reflecting American Jews’ (and others’) relationship to Jewishness, through interviews with actor Leonard Nimoy, singers and musicians Regina Spector, Harry Belafonte, Henry Sapoznik, ethno-musicologist Josh Kun, and many others. (If, after seeing the film, you feel that you still haven’t had your fill of “Hava Nagila” history, there’s also an exhibit on the song on view at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage.)

We are so excited to tell you that The movie "Hava Nagila" is opening at the Laemele in Encino on Friday March 15th. We are having a special showing at the theater on Sunday March 17th at 7:20 PM followed with a question and answer period with Josh Kuhn, who is in the movie.  The Jewish Music commission of Los Angeles is proud to have provided soem of the seed money for this terrific documentary, which is full of surprises for all.

Last year, before production, it was all the buzz on the internet and it has finally arrived after being presented at Jewish Film Festivals worldwide as either the first or last on the program because it is so good. The link below is the original "buzz" on it for your pleasure.

Roberta Grossman produced and directed the film. Her credits include "50 Nations", which aired on PBS, and "Blessed is the Match", the story of Hannah Senesh.

Tickets are $8.00 each

Checks can be made out to Valley Beth Shalom and can be mailed or dropped off at the Temple.

Valley Beth Shalom

% Arlene Zicklin

15739 Ventura Blvd.

Encino, CA 91436

Watch Hava Nagila (the Movie) Trailer