2010 Conference
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Erica Sigmon

Erica Sigmon is higher education administrator by day, and is passionate about the arts, in particular film and theater. She also has a strong interest and in-depth knowledge of Jewish history and Israeli society. Erica, a dual American-Israeli citizen, lives in Brooklyn. She is thrilled to be running the Limmud NY 2010 International Film Festival, and stage managing Ami Dayan’s production of Conviction at the conference. This is only the beginning of dreams coming true.

From Swastika to Jim Crow

A Film Screening

College/University Student Recommended, Film, Global History & Culture, Identity & Responsibility

When Hitler seized power in1933, Jewish intellectuals at German universities were targeted for expulsion. After fleeing to the US, many continued their academic careers teaching at historically all-Black colleges in the South, including Howard University, Hampton Institute and Talladega College. While the refugee scholars provided great talent to the schools’ faculty, the colleges offered the professors a new home, students eager to learn, and an inside look at an America that few ever saw.

Run for Your Life

Fred Lebow, an eccentric man who inspired thousands to go the distance, was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family that fled Europe. Lebow launched the New York City Marathon, and eventually transformed it into the world’s largest marathon. Encompassing all 5 boroughs, the run was a source of civic pride during troubled times. Set amidst the urban funk of the 1970s, the film’s retro styling combines archival footage and interviews with the family, athletes, city officials and journalists.

"Steal a Pencil for Me"

A Film Screening, with Question-and-Answer Session

Ina Polak, Jack Polak, Erica Sigmon

College/University Student Recommended, Film

A story of love amidst the horrors of the Holocaust, the film documents Jack and Ina Polak, Dutch Jews from Amsterdam who met in 1943 and were soon thereafter sent to Westerbork, a transit camp in Holland, and Bergen-Belsen. After they were liberated in 1945, Ina and Jack reconnected in Holland where they subsequently married and started a family before emigrating to the US. The film is a story of faith, support and, as Jack often says, luck. A question-and-answer session with the couple will follow the screening.

Art and Remembrance: The Legacy of Felix Nussbaum

A Film Screening

Film

This film tells the story of Felix Nussbaum, the German-Jewish artist who, during four years of hiding in Brussels, created a major body of paintings about European Jews during World War II. One month before the liberation of Brussels, he was turned into the Gestapo and sent on the last transport to Auschwitz where he was murdered. Twenty-five years after the war, Nussbaum’s work was found. Nussbaum, whose art is now exhibited throughout the world, is recognized as one of the great artists of his time.

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