“A Conversation With Simon Schama, The Story Of The Jews”

Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival Partners with New Mexico PBS on

“A Conversation With Simon Schama, The Story Of The Jews”

Story of the Jews with Simon Schama: Over the Rainbow

“The Story of the Jews” – A short film highlighting the epic PBS series which will kickoff the program, followed by Simon Schama in “conversation” with Dr. Jeremy Sabloff, President of the Santa Fe Institute. This event is Schama’s only New Mexico appearance.

WHEN: Saturday March 22, 7:30 pm
WHERE: New Mexico History Museum
COST: Free but tickets are required

The Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival is partnering with New Mexico PBS to bring prize-winning author and Emmy Award-winner Simon Schama for a special program “A Conversation with Simon Schama, The Story of the Jews” at the New Mexico History Museum on Saturday, March 22nd. Schama both wrote and hosts the new PBS series. This program is free, but tickets are required. It will include highlights of this epic PBS series followed by a conversa¬tion with Schama in his only New Mexico appearance. Dr. Jeremy Sabloff, President of the Santa Fe Institute, will conduct the interview.

“We are extremely honored to have Professor Schama, in person, at our Santa Fe event,” says Marcia Torobin, festival director. “Dr. Sabloff’s participation will make this an extraordinary evening.”

“This is another milestone PBS series which we are proud to bring to the New Mexico community, and to be partnering with the Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival,” said Franz Joachim, General Manager and CEO, New Mexico PBS.

The series, first broadcast on the BBC in 2013, was acclaimed in the British press as “an astonishing achievement, a TV landmark, idiosyncratic, accessible but always authoritative.” It includes new archaeological research that is transforming our understanding of the earliest world of the Jews, and highlights evidence from the visual arts — synagogue mosaics, spectacularly illustrated Bibles, the brilliantly colorful decoration of synagogues, as well as the glorious music that carried Jewish traditions through the centuries.

As a historian and a Jew, Schama says this is his most personal film. When many people think of Jewish history, they think of the Diaspora or the Holocaust or the tensions in the Middle East – all of which are treated in this Story. But there is more to the story of the Jews, says Schama, than crisis and disaster. It’s a story like no other with an unparalleled cast of characters that includes Moses, God, Jesus and Freud, among many others.

Simon Schama looks at the impact of the Jews and those moments when the Jewish experience – what Jews have thought and written, uttered, mourned and acclaimed – has changed the fate of the world. Drawing on his scholarship, his original viewpoints, and his own family history, Schama presents a series about the Jewish story that is at once deeply historical and bracingly contemporary. Travelling the globe from New York to Odessa, Berlin to Jerusalem, he tells ancient and modern stories that illuminate the passions and perplexities of the Jewish people today.

Sure to capture a wide and appreciative audience, The Story of the Jews rests at heart on the difference between distinctiveness and isolation. Since the creation of the Bible, the Jewish world has been distinct, but never truly isolated. “The Jewish story needs to be told afresh because it is a story of our deep human connectedness. 
Jews have never, ever, ever wished to be separate, unless they were forced to be.” Which is why, Schama says, The Story of the Jews is a lesson in how differing cultures can learn to co-exist.

The five-part series airs on New Mexico PBS, Ch. 5.1 on Tuesdays, March 25 (episodes 1 & 2) and April 1 (episodes 3,4 & 5) beginning at 7:00 p.m. Several talks are being planned by local Santa Fe organizations on subjects related to the series for those interested in a deeper exploration. For more information, please visit www.SantaFeJFF.org/SOTJ

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