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This year’s Jewish Culture Series, co-sponsored by the Wagner College Chai Society and Hillel Foundation and the Staten Island JCC, focuses on the theme of “Film and the American Jewish Experience.” The series will present two programs this fall.

The first program will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. in Wagner College’s Spiro Hall, Room 2, where Lawrence Baron will discuss “The Jazz Singer: From the Melting Pot to Multicultural America.” Since it premiered in 1927, “The Jazz Singer” has been considered the paradigmatic film about the Americanization of the children of Jewish immigrants. The movie has inspired remakes and retakes on the theme of the son’s rebellion against his father’s traditions. This lecture examines how and why subsequent versions altered the original plotline and message to reflect changing configurations of ethnicity, race and religion in the United States. Professor Emeritus Lawrence Baron held the Nasatir Chair of Modern Jewish History at San Diego State University from 1988 until 2012.

The second program this fall in the Jewish Culture Series will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 8 p.m. in the JCC’s Bernikow Building at 1466 Manor Road, Staten Island, where Stephen Greenwald will discuss “Jews and American Film: Politics in the Industry and on Screen.” Stephen R. Greenwald has been professionally involved in the motion picture and related media industries for over 25 years as an attorney, financier, corporate executive, producer and valuation consultant. He has lectured and spoken on film financing and distribution and the media and entertainment industry before various groups, and he has taught courses on entertainment financing, entertainment law and the film industry at: the Cardozo School of Law; Metropolitan College of New York, where he served as president from 1999 to 2007, and the College of Management Law School in Israel. Greenwald now serves as director of film and media initiatives at Wagner College in New York. He is the co-author, with Paula Landry, of “This Business of Film” (Random House, 2009). Greenwald is a graduate of Rutgers University and New York University School of Law.

The Wagner College/JCC Jewish Culture Series is a free public program. To RSVP, or to be added to the series mailing list, send an email to

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