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Birth of a Community: Jews and the Gold Rush

Now available in DVD.



Birth of a Community: Jews and the Gold Rush

Produced and Directed by Bill Chayes

Beginning in the 1850’s, entrepreneurial Jews made their way across America by wagon, sailed for months around South America’s Cape Horn and hiked through the jungles of the Isthmus of Nicaragua to seek their fortunes in California.

Who were the people who risked everything on these journeys? What was their life like during the Gold rush decades? How are Jewish communities formed? Our film answers these and other questions by chronicling the travels of these pioneers and by taking you to the early settlements in the Gold Country and San Francisco, where by the 1860s Jewish religious and community organizations were flourishing.

Birth of a Community: Jews and the Gold Rush has appeared on PBS and the History Channel, in many film festivals across the country, and is a widely used basic instructional tool in California public and Jewish schools.

“An enchanting history” Janis Plotkin, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival “Local history at it’s best” Harriet Rochlin, Author of Pioneer Jews

Running Time: 42 Minutes
Price: $19.95


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