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Sinai Film Series - "Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me"

Sunday, February 11, 2024 2 Adar I 5784

3:30 PM - 5:30 PMSmall Social Hall

Join us for a fascinating film prior to the Super Bowl with special guest speaker John Eaves. We'll be screening the film Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me, the story of an entertainer who was a mass of contradictions, showcasing his prodigious and remarkably varied talent, juxtaposed with his often tone-deaf forays into politics. More than a mere appreciation, this look at Davis’ personal journey through a tumultuous period in US history makes this an especially rich “American Masters” documentary.

For Sammy Davis Jr., being Jewish “was the most logical thing in the world,” historian Rebecca L. Davis said. “Over and over again, he made this analogy between being Jewish and African American. He was very admiring of the Jewish millennia-long struggle against oppressors and overcoming all kinds of obstacles.” He saw himself as “an outsider and very marginalized, and he could see in the Jewish experience a similarity that really drew him in emotionally and he took his Judaism quite seriously.” 

John Eaves will be introducing the film as well as leading a brief discussion following it. He is an active member of the Jewish community in Atlanta. He is the former Chair, Racial Justice Committee, the Rothschild Social Justice Institute, the Temple, Atlanta, Georgia, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Board and he is a Board member of the American Jewish Committee.

His family has been practicing Judaism for three generations, since his Jamaican-born grandfather embraced the religion after moving to the United States. Growing up, the family was traditionally observant and attended a black Israelite congregation in Jacksonville, Florida. The black or Hebrew Israelite movement is made up of African-Americans who consider themselves Jewish. Adherents subscribe to a range of religious views and traditions, with some closely mirroring those of regular synagogues while others differ greatly.                          

Eaves has an eclectic and impressive resume. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Morehouse College, where he was captain of the football team. He went on to earn a master’s degree in religion at Yale and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of South Carolina. He spent time in Germany and Finland on Fulbright Fellowships and served as a regional Peace Corps manager. Currently he runs the Global Youth Ambassadors Program, a  leadership program for underserved Atlantans.

Join us for a great film, great conversation, popcorn, and friends!


March 10
Join us for a screening of the delightful film Abe, a story of coming together through food and family. With the help of a Brazilian chef, a 12-year-old body who dreams of being a cook tries to find the ideal receipt to break down the cultural barriers that divide his half Israeli and half Palestinian family. 

Taste of Atlanta Founder and congregant, Dale DeSena, will introduce and will offer another food tasting, compliments of Udi Hershkovitz from Sabaraba Food Truck in Sandy Springs. RSVP Here

April 7
Join us for a doubleheader of two short films, Garda Weissman Klein's life story and a fascinating 92nd Street Y Documentary.  Garda Klein was a Polish-born American writer and human rights activist whose story is recounted in the short film One Survivor Remembers. This will be followed by a documentary with Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat who interviews Marion Lewin and Steven Hess regarding their Holocaust survival as twins and the new book that tells their unimaginable story, Inseparable, by Faris Cassell.

As always we'll have drinks and popcorn ready, followed by a short discussion. RSVP Here


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Fri, February 23 2024 14 Adar I 5784