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31st Toronto Jewish Film Festival June 1 - 11, 2023

The World of Sholem Aleichem


Screening Information

June 16 – June 26
TJFF Virtual Cinema

Film Details

Country United States
Year 1959
Running Time 98 MIN
Language English
Director Don Richardson

Tagged In The Following Film Lists


A 1959 television special that made history by assembling a cast of known blacklisted actors—such as Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford, Lee Grant and Morris Carnovsky. This adaptation of Arnold Perl’s (East Side/West Side) off-broadway play is composed of Yiddish stories by Sholem Aleichem and I.L Peretz. "A Tale of Chelm" stars Mostel as a bookseller attempting to buy a goat, despite a trick being played on him; "Bontche Schweig" features Gilford as a poor man who arrives in heaven and is rewarded for his stoic acceptance of his life on earth; and "The High School" tells of a Jewish merchant (Carnovsky) and his wife (Gertrude Berg of The Goldbergs) who support their son’s attendance of high school despite the enforcement of quotas for Jewish students.

Part of the special archival series, JACK + ZERO.

Presentation Details

Pre-recorded Q & A Oscar-winning Director and Actress Lee Grant, in conversation with Joe Gilford
Co-presented With