Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas


An offbeat, irreverent documentary that tells the story of a group of Jewish songwriters, including Irving Berlin, Mel Tormé, Jay Livingston, Ray Evans, Gloria Shayne Baker and Johnny Marks, who wrote the soundtrack to the world’s most musical holiday. It’s an amazing look at the 20th century North American immigrant experience and the extraordinary outburst of musical energy from the children of those immigrants. This new generation rejected their parents’ European past and instead embraced Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and, finally, Hollywood. The outsiders began writing the soundtrack to the insiders’ American dreams and in doing so, wrote themselves into history.

Telling this story through words and song, Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas features rarely-seen archival footage, musical performances and interviews with contemporary writers and performers, as well as connoisseurs of North American popular music.

MORE
Three Popular Christmas Songs That Were Written By Jewish Songwriters
The Real Story Behind Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Visit our interactive website

Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas depicts a journey — a tale of immigrant outsiders who became irreplaceable players in pop culture’s mainstream.  They were a generation of songwriters who understood the times they were writing for and who would go on to transform themselves and pop culture at the same time.  They found in Christmas the perfect holiday in which to imagine a better world and, for at least one day a year, made us believe in it.

Directed by Academy Award-nominated director, Larry Weinstein (Inside Hana's Suitcase, Leslie Caron: The Reluctant Star, Making Overtures).

 

Produced with additional funding from:

people in theatre.
It's a tradition from Wynyard, Saskatchewan that goes back 40 years and still brings the town together every summer. Find out more.
docs
"Despite all the bad things that happen, you’re actually in control of how you feel about it," says Tamara O'Brien. Watch the video.
hero
If you’re in trouble, you might just want an action film actor nearby. Seriously. More.
Munich Games
Broadcast to an audience of 900 million, it was the beginning of an unhealthy relationship between terrorists and the media. More
Empire of the Scents
‘Sometimes I have kept his place in my heart a secret rather than face people who simply can’t abide it.’ Read more.
jeff Giles
Known as the 'sexy' Buddy Holly, Ontario's own Jeff Giles loves bringing audiences back to the music they grew up with. More