On March 20, 2016, the Bronx Jewish Historical Initiative, together with the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR), presented a screening of the rare Yiddish film, Overture to Glory, starring Moishe Oysher, one of the great celebrity cantors and Yiddish movie stars of the World War II era. Oysher plays the “Vilner Balabesl,” a cantor who leaves his position as the beloved Vilna Cantor in order to seek fame and fortune as an opera star in Warsaw. This was the inaugural event of “Welcome Back Yiddish to the Bronx”, a new endeavor of the Bronx Jewish Historical Initiative (BxJHI).
This Yiddish treasure premiered in 1940 at the Ascot Theater in the Bronx. It was one of the last films shot at Ideal Studios in Hudson Heights. Featuring perhaps the most convincing scenes of synagogue life in any fiction film, Overture to Glory begins during the morning service on Rosh Hashanah and ends at Kol Nidre, making the story a kind of redemptive journey during the days of awe.
About 60 people attended the event, including Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, a member and supporter of the BxJHI. Assemblyman Dinowitz addressed the audience with a few brief words before the screening.The BxJHI thanks Florence and Marty Wolpoff for organizing and running the event.
We look forward to seeing you at our next screening!
For more information about the film or to purchase a copy of the film on DVD – click here