Submission #376 by Beth El Temple Men's Club - West Hartford (217)

Submission information
Submitted by DavidDiamondMC
Sun, 2013-05-05 11:55
I have read the General Guidelines, "Nuts and Bolts" and Program Advanced Planning (Excel Spreadsheet) Documents
Club Name
Beth El Temple Men's Club - West Hartford (217)
Documentary Film on Anti-Semistism "The Bystanders" - with Adam Dimanshteyn
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Club President at time of Convention
Club President Now
Non-FJMC Program

Page 1

As a result of hearing the stories of anti-Semitism that his parents experienced first-hand growing up in the former Soviet Union, as well as the his own experience with the ignorance and indifference displayed at his high school towards Jewish students, Beth El Temple member Adam Dimanshteyn embarked on a personal project of producing a documentary on anti-Semitism. The documentary was shown at a breakfast program with Adam there to share his story and field Q + A.
Adam Dimanshteyn, a local high school student, and his family are members of our temple. The following article had appeared in the CT Jewish Ledger which inspired the Men's Club to seek Adam as a speaker to share his documentary and story:

Marty Melnick, Men's Club board member and VP-Membership had met Adam's family as they had recently joined our temple. He reached out to them and Adam agreed to present his story.

Driven by the lack of awareness Adam saw demonstrated by his fellow classmates, he decided to take a stand and educate his friends through his video that he produced himself. A link to the complete video is here:

The Men's Club provided a full breakfast buffet to the attendees. The 7th grade religious school class joined for the program portion which started with Adam introducing himself, and sharing his family history and what inspired him to produce the video. After the documentary was shown, Adam spoke some more and fielded Q+A. His mother was in attendance and she also provided some input on what she had experienced first-hand growing up in the former Soviet Union.

The video did a great job connecting the past with the present. It included clips from the Holocaust as well as the former Soviet Union. It featured interviews with people including his mother and a very moving interview with a local 90-year old gentleman who was a holocaust survivor. Adam was in the video and shared personal stories on the anti-Semitism he encountered.

Page 2

Self Assessment
The reality of anti-Semitism, both historically and presently, cannot be ignored. This program brought a real-life current example of this reality through Adam's documentary video and presentation. This program brought a variety of people together, both from the temple and the community. For example, one of Adam's current high school teachers attended the program. The 7th grade class was incredibly engaged throughout the program as they were able to relate closely to a teen-ager not that much older than themselves.
Jewish men were involved in the planning of this program as well as in attendance at the program. It was innovative and very informative, and brought together many people from the community.
Adam expressed his willingness to share his story with other groups.
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