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The Buried Story of Malka Abraham

19/11/2019

A former prostitute from Buenos Aires who moved to Tucuman and amassed her wealth as a money lender, Malka Abraham was murdered in 1957. Her last will to bequest her fortune to the Jewish community school and to be granted a proper burial in the Jewish cemetery, stirred up a heated controversy which divided the community.

In his interview, reading from his book The New Ethnic Studies in Latin America, Prof. Raanan Rein recaps her story for the Laid to Rest documentary project.

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Raquel’s letter

29/10/2014

Dreaming of a better life in Argentina, the “Goldene Medinah”, a loving wife in Poland writes to her husband, asking that he hurry up and mail the necessary travel documents for her and their young children.

Letter and translation: Nora Glickman

Voice over: Annette Liberman Miller

Sound recording: Phil Skokos

With: Getz Media Lab, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, and Brandeis-Women’s Studies Research Center

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¡What a Whorehouse!

5/11/2012

When in Buenos Aires talk like a porteño… especially when stuck in traffic. Gustavo, a Buenos Aires native and Laid to Rest’s location producer explains:

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Tango, Brothels & Jewish History…

5/11/2012

The tango was born in the brothels at the port cities along the rio de la plata and therefore is synonymous with prostitution:

(From an interview with José Judkowski, author of El tango, una historia con judíos. Dance footage courtesy of El Viejo Almacen, Buenos Aires, 2010)

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Laid to Rest (production assembly)

22/05/2012

Buried Stories of the Jewish Sex Trade

Location Producer/Videographer: Gustavo Hazan
Consulting Producer: Jonathan Barkan
Fine cut: Loren Miller
Assistant Editor: Leah Bartels
Composer: Ari Frankel
Sound mix: Bill Cavanaugh
Translation Assistant: Margo Kolenda
Title design: Ronni Komarow 

With generous support from:

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From book to stage

1/06/2011

The tragic story of the Jewish white trade have lured the imagination of numerous novelists over the years. One of the most recent attempts to highlight the subject is the stage adaptation of  A Tale of a Ring by Israeli novelist Ilan Sheinfeld who, these days, in collaboration with stage director Dalia Shimko, is once again bringing his fictional characters to life by placing them on the theatrical stage:

The play, scheduled to premiere in Tel Aviv in July, includes Esti Zakhem, Roberto Polak, Shira Eden, Orly Tobaly, Maya Gesner, Libee Tenenboim, Eyal Raz and Michal Politzer, and original music by Issar Shulman.

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Production Assembly: Who, What, When and Where

1/02/2011

Following the unwinding trail of scarce archival documentation, the documentary Laid to Rest, Buried Stories of Jewish Sex Trade unravels the questions, secrets, myths and mysteries surrounding the topic from the late 19th century until the 1930s. Here is a rough cut of assembled footage filmed and edited between June 2009 – November 2010:

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Reviewing “Tme’im”

31/12/2010

My literary review of Haim Avni’s new book “Tme’im” (2009, Hebrew) on the topic of Jewish white trade was recently published in the Fall 2010/Winter 2011 edition of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association / The University of Texas, pages 25-26.

A distinguished scholar and one of Laid to Rest experts, Haim Avni is a Professor Emeritus of Contemporary Jewish history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He founded and headed the department of Jews of Latin America, Spain and Portugal at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, and served until recently as the Academic Director at the Central Zionist Archives.

Avni Haim. “Tme’im”: Sahar Be-nashim be-Argentina uve-Yisra’el. Tel Aviv: Miskal – Yedioth Ahronoth Books and Chemed, 2009. 303 pages. ISBN 978-965-482-627-3

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Shifra’le: Forgotten Memories of Ibergus

14/05/2010

Shifra Lerer started her life long acting career in the Yiddish theater in Argentina at the age of five. She was only nine years old when she played in Leib Malach’s controversial play Ibergus about the Jewish sex trade in Latin America. Years later, she recall the play, her role and the controversial circumstances surrounding the month long stage production in Buenos Aires’ Teatro Ideal. She can no longer remember her lines, but still remembers the controversy:

Ibergus?It was a play that made you nervous, made you think about things, made you be concerned abut things…

From an interview with Shifra Lerer, NYC, 2010

It was a shameful episode in the life of Yiddish life in Argentina. I can’t tell you much about it because being at this age, I was too young to understand…

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Coffee with Sheinfeld

21/06/2009

It was Las Polacas (2008, working title) meeting A Tale of a Ring (2007, Hebrew) at a Tel Aviv café on a warm spring day in April 2008. Creative writing and documentary filmmaking, Buenos Aires and Tel Aviv, Polacas, Shtetls, Jewish folklore and the Holocaust were among the many topics discussed with Israeli novelist Ilan Sheinfeld.
(to be continued…)

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