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Of Stars and Shamrocks: Boston's Jews and Irish

  Of Stars and Shamrocks: Boston's Jews and Irish (1995; 57 minutes) reveals the "push-pull" syndrome at work in the heart of the European communities of the Russian Jews of the pogroms and the Irish of the devastating famine.

Both left the oppression of their countries with great hopes in America, the land of opportunity. Their story is the microcosm of the immigrant phenomenon throughout the United States. The two ethnic groups settled in Protestant Brahmin Boston of the late 19th and early 20th century.The myth of a land of limitless opportunity and acceptance was shattered by the reality of bigotry, exploitation, exclusion, and discrimination. Although both communities were victims of prejudices of the Brahmins, they, too, harbored their own prejudices against each other, coming at odds over the competition for jobs, housing, and eduction. The film chronicles the impact on both groups by such famous/infamous figures as Fathers Charles Coughlin ("The Radio Priest") and Leonard Feeney, Boston's "Rascal King" Mayor James Michael Curley, and Cardinal Richard Cushing, whose brother-in-law was Jewish. Interviews with figures such as Lonard Zakim (Anti-Defamation League), Nat Hentoff (Boston Boy), former Mayor Kevin White, Jack Beatty (Rascal King), and Philip Perlmutter (Divided We Fall), among others, add a personal touch to the documentary.

For Distribution, Contact:
The National Center for Jewish Film
Brandeis University, Lown 102
Waltham, MA 02254
Phone: (617) 899-7044
Fax: (617) 736-2070
Email: NCJF@logos.cc.brandeis.edu