EVENT: The YU Israelite Samaritans Project: First Public Viewing of "The Samaritans: A Biblical People," NYC (March 27)

Steven Fine's picture

Join the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies, Israelite Samaritans Project, on March 27, 2022, at 2 p.m., for the first public viewing of The Samaritans: A Biblical People, ha-Shomronim: Edah. Torah. Har., produced by renowned Israeli filmmaker Moshe Alafi.  This  special viewing will take place at  YU Museum at the Center for Jewish History, followed by a conversation between Mr. Alafi, Dr. Steven Fine (who originated the film and served as academic adviser), and Dr. Erica Brown.  Alafi has been engaged with the Samaritans for half a decade and is deeply embedded within the community.  This documentary reflects the depth of his engagement. (Register here for tickets to the event.)

Dr. Fine has edited a handsome book as the keystone to the entire project, also called The Samaritans: A Biblical People. According to the publisher, “This volume celebrates the culture of the Israelite Samaritans, from Biblical times to the present. An international team of historians, folklorists, a documentary filmmaker and contemporary artists have come together to explore ways that Samaritans, Jews, Christians, and Muslims have interacted, often shunned and always interpreted one another across the expanse of western civilization.” A highlight is a series of “Tales of the Samaritan Elders,” recorded here for the first time.

Published jointly by Brill Publishers and YU Press, this exquisite and affordable full-color volume will launch on March 27. “Our book is a welcoming entrée into Samaritan culture, history and our long relationships with these descendants of the Northern tribes of Israel,” said Dr. Fine. “It is written for both the general reader and the scholar and really reflects CIS’s mission to explore Israel ‘in all of its complexity.’”

Add to this stunning contemporary artwork created by an international team of eight artists from the Jewish Art Salon. Andi Arnovitz, Judith Joseph, Richard McBee, Mark Podwal, Archie Rand, Joel Silverstein, Hillel Smith and Yona Verwer studied Samaritan culture with Dr. Fine, creating art based upon this group experience. People who come to the film screening will be treated to a pop-up exhibition of the artwork along with the chance to speak to many of the artists.

And if the film and the book with its accessible scholarship, artwork and splendid photography is not enough of a feast, those at the Center for Jewish History can explore the first-ever cookbook of Samaritan cuisine in English, Samaritan Cookbook: A Culinary Odyssey from the Ancient Israelites to the Modern Mediterranean. Both volumes will be available for purchase at sizable discounts at the March 27 event. Register at yu.edu/samaritans