The High Holy Days are upon us, and KCET is celebrating the occasion with documentaries that celebrate aspects of Jewish life. Have a look below at the schedules and descriptions for this year's programming.
"New Beginning: Highlights of the Jewish High Holy Days" -- Thursday, Sept. 13 @ 10:30PM & Monday, Sept. 17 @ 3PM
This film outlines the ancient origin, evolution, symbols and traditions that have become The High Holy Days. This program illustrates with prayer, song, art, literature, custom, and ritual the splendor of The Days of Awe; unfolds the rich tapestry of the strong moral and ethical fibre that is woven into The Ten Days of Repentance; and traces the cultural ethnic threads that flow unbroken into the modern practice of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
"18 Voices Sing Kol Nidre" -- Sunday, Sept. 16 @ 4:30PM & Tuesday, Sept. 18 @ 5AM
The program explores the Kol Nidre, the most sacred prayer in Judaism that begins its holiest day of Yom Kippur. The Kol Nidre's words have caused centuries of persecution, but its poignant melody has enthralled generations of Jews and non-Jews and saved the prayer from itself. The program tells the Kol Nidre story impressionistically through the tales, the anecdotes, of those who have been touched by it, be they top experts on the chant or just those who have been changed by chanting it.
Watch a preview here:
"Where Birds Never Sang" -- Thursday, Sept. 20 at 10:30PM & Monday, Sept. 24 @ 3PM
Ninety-six kilometers from Berlin is a pastoral setting accessible by a road that winds through a woods of pine trees. There one can recline on the sandy beach and look across to the town to Furstenberg, or watch local fisherman working from their docks and small boats, as they have for centuries. Furstenberg is a sylvan setting; quiet, peaceful, a place of refuge for citizens escaping the hubbub of Berlin. Not far from the center of this village is a wall, rather tall and imposing, made not of hand-cut stones, but of concrete. Even more starling, more incongruous, is the second wall of barbed wire. It is only then that we realize that behind this wall separating tranquility from history is Ravensbrueck, Hitler's largest concentration camp designed for women, a brutal camp where 92,000 women and children, out of 132,000 who were incarcerated there, met a cruel and inhumane death. Here medical experiments were conducted on the women, women guards used throughout the Nazi system were trained here, and the women were used as prostitutes for the SS and special prisoners.The program repeats Monday, Sept. 24 at 3 p.m.
Photo courtesy Travis Kraft.