Post-screening discussion with producer Yair Qedar and Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Professor of Philosophy & Charlotte Bloomberg Chair in the Humanities, Johns Hopkins University

A Jewish Portuguese philosopher of the Enlightenment period born and raised in Amsterdam, Baruch Spinoza was excommunicated by the city’s Jewish authorities in 1656. His questioning of the nature of God and the divine origin of the Hebrew Bible had, the community’s leaders believed, crossed the line into heresy. Centuries later, this is considered a formative event in the development of Western Jewish thought. David Ofek’s accessible and fascinating documentary excavates this history, tracing six reasons why Spinoza was kicked out and explains why his unorthodox, profoundly spiritual ideas were revolutionary and remain radical to this day.

Preceded by
Sara Yacobi-Harris, 2021, Canada, 28m
English and Brazilian Portuguese with English subtitles
New York Premiere
This short film by Black and Jewish filmmaker Sara Yacobi-Harris takes a close look at multicultural Jewish identity. Using dance, poetry, and spoken personal narratives, Periphery tells the stories of 10 Jews of varying descents, including Black/African, Indian, Iraqi, Korean, and South American, and various representations and sexualities. Yacobi-Harris’s film is an enlightening and enriching experience that affords a better grasp of the complexities of international and intersectional Jewish life.
Wednesday, January 17 at 5:30pm