On Erev Martin Luther King Day – last Sunday night – more than 90 people showed up at the Boe to attend the Boulder Jewish Film Festival screening of “Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent.” Unfortunately, the state-of-the-art cinema only holds 70, and those who hoped to buy tickets at the door were disappointed.
Sponsored by the ADL, the film was not only well attended but also very enthusiastically received. The brand new one-hour documentary pays tribute to one of the unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. Many in the crowd confessed amazement that they had never heard of Rabbi Prinz. His speech at the fabled 1963 March on Washington immediately preceded “I Have a Dream” – recently voted the most important speech of the 20th century and the subject of a new book titled simply, “The Speech.”
In the pictures taken at this watershed moment in American history, the rabbi and the preacher stand side by side, smiling with seeming amazement at this momentous march. How could Prinz have been ignored by history? How is it that the only published work on this Jewish mover and shaker, the president of the American Jewish Congress and hence the representative of the Jewish people, is his own memoir, published posthumously, “Rebellious Rabbi.” A legend not only in America but in Berlin during the Third Reich (he was formally expelled in 1937 after publicly urging Jews to leave Germany), Prinz was by all accounts charismatic, inspirational and widely beloved. An ardent Zionist, he took unpopular positions that proved him incredibly prescient.
Following the screening, there was clamoring for another showing. Thanks to the sponsorship of Richard and Josh Dinar, the film has been squeezed into the Boulder Jewish Film Festival schedule – just as the program is being readied for the printer. Richard is the father of Boulder JCC board member Josh Dinar, and a current member of the New Jersey congregation led by Prinz before his death in 1988. Dinar senior helped the directors find funding for the film, and has taken up the film’s cause. “This is a film that needs to be seen,” he explained during a phone conversation last week.
Tickets for the film festival go on sale Feb. 9 at www.thedairy.org. Don’t be one of the disappointed ones who gets turned away at the door. Check the BJN to see the entire program. And mark your calendars now with this last-minute addition:
Wednesday, March 18, 4:00 pm in the Boe
Directed by: Rachel Fisher and Rachel Pasternak
Running time: 57 minutes / Language: English
Talkback: Special guest speaker
While Martin Luther King Jr. is widely and rightfully honored for leading the Civil Rights Movement, the same cannot be said of the equally inspiring Rabbi Prinz, one of his closest, most influential, and courageous partners.
Sponsored by the Richard and Josh Dinar Families