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Estonian Jews Appreciate Film Series Focused on Baltic Jewry

Friday, November 18 2005

TALLINN, Estonia – Members of the Jewish community of Tallinn gathered to watch the first part of the six episode TV program "The Ten Commandments". The communal event took place at the initiative of Rabbi Shmuel Kot, the Chief Rabbi of Estonia and Chabad Lubavitch representative.

The content of the TV series is not quite what you would expect, judging solely from its name. It is dedicated to universally famous Litvaks – Jews of Lithuania – including renowned violinist Yasha Kheifits, France-based artist Chaim Sutin, and Roman Gary, a renowned French writer and holder of two Goncourt Prix awards, born Roma Katzov of Vilnius. A significant amount of time was also dedicated to the Gaon of Vilna.

After the screening, participants shared their opinions on the film. Some of the community members were happy to see Lithuania featured in the documentary, while others evaluated the patriotic mood of this TV show. All of them are now looking forward to the next gathering in two weeks' time, when they will watch the next film in this series.

"The Ten Commandments" was produced by an Estonian company with support from the Jewish Humanitarian Foundation of Holland. Three episodes were filmed in Estonia and another three in Lithuania through the support of the local TV program "Menorah". Last summer, this series aired in Estonia on the 'Life TV' channel and later on the 'TVN' channel, which is broadcast internationally.

While part of this series was shown publicly in Estonia at the pro-Israel forum arranged by the organization 'Christian Friends of Israel', this latest session is the first time this film was shown to a specifically Jewish audience.

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