Emmy award-winning filmmaker David Grubin explores the struggle of a tiny minority to integrate itself into the American mainstream while remaining true to their roots in this documentary that begins as 17th Century Jews arrive in New Amsterdam, and traces their journey as they contend with racism and suspicion in a fledgling republic. Ever since the first Jews arrived in America, their efforts to embrace the new culture while simultaneously maintaining tradition has often found them frequently branded as outsiders. When the first Jews landed on American shores in 1654, New Amsterdam governor Peter Stuyvesant attempted to reject them to no avail. Overruled by his superiors in the Netherlands - who claimed that Jews could contribute to the growth of the newly founded colony as well as anyone else - Stuyvesant relented, and a new era was underway. Over the course of the next few centuries, the Jews would play prominent roles in such important phases of United States history as the Civil War and westward expansion. From politics to entertainment, the Jews would continue to display their unique talent for innovation and adaptation in a wide variety of arenas. Yet despite the fact that the separation of church and state would open up a wide world of opportunities for them, the American Jew continued to endure anti-Semitism at the behest of such powerful figures as automotive magnate Henry Ford. Through it all, however, their spirits remained eternally hopeful, and forever unbroken.
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