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Chris Gonzaga, Shelomo Alfassa and on the bottom Rachamim Berman HaLevi with David Lopez of Moshav Abravanel Films
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Shelomo Alfassa, ISFSP Executive Director with guests.
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ISFSP staff, Rachamim Berman HaLevi, Shelomo Alfassa and Chris Gonzaga.

Producers of the evening event with  a few of the guests.

On November 30, 2004 the ISFSP and Central Florida Hillel produced an evening of Hanukah Education. The film Emperors and Rebels: The True Story of Hanukah was screened and as a special treat, the film's producer Asaf Golan traveled from Texas to discuss the film with the guests. Read the introduction which was read by the producer, Asaf Golan. Also, on this night a slideshow of high resolution photos were shown. They were taken at the ancient city of Modi'in, traditional home to Judah Maccabee and the Hasmonean family. These photos had been taken by Shelomo Alfassa, Executive Director of the ISFSP. These photos included photos of the oldest "synagogue" ever found in Israel, a Persian era Jewish structure, (one which is still not open to the public).

About the film...this new documentary from Israel was developed by leading experts on Jewish and Hellenistic history. The film gave us the historical background that most of us never learned about Judah Maccabee and the Hasmonean Revolt. Digital combat re-creation sequences and world renowned paintings served as the backdrop for understanding the events that led to the war of freedom which began in 168 B.C.E. Trustworthy Professors from Cal States Los Angeles, Hebrew University, University California at Berkeley, and New York University who specialize in the Hellenistic period explained what really happened during this tumultuous period of Jewish history. The guests received factual details which helped them understand the true origins of the history of the holiday of Hanukah. Historians which speak throughout the film include: Stanley M. Burstien, Erich S. Gruen, Lawrence H. Schiffman and Doron Mendels.

The historians of Emperors and Rebels

On this evening, Rachamim Berman HaLevi, Director of Jewish Education of the ISFSP spoke to the audience on sin-at chinam (baseless hatred) and how the Jewish people have historically went through periods when sin-at chinam affected the Jewish world. Sin-at chinam was not only around during the period when Judah Maccabee lived, but has crept into our modern world.

A terrific night was had by all!!

The event was held at University of Central Florida - 4000 Central Florida Blvd. Orlando, FL 32816. Click HERE for a copy of the original printable PDF of the flyer or visit the Press Release page for the original press release.

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Asaf Golan, producer of Emperors and Rebels, who came to Florida from Texas for the event.
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Rachamim Berman HaLevi giving a fantastic lecture.

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