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Dreaming Of A Jewish Christmas

Airs Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV + Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 10 p.m. on KPBS 2

Film still. The irreverent documentary

Credit: Courtesy of American Public Television

Above: Film still. The irreverent documentary "Dreaming Of A Jewish Christmas" tells the story of the unlikely Jewish immigrants who, enamored with Broadway and Hollywood, wrote some of the most popular songs in America: Christmas music.

The amazing story of Jewish songwriters who wrote the soundtrack to Christmas

The irreverent documentary "Dreaming Of A Jewish Christmas" tells the story of the unlikely Jewish immigrants, including Irving Berlin, Mel Tormé, Jay Livingston, Ray Evans, Gloria Shayne Baker and Johnny Marks, who wrote some of the best-loved Christmas songs of all time.

The film features rarely-seen archival footage and performances by Tom Wilson, Steven Page, Dione Taylor and the Lemon Bucket Orkestra among many others.

Interviews include writer and radio host Ophira Eisenberg (NPR’s "Ask Me Another"), Grammy Award-winning musicologist Rob Bowman, Yuk-Yuk’s Mark Breslin, writer, jazz musician and producer Ben Sidran (The Steve Miller Band, "There Was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream"), music journalist Robert Harris (20 Pieces of Music That Changed the World) and many more.

Dreaming Of A Jewish Christmas: Trailer

Set almost entirely in a Chinese restaurant, "Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas" is an offbeat, irreverent musical documentary that tells the story of a group of Jewish songwriters, including Irving Berlin, Mel Tormé, Jay Livingston, Ray Evans, Gloria Shayne Baker and Johnny Marks, who wrote the soundtrack to Christianity’s most musical holiday. It’s an amazing tale of immigrant outsiders who became irreplaceable players in pop culture’s mainstream - a generation of songwriters who found in Christmas the perfect holiday in which to imagine a better world, and for at least one day a year, make us believe in it.

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"Dreaming Of A Jewish Christmas" is on Facebook and Instagram.

Credits:

Directed by Larry Weinstein ("Inside Hana's Suitcase," "Beethoven's Hair") and produced by Riddle Films. Producers: Liam Romalis and Jason Charters. Distributed by American Public Television.

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