The Jazz Singer


Film Info
Director(s):Alan Crosland
Country:United States
Running Time:88 minutes
Type of Film:Narrative
Family Relationships
In Person/Special Program:Professor Thomas Doherty
Professor Joshua R. Jacobson
Professor Joel Rosenberg


90 years after it became the first "talkie", The Jazz Singer is still relevant. The film is an important touchstone in conversations about Jewish life in America, Jews on the silver screen, the history of cinema, and the relationship between Jews and African Americans.


Jakie Rabinowitz (Al Jolson) defies his cantor father by leaving home to become a jazz singer. But despite his success, Jakie, now Jack Robin, feels conflicted about leaving his home and his heritage. 


Join us for a screening of this seminal film, followed by an in-depth panel discussion about Jews in cinema, assimilation, race, and jazz as an instrument of acculturation.

Panelists include Thomas Doherty, Professor of American Studies at Brandeis University, Joshua R Jacobson, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Northeastern University, and Joel Rosenberg, Associate Professor and Co-Director of Judaic Studies at Tufts University

Co-presented with Roxbury International Film Festival