Previews & samples of the educators guide

Faith & Fate The Dawn of the Century 1900-1910

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Audience responses

“It was extraordinary. You could not hear a peep in the audience. What a great job, an important job, to reveal historical truth for all time. Many of us were in tears”.

Dr. Linda Field – Atlanta

“I was absolutely mesmerized by it.The story had to be told. It should never be forgotten. Thank you!  Kudos!!” Bravo!!!

Mark Carp – Author of “Abraham: The Last Jew, The Extraordinary Times of Ordinary People”.

“Emotionally spellbinding. Our children and grandchildren must see it”.

Norman Grey – Atlanta

“I have tears in my eyes. It is magnificent. The government of Israel and the Jewish Agency should buy one for every Diaspora Jew. 5 Star Rating”.

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich – The Jerusalem Post

Synopsis of episode VI

Print Version


When the American soldiers discovered the “Jewish graveyard” left by the Nazis in Europe, as well as the survivors of the concentration camps, they were unprepared for what they saw and shocked by what they found.

The surviving Jews had no homes to return to, little or no family remaining and were suffering in dire poverty. The Sephardic and the Ashkenazic Jewish communities of Europe were gone. Looking back, they and their communities were devastated; looking forward, the challenges seemed insurmountable.

The film explores the remarkable determination with which survivors rebuilt their lives. It also explores their faith during and after the Holocaust. For many of the survivors, the Zionist dream of a Jewish homeland was their anchor of hope. For others, it was their determination to rebuild their lives with material security and safety. And yet for others, the faith that had sustained them through their darkest days, became the building block of re-creating a Torah life wherever they could.

Anti-Semitism by local Europeans continued even after World War II, especially among the Poles. Emigration to other non-European countries was often not an option, as the quota system instituted against Jews before World War II remained in effect, even after the Holocaust. Only 1500 Jews per month were allowed by the British to enter Palestine, as England did not want to antagonize the Muslim world.

The British, ignoring their legal obligation under the original terms of the League of Nations Mandate, illegally restricted Jewish immigration into Palestine. The Jews were split as to how to deal with the British in Palestine. Some, led by David Ben Gurion and Chaim Weizman, believed in negotiations and political pressure, while others led by Menachem Begin of the Irgun and a few score in Lechi, believed the only way to create the State was to fight for it – and drive the British out.

The route through and from Europe was treacherous for the Jewish refugees seeking to enter Palestine. Thousands braved the elements and made it to the shores of Palestine, only to see 62 of 63 immigrant ships be turned away by the British blockade. The most famous of these ships, the Exodus, created a standoff between its 4,500 Jewish survivors and the British. Eventually the British sent the refugees back to France, and when the Jews refused to disembark they were shipped back to the “death land” – Germany. The inhumanity of the action and the iron will of the survivors swayed world public opinion.

From 1945-1948, there was a groundswell of public support for the State of Israel by Jews world-wide, and in the United States in particular. Meanwhile, in Palestine, bombings and retaliatory murders were daily occurrences, as the British were unsuccessful at keeping the peace between Jews and Arabs. Eventually British Prime Minister Bevin decided that England would hand the problem over to the United Nations.

At the same time, the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the Free World escalated. Stalin closed the doors on emigration from Russia which prevented 3 million Jews from leaving. Furthermore, with the official policy of atheism, being enforced, Jews were forbidden from practicing their religion.

UNSCOP, The United Nations Committee on Palestine, held hearings on September 1, 1947, to decide what course of action to recommend to the UN regarding Palestine.

UNSCOP recommended that Palestine be partitioned into two states – one Jewish and one Arab. This partition plan was rejected by all the Arab states. The resolution was passed on November 29, 1947, in the United Nations by a vote of 33-13. Remarkably, both the United States and the Soviet Union supported the resolution at the height of the Cold War. This passing of the UN Partition Plan negatively affected over 850,000 Sephardic Jews living in Arab lands, where the Muslims began turning violently against their Jewish citizens.

On the close of May 14, 1948, the British officially left Palestine. Earlier the same day, the State of Israel was declared by David Ben Gurion, acting as its provisional Prime Minister.

America was the first country to officially recognize the new State of Israel – eleven minutes after it was declared. U.S. President Harry Truman signed the letter of recognition.

Immediately after the declaration, an all-out war broke out between the Jews and Arabs. Six Arab armies attacked the new Jewish State.

As the war was raging the Jewish leadership urged the local Palestinian Arabs in major cities not to abandon their homes. The Arab leadership forbade the Arabs, however, to return or to live in areas under Jewish rule.

For the 650,000 Jews living in the new infant State, it was “fight or be driven out”. For them it was “Ayn Brirah – No Alternative”.

Unfortunately, in one form or another, the war and battles that began in 1948 have continued to this day.