Shelley Johansson, the Director of Communications & Marketing for the Johnstown Area Heritage Association, says this exhibit "is a fascinating look at how public opinion was shaped by the motion picture industry and vice versa." She says it isn't just of interest to film buffs, or those with an interest in Jewish history, but anyone with an interest in mass media and society.
"Cinema Judaica" consists of film posters, memorabilia and other objects that show how the motion picture industry was shaped by and created changes in public opinion during the difficult years of 1939-1949. It illustrates how the industry encouraged America's isolationism, advocated going to war against the Nazis, influenced post-war perceptions of the Jewish people and the founding of the State of Israel, and shaped the face of contemporary Jewish life.
The exhibit, which will be displayed on the Heritage Discovery Center's fifth floor, is divided into four sections, as follows: "The Great Debate," (1939-1941), After Pearl Harbor (1942-1945), The Post-War Anti-Semitism Films of the 1940s, and Post-War "Exodus" Films of the 1940s. A film and lecture series will accompany this exhibition.