VPT film on Burlington’s Jewish history premieres Dec. 6

Shelburne residents Mark Rosenthal (left) and Harriet Colodny Rosenthal appear in “Little Jerusalem,” Vermont Public Television’s documentary about the traditional Jewish neighborhood in Burlington. They share memories of the community. In this scene from the film, they are in a former synagogue in Burlington to see a recently uncovered folk art mural.

In the late 19th century, many Eastern European Jews sought freedom from repression in North America.  Some came from neighboring rural villages in Lithuania to Burlington, a busy lumber port amid countryside that reminded them of home.

“Little Jerusalem,” Vermont Public Television’s newest documentary about the state’s history, will premiere Thursday, Dec. 6, at 8 pm.  The film combines archival images, and interviews with historians and descendants of the original settlers, to tell the little-known story of a traditional Jewish community that thrived in Burlington’s Old North End from the 1880s to the 1940s.

Among those interviewed are Shelburne residents Mark Rosenthal and Harriet Colodny Rosenthal.  They share family memories of the community.  In a moving scene from the film, they visit a former synagogue in Burlington, now a condominium, to see a recently uncovered mural by a Jewish folk artist.

There will be additional broadcasts Dec. 8 at 5:30 pm and Dec. 10 at 9 pm.

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