Only in America

 

Only in America is a series of eight radio programs that show the progress of American Jews over the past 350 years. In September, 1654, twenty-three impoverished Jews arrived by ship in New Amsterdam after having been expelled from Recife, Brazil. Adding insult to injury, Governor Peter Stuyvesant tried to expel them when they arrived. He failed. There are now more than six million Jews living in the United States.

The programs include interviews with US  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. Mel Brooks describes his experience with antisemitism and discusses his film The Producers,  which has been challenged by many as being antisemitic. Jerry Stiller and Zero Mostel read from the “bintel briefs,” letters to the editor of the Jewish Daily Forward seeking advice on how to adapt to strange American customs. Jon Stewart quips about the Jewish writers on “The Daily Show” and John Lithgow reads Stuyvesant’s 1654 letter to the Dutch West India Company requesting permission to expel the original 23 Jewish immigrants, calling them “blasphemers of the name of Christ.”

These are just a few of the pieces that make up this amazing eight hour documentary.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg

John Lithgow

Jerry Stiller

Elie Wiesel

Zero Mostel

Jon Stewart