A Home on the Range
View a preview of A Home on the Range. (Running Time: 0:32)
See a preview of this Truly CA episode.
One of the founders and former directors of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Janis Plotkin interviews filmmaker Judith Montell about A Home on the Range. (Running Time: 36:21)
Jack London, California vigilantes, McCarthyism, the Cold War and agribusiness come to life in A Home on the Range: The Jewish Chicken Ranchers of Petaluma, a quintessentially American story of how a community of immigrants found a new home in California.
The film tells the little-known story of Jews who fled the pogroms and hardships of Eastern Europe, endured sweatshops in New York, joined the labor movement, and surprisingly, gravitated towards a small town in Northern California to raise chickens. Even in the sweatshops of New York Jews had heard about Petaluma where the Jews were not shopkeepers and professionals, but rather, they were the farmers.
A Home on the Range introduces a fractious, idealistic, and intrepid group of Eastern European Jews and their descendants as they confront obstacles of language and culture on their journey towards becoming Americans. These immigrants were searching for a better life in California, but weathered their fair share of hard knocks along the way. They survived the Depression, confronted racism and political turmoil and took on the agribusiness industry.
A Home on the Range combines in-depth interviews with home movies, newspaper articles, and archival footage to recreate the flavor of this lively ranching community in which agrarian aspirations, progressive politics and secular Jewish culture all co-existed.
This program is not currently scheduled for broadcast.
Read more about Bonnie Burt, filmmaker of A Home on the Range.
Read more about Judith Montell, filmmaker of A Home on the Range.
A Home on the Range: Crew & CreditsProduced, Directed and Edited by
Irv and Edna Newman
Lily Fishman Krulevitch
Video Post Production
Bob Johns, Finishing
David O. Weissman, Technical Consulting
Video Arts Inc., San Francisco
Audio Post Production
Robert Berke Sound, San Francisco
Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California
Randy Craig, keyboard
Ben Goldberg, clarinet
Susan Thompson, violin
Jeanette Lewicki, accordion
Linda Lipton Abernathy
Sol and Rose Fishman
Sheba and Joe Rapoport
Ann and Leon Barlas
Lily Fishman Krulevitch
Sid and Gerry Lipton
Barry and George Nitzberg
Sylvia Schwartz and Family
Bill and Gussie Sovel
Petaluma Historical Library Museum
Petaluma Museum Association
Sonoma County Library
West County Museum, Sebastopol
Western Sonoma Historical Society
Evelyn S. Mc Clure
Labor Archives, SF State University
Lynn A. Bonfield
Congregation B'nai Israel, Petaluma
Rabbi Leah Sudran
YIVO Institute For Jewish Research
Library Of Congress
Jack London State Historic Park
Dr. Les Adler
Dr. Sam Haber
Dr. Ava Kahn
Kenneth L. Kann
Dr. Vincenza Scarpaci
Dr. Phillip Naftaly
Dr. Albert Warhaftig
California Council For The Humanities
Richard A. Cummings
Nathan Cummings Fund
Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund, Inc.
Pacific Pioneer Fund
Gay Le Baron
Judah L. Magnes Museum
Jewish Community Agency of Sonoma County
Clarity Educational Productions, Inc.
Baby Chick Ranglers
courtesy Erik Jacobsen, Trans/tone Productions
"Arbiter Ring Himenn"
("Workman's Circle Anthem")
performed by Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco
"Zog Nit Keyn Mol"
(The Partisan Song")
Words, Hirsh Glik
Music, Dmitri Pokrass
Performed by Sam Lipshultz
Performed by Scott Gerber
music by Peter Degeyter
In Loving Memory:
Irving Mayer Burt
C. 2002 Bonnie Burt and Judith Montell
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