JAHM is now in its fourth year of partnership with BIO Channel of A&E Television Networks. In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month 2013, the BIO Channel offers profiles of Jewish individuals who have had a major impact on American history and culture. Click on the hyperlink at the end of each entry for even more information. Entries with an asterisk (*) relate to the JAHM 2013 theme, American Jews in Entertainment.
In a career filled with successes, Steven Spielberg has redefined film-making. Films such as Jaws, Indiana Jones, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, Hook, and Jurassic Park were popular with audiences worldwide. Schindler's List was released in 1993, and earned the highest acclaim of his career. He won his first Academy Award for Best Director for his work on the film, and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest directors of all time. He started his own film studio, Dreamworks SKG in 1994, and sold it to Paramount Pictures in 2005. During his pathbreaking career, Spielberg has seen success as a director, writer, and producer. Even in the year 2013, nearly 50 years after his first film, Steven Spielberg continues to reinvent the industry of film.
Millions of viewers tune in to The Daily Show nightly to get the news delivered by Jon Stewart, with his tongue firmly planted in cheek. Born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, the veteran funny man from New Jersey sharpened his wit in the ultra-competitive New York City club scene of the early 90's. After getting turned down for the hosting job at The Late Show, Stewart took over The Daily Show in January of 1999 and hasn't looked back. His relaxed, everyman delivery make him extremely likable, even as he skewers the media, the government, and all else that he and his Daily Show pranksters deem hypocritical. Program airs May 14.
Actor Henry Winkler achieved a level of fame that made him a pop-culture superstar as "Fonzie" on the hit television series Happy Days. Winkler was born into a Jewish family in 1945, six years after his parents had emigrated to the U.S. from Germany. In a career that has spanned six decades, Winkler has appeared in a wide variety of film and television roles. Winkler has also made his mark behind the scenes, directing and producing numerous projects through his own production company. Winkler is a Hollywood renaissance man who has given back to his community through education initiatives and charitable activities.
One of the most ubiquitous names in Hollywood, Adam Sandler is one of the nation's biggest stars of comedy. Born in Brooklyn and raised in New Hampshire, Sandler developed his winning sense of humor over time, transitioning from stand up comedy to mainstream film roles. Graduating from stand-up comedy to Saturday Night Live all the way to Hollywood leading man, Sandler has connected with audiences worldwide through his keen sense of humor. Sandler has contributed generously to multiple charities including the Boys and Girls Club.
Albert Einstein once said about himself, "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." It was Einstein's lifetime of passionate curiosity that profoundly changed the way people understand the physical world. Born into a Jewish family in Germany in 1879, Einstein pursued an education and started a vibrant scientific career. When Hitler came to power in 1933, he moved to the United States and in 1940 he became a U.S. citizen From the Theory of Relativity to his famous mass/energy equation, E=mc2, Einstein published over hundreds of both scientific and non-scientific works. Einstein also played a critical role in establishing the Manhattan Project, which went on to develop the atomic bomb. Although he later campaigned against the use of nuclear weapons, Einstein recommended that the U.S. explore the development of the atomic bomb out of fear that the Nazi regime would develop the capability first. Greatly outspoken, Einstein described himself as a militant pacifist, claiming he would always fight for peace and humanitarian causes. Between his masterful scientific work and his role as a peace activist, Einstein is remembered as an icon of the 20th century.
Ben & Jerry
Ben & Jerry –Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield met as middle school students, and both had a passion for food. In 1977 they decided to take a $5 correspondence course to learn about ice-cream making. Using fresh Vermont milk, cream, and whatever else they thought looked good, they started to make their own ice cream. From there, Ben & Jerry's vision was born. Today, it is one of the nation's most popular and well-recognized brands. Program airs May 7.
Dustin Hoffman – Film clips from The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, Rain Man, and other classics, plus an early 20th Century Fox screen test, highlight this portrait of screen legend Dustin Hoffman. Through his on-screen charisma and distinct acting style, Hoffman has become one of the most revered and respected actors of his time. Program airs May 21.
May 22nd - Billy Crystal – This Bio is an in-depth look at Billy Crystal's life, from his childhood in New York as the son of a jazz concert promoter to his life on the comedy club circuit to his memorable film roles. Viewers watch as Crystal follows his dreams from a role in the series Soap to Saturday Night Live and beyond. This is an engaging profile of one of the country's most popular entertainers. Program airs May 28.
BIO Classroom is a commercial-free programming block that airs each Tuesday morning at 7 am / 6 am central on BIO Channel. BIO Classroom features teachers' guides, special initiatives for educators, and links to organizations for teachers and students.
Visit BIO Classroom at www.biography.com/tv/classroom.