Beth Yam to host discussion on Spielberg's portrayal of Jews

Director Steven Spielberg is known for some of his films that tell stories of the Jewish people, but have his movies cast a negative light on how Jews are portrayed in the modern world?

Retired professor Robert Platzner will address that question and others about Spielberg's work at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Congregation Beth Yam, 4501 Meeting St., Hilton Head Island. Platzner will speak about how "Schindler's List" and "Munich" raise questions about Spielberg's sense of Jewish identity.

"Schindler's List" is a 1993 film about a German businessman (Liam Neeson) who saves the lives of more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. It won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Spielberg. Made in 2005 and starring Eric Bana, "Munich" tells the story of the Israeli government's secret retaliation attacks after the massacre of Israeli athletes by the Black September terrorist group during the 1972 Summer Olympics.

Platzner also will speak on "How Does the Hebrew Bible View Women?" at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Beth Yam. In it, Platzner will analyze the male-female dynamic of the biblical society and how it differs from gender relations today.

Platzner is the former chairman of the Department of Humanities and Religious Studies at California State University-Sacramento. Beth Yam Rabbi Brad Bloom formerly taught with Platzner at Cal State and invited him to speak.

He is the author of numerous publications about the Jewish faith, such as "Hannah's Prayer: Muted Voices and Transgressive Gestures in Biblical Narrative" and "The Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible."

Reservations are required for both events. Tickets are $10 for nonmembers.

Details: 843-689-2178