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Cincinnati Premiere of "I Shall Not Be Silent," Tracing the Life of Activist Joachim Prinz, To Be Held Tuesday, May 19 at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives

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Friday, May 8, 2015

Documentary tells of Prinz's myriad contributions to world affairs and to strengthening Jewish-Black relations in America 

Rabbi Joachim Prinz speaking at the March on Washington in 1963. 

As a preeminent rabbi in Berlin when the Nazis came to power, Rabbi Joachim Prinz (1902-1988) continued to speak out against hatred and discrimination.—not only on the pulpit, but in public forums as well. He arrived in the U.S. in 1937 after the Nazi government formally expelled him from Germany. Once here, Prinz became a prominent American Jewish leader, and served as the beloved rabbi of Temple B’nai Abraham in New Jersey for nearly forty years. He was also active in national and world affairs. He joined the executive board of the World Jewish Congress in 1946; and he also served as president of the American Jewish Congress from 1958-1966 and as chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. Additionally, Prinz was one of ten founding chairmen of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. 

A new documentary, Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not be Silent, has been produced, and had its Cincinnati premiere on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. The documentary was produced by Rachel Eskin Fisher and Rachel Nierenberg of R Squared Productions. The film documents Prinz’s life and career— from urging Jews to leave Germany before World War II and collaborating with Dr. King in the civil rights struggle to advocating for the emerging State of Israel. It features extraordinary footage depicting 1930’s Berlin and discrimination against African Americans in the U.S. as well as interviews and appearances by Congressman John Lewis, Professors Clement A. Price and Michael A. Meyer, Senator Cory Booker and President Barack Obama. 

Rabbi Joachim Prinz addressing a sports rally in Germany in 1933

Following the screening, the audience will have a chance to share their reflections, responses and reactions with guest panelists Michael A. Meyer, Ph. D., editor of Joachim Prinz, Rebellious Rabbi: An Autobiography; David Mann, Vice Mayor of the City of Cincinnati and civic leader; and Marian Spencer, distinguished community servant and civic leader. 

“Prinz was active in the civil rights movement throughout the 1960s. In April, 1960, he led a picket line in front of a Woolworth store in New York City, protesting discrimination against African Americans at lunch counters in Southern states,” said Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and the Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience and Reform Jewish History at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. “The repositories of the AJA hold photos, recordings and other materials that illuminate important aspects of American Jewish Civil Rights history—and these materials include the priceless papers of Rabbi Joachim Prinz.” 

For more information, please contact Joyce Kamen at (513) 543-8109.


The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, founded in 1947 by its namesake on the historic campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, is committed to preserving a documentary heritage of the religious, organizational, economic, cultural, personal, social and family life of American Jewry. The Marcus Center contains over 15,000 linear feet of archives, manuscripts, nearprint materials, photographs, audio and videotapes, microfilm, and genealogical materials. 


Community Partners: The Jewish Community Relations Council, The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education, and Cincinnati Human Relations Commission 

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.