The book of Esther, a quintessential tale of Jewish deliverance, has captivated readers and listeners for generations. But when Queen Esther made her debut in Hollywood, filmmakers focused on telling a love story about King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther. Is this romance an authentic portrayal of the biblical story?
Join us at Lunch & Learn, where we will survey the different film versions of Esther, explore how the movies portray the relationship between the king and his Jewish queen (including film clips), and compare the movies to the original story. Film portrayals of the story, even if they take liberties, can shed light on the ways Esther’s tale has taken root in American culture.
Lunch & Learn is a free in-person or online program. If you wish to attend Lunch & Learn in person, please remember a museum general admission ticket is required for entry.
Yosef Lindell is a lawyer, writer, lecturer, and the editor of the Lehrhaus, an online forum publishing Jewish ideas and scholarship. He holds an MA in Jewish history from Yeshiva University and a JD from NYU Law. His writing spans several genres, from science fiction to scholarship, and he’s published more than 30 articles on Jewish history and thought. In addition to writing a chapter in the book Esther in America on film retellings of the story of Queen Esther, he’s been published by The Atlantic, the Jewish Review of Books, JTA, the Forward, Modern Judaism, Jewish Action, and other venues. Yosef lives in Silver Spring, MD, with his wife and two sons.