Live Music by Donald Sosin
Q&A with NCJF Directors Sharon Pucker Rivo & Lisa Rivo

Come celebrate this major discovery of a long lost 1919 silent film – back on the screen after 100 years!

Broken Barriers (Khavah) was the first American screen adaptation of the work of Sholem Aleichem, and based on the same stories as Tevye and Fiddler on the Roof.  Long believed lost, the only surviving film materials were donated to NCJF by the great granddaughter of the film’s producers.

This remarkable film focuses not on Tevye the milkman, but on his daughter Khavah, who falls in love with the gentile boy Fedka, sending reverberations through her family and community. The film’s substantive depiction of Jewish life is a rarity even amongst the precious few surviving early American films with Jewish content.

Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem (born Sholem Rabinovich in Russia in 1859) was the most read and revered Jewish writer of his time. Broken Barriers (Khavah) was the first, but not the last, adaptation of his Tevye stories. In 1939, Maurice Schwartz directed and starred in the Yiddish-language feature Tevye (restored by NCJF). Twenty-five years later, Tevye entered mainstream American culture with the stage musical Fiddler on the Roof and the subsequent movie.

Read Richard Brody on the film in 
Listen to Audrey Kupferberg on the film on

Director: Charles E. Davenport | USA | 1919 | 78m | Silent w/ English intertitles

Wednesday, May 13, 7:00 pm
Coolidge Corner Theatre