From Shtetl to Tango: The Untold Story of South America’s Jewish Sex Slavery


Speaker:  Gabriela Böhm

“Passages” film screening

University Synagogue – Klein Hall
11960 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles 90049

Sunday, December 12, 2010 – 1:00PM to 4:00PM

1:00PM – 2:30PM Presentation:  From Shtetl to Tango

m_RLPolishPassport-300x227Using archival photos and narrative film clips, Gabriela Böhm will discuss the extraordinary story of Raquel Lieberman — one of 30,000 shtetl girls tricked into “fake marriages” and sold by their “husbands” into slavery who was devoured by a prostitution ring after leaving Europe for a better life in Argentina. This work in progress chronicles Raquel’s passage from naïf to defiled to defiant and tells the true, sad story of the largest Jewish mafia, the Zwi Migdal, which operated more than 3,000 international brothels from the 1860s until the 1930s.

2:30PM – 2:45PM – Refreshment Break

2:45PM – 3:50PM Screening:  “PassagesIn this personal documentary, a filmmaker sets off on an odyssey through Eastern Europe, South America and the United States to uncover long-harbored family mysteries, myths and secrets.


Cemetery – Granadero Baigorria, Argentina

When a young Jewish woman, who grew up in Argentina, learns that she is pregnant, she resolves to understand better who she is and where she came from. “Passages” follows Böhm as she searches for the truth about her parents’ Holocaust experiences in order to know the legacy that she’s passing on to her unborn child. Her globetrotting journey takes her through Hungary, Romania, and Argentina visiting with distant family members, flipping through old photo albums, and speaking candidly with her mother, as she slowly pieces together the truth about her family’s past. She travels to her father’s m_RLargentinaportwhusband-197x300hometown in Romania and meet former neighbors who recall the day when her father’s family was sent to Auschwitz. Secrets can only be kept for so long and they don’t actually protect anyone as she finds that the truth can be painful, but it is also liberating and in the course of travels she find the legacy she can pass down to her child.

Gabriela Böhm is an award-winning producer/director of moving documentary films that explore cultural identity, inspiring people of all faiths with their stories of resilience.  Her latest full-length documentary, The Longing: The Forgotten Jews of South America, won a Telly Award g14-222x300for Religion/Spirituality, Best Latino Film at the Santa Fe Film Festival, Best Documentary at the Long Island Latino International Film Festival, and Honorable Mention/Documentary at the Orlando Hispanic Film Festival. Her previous documentary, Passages, won Best Documentary at the Woodstock Film Festival and the Jury Award at the Tambay Film Festival. A native of Argentina, she studied art and photography in Israel, prior to coming to the United States, where she received a BFA at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Tri-cultural, she is a US citizen and speaks fluent English, Spanish and Hebrew.  Click here to visit her website Böhm Productions.

Members free.  Guests are $5.  The traveling library will be available starting at 12:30PM.  Refreshments will be served.