John Muir in the New World

The Jewish Theological Seminary Sponsors New York Premiere of PBS Documentary

Press Contact: Eve Glasberg
Office: (212) 678-8089

March 8, 2011, New York, NY

The New York premiere of the PBS documentary John Muir in the New World will be held at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) at 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street) in Manhattan on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. The exclusive screening is cosponsored by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of JTS, Global Village Media, American Masters (PBS), the Interfaith Center of New York, Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice, and the Center for the Study of Science and Religion of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Admission is free, no reservations are required; for additional information, contact Holly Martin at or (212) 678-8950.

After the screening, there will be a question-and-answer session with the film’s writer and director Catherine Tatge and producer Dominique Lasseur. Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at JTS and director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute, will be the moderator. Refreshments will follow.

“‘The earth and all the fullness thereof belongs to God’ (Psalm 24:1). We are thrilled to host the New York premiere of John Muir in the New World,” says Rabbi Visotzky. “It is a magnificent, spiritual, and awe-inspiring film about Muir, the father of the environmental movement and the founder of the Sierra Club, the oldest and largest grassroots conservation organization in the United States. As part of the Jewish values we teach and hold dear at JTS, this film demonstrates our commitment to conserving our planet for the next generation and the stewardship that God bestowed upon us ‘to tend it and preserve it’ (Genesis 2:15). We are proud to join with other faith traditions and the Earth Institute of Columbia University in honoring John Muir’s memory.”

John Muir in the New World is a 90-minute biographical documentary that focuses on the extraordinary life and influence of the Scottish-born American naturalist, author, explorer, activist, scientist, and farmer, who had an enormous impact on the development of the American West and whose vision still inspires us today. The film takes viewers to the spectacular landscapes that shaped John Muir and were, in turn, shaped by his devotion: we see Dunbar, his birthplace in Scotland’s East Lothian district; the Wisconsin woods of his childhood; the Martinez, California, home and fruit ranch that he inhabited with his wife and daughters; the Sierra Nevada mountains, California’s Alhambra Valley, and the glaciers of Alaska, all of which inspired him to become a conservationist; and the national parks, such as Yosemite and Sequoia, that he was so instrumental in creating.

The documentary will air nationally on PBS’s American Masters series on Monday, April 18, 2011, at 9:00 p.m., in honor of John Muir Day (April 21) and Earth Day (April 22). Please check your local listings.

Since 1938, the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of JTS has maintained an innovative interfaith and intergroup relations program that emphasizes conversation among diverse communities.

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