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As Seen On PBS

Jerusalem:
Center of the World

Encore performance on PBS,
December 9th, 2009
9PM – 11PM ET
(Check local listings)
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For over 40 centuries, untold numbers of Jews, Christians and Muslims have come to Jerusalem to look for God, while billions more have worshiped from afar. Jerusalem: Center of the World, a two-hour epic event in Hi-Definition by Emmy Award-winning producer/director Andrew Goldberg and Oregon Public Television, is the first documentary of this scope to delve into the historical facts and religious beliefs that have led so many thousands to live and die for this city.

Host Ray Suarez, Senior Correspondent, PBS’ The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, together with an outstanding roster of historians and scholars, explores the founding of the city, and the birth and convergence of the world’s three major monotheistic religions. He lends voice to the key events in the city’s history as described in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, the Talmud, the Hagaddah, the Koran and the Hadith. And he takes us through Jerusalem’s constantly shifting role in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Jerusalem: Center of the World takes viewers far beyond the city’s exteriors to follow the paths taken by Abraham, David, Jesus, and Mohammed, among countless others. From a strikingly intimate perspective, Suarez travels deep into the city. He touches the walls of Hezekiah’s famed underground water-filled tunnels built from solid rock over 2500 years ago; he faces the same wall the Biblical King David likely faced when conquering the city in the 10th century B.C.E. Suarez also visits the recently discovered Siloam pool where Jesus, it is said, cured a man’s blindness, and he takes us right into the Dome of the Rock from where Mohammed, Muslims believe, ascended to Heaven. With illustrations from over 300 pieces of iconic artwork from every genre and period, Jerusalem: Center of the World brings one of the oldest cities in the world to life.

Highlights include:

  1. Mount Moriah, the site of the First and Second Temples: At the center and beginning of it all, this 60’ x 40’ piece of Rock, is where, according to the Bible, Abraham was instructed by God to sacrifice his son. The Rock was later enshrined by David’s son, King Solomon, and became the site of the First Temple. Destroyed in 586 B.C.E. some four centuries after it was built, when the Babylonians attacked Jerusalem, a Second Temple was built on the same spot just 70 years afterward.

  2. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher: One of the holiest and most visually amazing churches in all of Christianity, it was built to enshrine the collective sites of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and ascension to Heaven. The numerous structures and buildings that make up the church have been damaged and rebuilt many times, but all still exist and operate to this day.

  3. The Dome of the Rock: Built over the Rock, this Islamic shrine is among the oldest extant Islamic buildings in the world, and is considered by many to be the most stunning. It is from here that Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammed ascended to Heaven. Completed in the late 7th century, C.E., the Dome is one of the holiest sites in Islam.

  4. The Western Wall: Dating from roughly 2,000 years ago, King Herod the Great, ruler of Jerusalem built vast retaining walls around Mount Moriah where the Second Temple stood. Virtually all of it was destroyed when the Romans sacked Jerusalem in 70 C.E., but the Wall remains, and is considered the holiest site in the world for the Jewish people.

Jerusalem: Center of the World captures the rich mosaic of Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities that co-exist--not always peacefully--in the city today and offers a rare and unparalleled look into the powerful role these communities have in the lives of hundreds of millions of people today.

Two Cats Productions is the producer of Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century (2007, PBS National Program Service), The Armenian Genocide (2006, PBS National Program Service), the Emmy Award-winning, A Yiddish World Remembered (2002, PBS) and Proud to Serve: The Men and Women of the U.S. Army (American Public Television, 2003). Andrew Goldberg is Executive Producer and Director.  Online at twocatstv.com. 

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) is Oregon's most far-reaching and accessible media resource, providing free access to programming for children and adults designed to give voice to community, connect Oregon and its neighbors and illuminate a wider world.  OPB is also one of the nation's top producers and presenters of public television programming, including primetime series, national news features, travel shows, historical documentaries, and specials that address contemporary issues.  

Major Funding provided by: The Aimwell Foundation; Chais Family Foundation; John and Judy Bedrosian; Harvey and Constance Krueger; The Hermine and David Heller Foundation; Henry and Elaine Kaufman Foundation; and others.

Reviews

LA Times
An event … a yeoman’s task… a top notch effort … that is timely and timeless.

Newsday
… a wonderful idea and well executed…  the overall effect - to paraphrase the poet - is to arrive at the place where it all started, yet know it for the first time. GRADE A

America Magazine
… thoughtful and highly informative, avoiding an overwrought writing style and intrusive dramatic reenactments and visual effects, which have become so ubiquitous in cable documentaries ... compelling.

Jerusalem Post
'Jerusalem' film to air on PBS

Seattle Times
PBS' "Jerusalem: Center of the World" is an enriching "biopic"

The Indianapolis Star
A Journey through Jerusalem

Bloomberg.com
… will likely win hosannas from Jews, Christians and Muslims who consider the ancient city their ancestral home. Other interested parties will appreciate host Ray Suarez’s respectful delivery and producer/director Andrew Goldberg’s wonderful cinematography and use of traditional and modern artwork.

Christianity Today
Jerusalem: Center of the World

The Washington Post
PBS Weighs Separation Of Church & Stations

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
TV REVIEW - Jerusalem: Center of the World

The Huffington Post
Account From The Set Of "Jerusalem: Center Of The World"

Washington Jewish Week
PBS' 'Jerusalem' delivers history without controversy

The Forward
Jerusalem Gets the PBS Treatment

The Lutheran
Jerusalem: Center of the World - Documentary offers fascinating history

Channel Guide Magazine
Jerusalem: Forever The World's Most Coveted Piece Of Real Estate.

Baltimore Jewish Times
Documentary Examines Jerusalem's History

The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles
Film on Jerusalem Explores Beating Heart of 3 Faiths

The Courant
TV EYE - What's on Television

The Jewish Voice and Opinion
Films to Enjoy on DVD or on PBS

Jewish Independent
New film that delves into the 4,000-year turbulent history of Jerusalem will air on PBS.

The Bakersfield Californian
City of God

Jewish Exponent
Yes, Next Month in ... 'Jerusalem'

Haddasah Magazine
Jerusalem: Center of the World

The Jewish Week
"...this fascinating and informative documentary perfectly describes its subject: 'Jerusalem: Center of the World.'"

The Daily Beast
"Jerusalem: Center of the World is a brilliant, awe-inspiring two-hour documentary..."

Beliefnet
High Def Jerusalem: PBS' Non-Controversial (But Pretty!) Look at the "Center of the World"

The Tidings
'Jerusalem' on PBS

godonline.newsvine.com
DVD review: 'Jerusalem: Center of the World'

Dallas Fort Worth Metro Catholic
Television Programming: Mar. 29 – Apr. 05, 2009

American Jewish World
PBS’ ‘Jerusalem’ delivers history without controversy

JTA-The Global News Service of the Jewish People
'Jerusalem' to air on PBS