Lorry I. Lokey Program: "My Dear Children" documentary screening & filmmaker Q&A
Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 6:00pm
Lorry I. Lokey Program: "My Dear Children" documentary screening & filmmaker Q&A

My Dear Children

Nov. 8, 2018, 6pm| Free | 5th Avenue Cinema, 510 SW Hall St. | Limited seats - reserve a free ticket

Lorry I. Lokey Program, presented by The Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies, co-sponsored with the School of Film

Documentary screening and Q&A with filmmaker LeeAnn Dance


My Dear Children is the first in-depth, scholarly documentary about the little known Jewish massacres in Eastern Europe after World War I. Told through the rare, first-hand account of survivor Feiga Shamis, a Jewish mother of 12, who was driven by events to put two of her children in an orphanage, “My Dear Children” is a window into this forgotten history and the daring rescue mission that saved those two children. Learn more.


LeeAnn Dance is an award winning television producer and groundbreaking investigative reporter who began her career more than 25 years ago. She has worked as a freelancer in East Africa and as a producer with CNN’s investigative and documentary unit. She now has her own boutique production company outside Washington, D.C. "My Dear Children" is her first independent documentary production.

View video trailer of the film, My Dear Children, featuring a cameo appearance by Prof. Natan Meir, Academic Director, Judaic Studies Program

My Dear Children documentary



My Dear Children follows one woman’s quest to unravel a family mystery.  It’s a journey that reveals a heartbreaking and little known humanitarian tragedy.  One hundred years ago, Jews in what today is Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus suffered through what scholars now call “the holocaust of its day.”  Pogroms that swept the region from 1917-1921 killed some 250,000 Jews, perhaps many more. Using a letter describing those horrific events, Judy Favish, a 61-year-old South African Jew traces the events that tore apart not only her family, but also tens of thousands of others.  It’s a story shared by Jews the world over.



My Dear Children is the first in-depth, scholarly film about anti-Jewish massacres in Eastern Europe following WWI.  It is told through the rare memoir of a survivor, Feiga Shamis.

The film follows the quest of Feiga’s granddaughter, Judy Favish, as she seeks to understand Feiga’s story and that of her father – one of the two children Feiga sent to South Africa.  Judy grew up knowing little about her father’s childhood. He simply wouldn’t talk about it. Nearly three decades later, she set out to find some answers.

The film weaves between Judy’s journey, Feiga’s memoir, and the little known history revealed by the memoir.  Judy’s journey took her to Ukraine, New York, and a little known archive in South Africa. What she discovered was a story of rampant, and violent, anti-Semitism.

My Dear Children brings this history to light, helps Jews everywhere understand their connection to this history, and honors the countless victims.  Feiga’s story is a testament to the consequences of unchecked anti-Semitism at a time of increasing anti-Semitism in the U.S. and elsewhere.


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