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Raise the Roof

Raise the Roof

"Raise the Roof crosses the limits of religion to show selfless compassion."

–Margot Carvallo, Neighbor Newspapers, Atlanta

They set out to reconstruct a lost synagogue. They recovered a lost world.

Rivaling the greatest wooden architecture in history, the synagogues of 18th-century Poland inspired artists Rick and Laura Brown of Handshouse Studio to embark on a 10-year pursuit—to reconstruct the elaborate roof and painted ceiling of the Gwozdziec synagogue.

Leading over 300 students and professionals from 16 countries, the Browns grapple not just with the echoes of World War II when these buildings were destroyed by the Nazis, but also with warped timbers, tricky paints, and period hand tools. By the end of the project, they have done more than reconstruct a lost synagogue: they have recovered a lost world. In 2014, the Gwozdziec roof was unveiled as the centerpiece of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

This special event screening is co-presented by the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation . The screening will be followed by a Q & A with ACJC Kronhill Visiting Scholar Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. Barbara was a consultant on Raise the Roof and is the Program Director, Core Exhibition, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and author of They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust.


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    Yari & Cary Wolinsky

JIFF returns to cinemas across Australia in October 2024. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear updates on new titles, special announcements and more!