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Day 16 of Jewish American Heritage Month: Learn about ‘Hava Nagila’

NMAJH

hava_nagila_chairs_jahmYou’ve danced the hora at hundreds of bar/bat mitzvahs and weddings. But do you really know anything about the song you’ve been dancing to — including the rest of the lyrics following the first two words? See director Roberta Grossman’s documentary “Hava Nagila: The Movie,” which has been working its way through the domestic Jewish film festival circuit and is currently playing in select theaters nationwide. The film traces the song’s evolution from a Ukrainian shtetl to the blockbuster piece that Jewish American Olympian Aly Raisman used in her 2012 floor routine. It includes interviews with numerous celebrities including Connie Francis, Leonard Nimoy and Harry Belafonte, who recall how the United States claimed “Hava Nagila” as its own in the second half of the 20th century (even Elvis took a stab at it).

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