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Film producer Nancy Spielberg will introduce, screen and answer questions about her new documentary, Above and Beyond, at the Hillel Rogoff Annual Memorial Lecture at Yeshiva University.

The event will be held on April 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the Israel Henry Beren Campus’ Koch Auditorium at 245 Lexington Avenue, New York City.

The documentary explores the story of a group of American World War II pilots who volunteered to fight for Israel in the War of Independence in 1948. As members of “Machal” – volunteers from abroad – this ragtag band of brothers not only prevented the possible annihilation of Israel at the very moment of its birth, but also laid the groundwork for the Israeli Air Force.

An accomplished businesswoman, fundraiser and philanthropist, Spielberg has in recent years turned her energy and talents to producing documentary films. She served as consultant on the Oscar-winning documentary Chernobyl Heart, and is executive producer of Elusive Justice: The Search for Nazi War Criminals, which aired nationally on PBS, and the forthcoming documentary Mimi and Dona.

She is also executive producing Who Will Write Our History, with director Roberta Grossman.

Before creating and producing Above and Beyond, Spielberg produced a project for the Israeli government, Celebrities Salute Israel’s 60th, which was featured in Times Square on the NASDAQ screens for one month.

Spielberg grew up surrounded by the film industry, where she worked on her brother Steven’s early films. She attended Arizona State University and the University of California-Los Angeles and, after moving to New York, studied film at Sarah Lawrence College and the New School in New York.

She is founder and co-founder of several charities including “A Bid for Charity,” “Children of Chernobyl,” “Project Sunshine” and the American branch of The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.

“The Hillel Rogoff Memorial focuses upon topics with a Jewish theme, and I am delighted that Nancy Spielberg will be this year's speaker,” said Dr. Cynthia Wachtell, director of the S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program at Stern College.

“Her documentary, Above and Beyond, illuminates a fascinating chapter in mid-twentieth century history linking America and Israel.” 

The lecture is named for Hillel (Harry) Rogoff, an early alumnus of YU and longtime editor of the Jewish Daily Forward. The lecture was established in 1971 through the efforts of the late YU English professor and administrator Dr. David Mirsky and members of the Rogoff family.

The event is open to the public and free of charge. For reservations, please email hillelrogoff2015@gmail.com.

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