The One and Only Jewish Miss America
Genres: History, Antisemitism, Tolerance
Runtime: 51 minutes
“The One and Only Jewish Miss America” is the surprising story of Bess Myerson, the talented beauty queen from the Bronx, and how she won the world’s most famous beauty pageant 75 years ago, at the tail end of World War II. The film follows Bess, the middle daughter of poor Russian immigrants, from her childhood in a one-bedroom Jewish housing project apartment through the suspense-filled pageant. Impressed by the college-educated musician, the judges chose her in spite of anonymous threatening phone calls and sponsor disapproval of a Jewish pageant winner. On her 1945 Miss America tour, Bess faced antisemitism and closed doors at race-restricted venues which did not allow Jews. It is also a story of courage as her disappointment turned to determination, leading Bess Myerson to start her own tour to teach tolerance at high schools and colleges around the country -- a tour which launched her lifelong passion for justice.
Starting as a sound effects editor in Hollywood, David mentored with an award-winning post-production team and discovered the power of sound and music to turn visual imagery into an emotional and visceral experience. David segued into non-fiction, story telling, creating documentaries for PBS, including "Mother of the Year," a MacArthur Foundation Award Winner. Other award-winning include "Houseboat Philosopher" and "Those Who Came Before." His PBS TV work includes producing/directing the weekly series "On The Internet" with Leo LePorte, of Tech TV. David's extensive international film and journalism work includes a stint in Moscow as bureau chief and broadcast journalist for Worldwide Television News, London, and Public Broadcast’s Nightly Business Report, and projects in Mexico, Brazil, Europe, Central Asia, and Australia where he worked with some of the world’s top film crews and journalists.
Director / Producer - David Arond
Writer - Codi Ruttenbur