A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs is a traveling exhibit about the contributions of iconic Jewish songwriters such as Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein to the great “American Songbook” during the period 1910-1965. It opens at the University of Central Florida Libraries, East Orlando Campus on September 8, 2011. The best songwriters of this time combined a genius for melody, a talent for pairing it with the perfect words, and an ability to connect with a wide audience. A high percentage of them were Jewish, from families that had immigrated to America in the 1800s or fled pogroms and persecution in Europe at the turn of the century. Their sophisticated and romantic songs—“Body and Soul,” “Over the Rainbow,” “That Old Black Magic,” “It Had to Be You”—became beloved classics of American popular culture.
A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, 1910-1965 was developed by Nextbook, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture, and ideas, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The national tour of the exhibit has been made possible by grants from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, and an anonymous donor, with additional support from Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life.