Czech Documentary featuring BE member Jerri Zbiral

Czechs in Chicago: A Home in the Heartland is a documentary film that chronicles how Czechs helped build and shape Chicago from their arrival in the 19th century to today. By creating distinct Czech neighborhoods, founding cultural and business institutions and contributing to political and civic leadership, Czech immigrants have stories to tell.

Years ago I met fellow filmmakers Susan Marcincus & Larry Jacobs through Susan’s Slovak roots. I did most of the initial photo research for the film and have been involved creatively over the years. I am on-camera for the small Jewish section filmed at Beth Emet (where the Holocaust mantle I designed is prominently featured.)

I was born in Prague shortly after WWII, ultimately settling in Chicago. I am proud of this film, especially relevant to my life, my Czech heritage and my Judaism.

The 90-minute documentary airs on WTTW Friday, May 20 at 8:00 pm.

Learn More

See below for a behind-the-scenes look! Thanks to Alan Teller for the photographs!








Beth Emet has so many amazing members, each offering unique talents to the greater community. Share your news with all of us so we can both celebrate and get to know one another a bit better…. Especially during these (mostly) virtual times. Send your news to Bekki Kaplan, and if possible, please include a photo!