Guide to the Records of the Hebrew Hammer (Film), undated, 2001-2003
 
*I-539

Processed by Tanya Elder

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160

Fax: (212) 294-6161

Email: reference@ajhs.org

URL: http://www.ajhs.org

© 2014, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Tanya Elder as MS Word document, 2012. Finding aid was encoded by Christine McEvilly on December 14, 2012. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Kesselman, Jonathan; and
McMullen, Cabot
Title: Hebrew Hammer (Film) Records
Dates:undated, 2001-2003
Abstract: The Hebrew Hammer was a 2003 movie written and directed by Jonathan Kesselman and starring Adam Goldberg as the Hebrew Hammer. The collection contains production notes, copies of the set design, and several props from the movie.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet (1 OS2 box plus one museum item)
Identification: I-539
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS New York, NY
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Historical Note
Props, materials, and designs from The Hebrew Hammer, including dreidel, a Sandy Koufax lunchbox, and food labels.

Props, materials, and designs from The Hebrew Hammer.

The Hebrew Hammer was a 2003 comedy written and directed by Jonathan Kesselman that starred Adam Goldberg as the Hebrew Hammer, with a cast that included Andy Dick, Judy Greer, Sean Whalen, Mario Van Peebles, Peter Coyote, Tony Cox, and Nora Dunn, among others.

The plot centered on Mordecai Jefferson Carver (aka “The Hebrew Hammer”), a private investigator who defends Jews. Mordecai joins forces with Muhammad (Mario Van Peebles), leader of the Kwanzaa Liberation Front, in order to defeat the evil deeds of Santa’s son, Damian (Andy Dick), who threatens to destroy Hanukkah and Kwanzaa permanently during the Christmas season.

The film is based on “Blaxploitation” films such as Melvin Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song and Gordon Parks’ Shaft, which were (according to the now-defunct website to the original movie), “reactions to Hollywood’s inability or unwillingness to portray strong, sexy Black characters in the early 70s, Kesselman’s “Hammer” is his way of creating a new hero for a new generation.”1

The film attracted some controversy when first released, particularly from the Anti-Defamation League, who were portrayed in the movie as the “Jewish Justice League” as well as some Christian groups who felt that the movie disparaged Jews and Christians alike. The film was shot in and around Borough Park, Brooklyn, with a high concentration of Hasidic Jews, who normally are not open to movie shoots in the area. However, though the reaction to the movie shoot was mixed, there were no protests against the filming and some members of the community were extras in the film.2

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Scope and Content Note

The collection contains production notes, set designs, and several props from the movie, The Hebrew Hammer.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into a single series as follows:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility. Separated museum material (1 Sandy Koufax lunch box) is accessible only with the special permission of the Director of Library and Archives. Reproductions of set designs are the copyright of Cabot McMullen and may not be reproduced without permission of the designer.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Hebrew Hammer (Film) Records; I-539; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by Jonathan Kesselman, 2007.

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Access Points

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

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Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

 

Series I: Records of the Hebrew Hammer (Film) Collection, undated, 2001-2003

English.
OS2 Box 1, Folders
Arrangement:

Arranged by type of material.

Scope and Content:

See Collection Scope and Content Note.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 OS2 1 Dreidels, Blue Plastic (Three objects) undated
1 OS2 2 Manischewitz Bottle Labels undated
1 OS2 3 New York State “XXXMAS” Prop License Plate undated
1 OS2 4 Production Designs (Copies, Restricted ) 2001
1 OS2 5 Production Notes Circa 2001
1 OS2 6 “Sandy Koufax” Baseball Card Facsimile undated
1 OS2 7 Star of David Ink Stamp undated
1 OS2 8 Wooden Box with Wooden Dreidels undated
BoxFolderTitleDate
Museum “Sandy Koufax” Lunch Pail undated
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