DVD Press Release


Contact: Barbara Wolinsky

Raise the Roof, the Award Winning Film about the Reconstruction of a Wooden Polish Synagogue is Now Available on DVD.

NORWELL, MA – December 2016—Trillium Studios and the National Center for Jewish Film announce the release of Raise the Roof on DVD. Director Yari Wolinsky’s inspiring film captures the journey of Rick and Laura Brown of Handshouse Studio as they reconstruct the elaborate roof and painted ceiling of the Gwoździec synagogue, an 18th century structure that rivals the greatest wooden architecture in history.

Filmmakers Yari Wolinsky and Cary Wolinsky, also an award-winning National Geographic photographer, go behind the scenes to reveal the Browns’ decade-long endeavor to recreate a nearly lost piece of Polish Jewish history. This briskly paced detective tale examines how the synagogue was built, who built it, and why. With the Browns leading more than 300 students and professionals from 16 countries, the film captures the echoes of World War II while revealing an optimistic and creative time in Jewish history that has been lost. At one time, there were some 200 wooden synagogues across the Polish-Lithuanian countryside. None survived destruction during the Nazi occupation of Poland.

“This film is about a remarkable dream and a journey of re-discovery. It is a story of larger-than-life characters—one that starts with tragedy and ends in triumph,” said director Yari Wolinsky of Trillium Studios. “It highlights the cautious optimism of a new generation and a growing dialogue between Jews and Poles about the past and the future, providing a unique and positive way to connect with Jewish history.”

The crew has to hew, saw, and carve 200 freshly logged trees and assemble the structure with period hand tools and paints. Working against torrential downpours and exhaustion, the team must create the structure and disassemble it again for shipping and eventual installation.  In this epic story, the team recovers more than an object—they recover a lost world. The magnificent, hand-made, nearly full-scale replica of the Gwoździec roof is now the centerpiece of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

From the moment it was released, Raise the Roof attracted a great deal of attention.  The film has now been featured at more than 100 festivals and events around the world including in Atlanta, Berlin, Barcelona, Chicago, Haifa, Houston, Johannesburg, London, Melbourne, New York, Palm Beach, San Francisco, Stockholm, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Warsaw and many more.

Raise the Roof: Link to purchase DVD, Blu-ray and educational package: http://www.jewishfilm.org/Catalogue/films/raisetheroof.htm

Raise the Roof is distributed by

The National Center for Jewish Film
Contact: Lisa Rivo

For more information visit:
Raise the Roof Website:  RaiseTheRoofMovie.com

Raise the Roof Press Kit: http://www.polishsynagogue.com/press-kit/

Raise the Roof Press Photos: http://www.polishsynagogue.com/photos

Raise the Roof Trailer: http://www.polishsynagogue.com/movietrailer/

Trillium Studios Website: TriliumStudios.com

Handshouse Studio Website: Handshouse.org