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'Missing McKeesport' get sneak peak and premiere this week

Mary Pickels
| Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, 4:15 p.m.
The Klein family owned and operated the Vienna Baking Company and the Tastemaster Bread Company in McKeesport after immigrating from Hungary.
Senator John Heinz History Center
The Klein family owned and operated the Vienna Baking Company and the Tastemaster Bread Company in McKeesport after immigrating from Hungary.

Following a "sneak preview" hosted by the Temple B'Nai Israel in White Oak on Aug. 17, the Senator John Heinz History Center's Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives will present the world premiere of the documentary "Missing McKeesport" on Aug. 20.

"Missing McKeesport" spotlights the origins and the Jewish institutions that once thrived within the community — Gemilas Chesed, Anshe S'Fard, Tree of Life, and Temple B'Nai Israel.

According to Temple B'Nai Israel, filmmaker and former McKeesport resident Sam Zolten will attend the 6:30 p.m. Aug. 17 dessert reception and preview of selected sequences from the film.

"This sampling of the story as told by her sons and daughters ... is the 'nosh' that will whet your appetite to experience the full-length feature" on Aug. 20, says a Temple release.

"Missing McKeesport" tells the story of the community that in its steel-making heyday thrived with a population of 55,000, four synagogues - some say as many as seven — and a multitude of Jewish-owned businesses catering to its citizenry's needs, according to the History Center .

The film draws on the resources of the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives at the Detre Library & Archives, preserving and sharing the story of McKeesport's past through the stories of the immigrants who settled there.

Zolten also will attend the premiere and participate in a Q&A following the 1:30 p.m. screening at the museum's Mueller Education Center, 1212 Smallman St. Tickets are included with regular museum admission.

Details: 412-678-6181 (Temple B'Nai Israel) or register in advance for the Pittsburgh event at heinzhistorycenter.org.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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