We are delighted to have been included in the festivals above and many more that you can see at RaiseTheRoofMovie.com

A feature documentary about the rebuilding of an 18th-century Polish wooden synagogue


Raise the Roof had a fabulous 1st year.  In 2015, the film showed in 27 film festivals around the US and the world including New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Toronto, Boston, Berlin, and Haifa.  2016 promises to be even better.

Please watch the Screenings page on the Raise the Roof website for an event near you. You can also see a video about our film on Boston's Channel 5 Chronicle.

Please visit the film's website for more info: raisetheroofmovie.com

In 1731, more than half the Jews in the world lived in the Galician region of Poland and Ukraine. Someone in Gwoździec, a speck of a town in the sprawling Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, had an idea to cut a hole in the ceiling of their wooden synagogue and build, in its place, a magnificent, tent-like dome. The dome was illuminated by brightly colored paintings of animals, many of which, no one in the town had ever seen. Soon other Jewish communities were inspired to build and paint ever more imaginative synagogues. More than 200 of these architectural wonders dotted the countryside.  Two hundred years later, in their attempt to wipe out all the Jews, the Nazis burned every one of these synagogues to the ground.
    Since 2006, John Rubin Productions, Inc. and Trillium Studios have been filming a documentary about the efforts of Rick and Laura Brown to reconstruct the Gwoździec synagogue. With the help of experts and many students, their Massachusetts-based organization, Handshouse Studio, recreates artifacts nearly lost to history as a way to inspire students into a deeper study of science, art, and culture. Handshouse is rebuilding the Gwoździec synagogue in Poland, to be installed as major exhibit in the newly built POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

To read more about the process of making this film, please see our Gwozdziec production blog and Kickstarter campaign.


Executive Producer: John Rubin, John Rubin Productions, Inc.
Writer, Producer: Cary Wolinsky
Writer, Editor, Director: Yari Wolinsky