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Where Neon Goes to Die

Directed by Carl Hersh & David Weintraub

USA | 56 minutes | 2007

Where Neon Goes To Die is the first documentary film to chronicle the sixty year Yiddish cultural legacy on Miami Beach and capturing its vibrant "shtetl by the bay" with love and attention to detail. You won't find South Florida's Yiddishland on a map. No history of Miami Beach, official or otherwise includes this cultural epoch. Yet at its height, it included tens of thousands of local residents and over 100,000 snowbirds. For decades, Miami Beach hosted six Yiddish theaters, eight radio stations broadcasting Yiddish programming, fifteen chapters of the Workmen's Circle (a national Yiddish cultural institution) proliferated on the beach and Yiddish choral and musical groups performed on Ocean Drive all year. Then one day it disappeared in a burst of disco lights as the Art Deco revolution and the Miami Vice-ification of South Beach resulted in mass evictions of the city's elderly and working class, many of whom were active participants in the "shtetl by the bay." Directors Carl Hersh & David Weintraub use rare footage, images, and interviews with living members of the Miami Yiddish stage and screen to reclaim Miami's "shtetl by the bay" helping viewers understand the power and vibrancy that once existed when residents of Miami Beach lived a communal life suffused with ethnic culture.
Director Carl Hersh & David Weintraub
Countries of Production USA
Year of Presentation 2007
Premiere Status
Runtime 56 minutes
Principal Cast Charlotte Cooper, The Feder Sisters
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