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Poster Commentary
"You shouldn't dream your film. You should make it."Steven Spielberg
Poster design:Arnold Schwartzman


by Rachel Levin

In Jewish tradition, storytelling is essential to seeing ourselves—both as who we are and who we might yet become. Think of the annual recounting on Passover of the story of the Exodus, a core narrative reminding us that liberation even in the darkest moments is possible.

Steven Spielberg, who has directed nearly 50 films and produced, written, and contributed time and talent to countless more, is one of the master storytellers of our time.

Spielberg got his start in Hollywood by acting the part. He snuck onto the Universal lot when he was just 17, showing up in a business suit every day until he was offered a job. At 27 he made Jaws, a film that broke all previous box office records.

His imagination has taken us to challenging and critical moments of the past—the transatlantic slave trade (Amistad), the passage of the 13th Amendment (Lincoln), Europe in the wake of the bloody 1972 Olympics (Munich), and of course, the Krakow ghetto (Schindler’s List). And with films like Jurassic Park and others, he has turned his lens on imagined futures. Whether taking us back in time or ahead, Spielberg has shown us things we never saw as clearly on our own—humankind at its most extraordinary and complex, life at its most troubling and wondrous.

Spielberg’s own philanthropy utilizes storytelling in service of notions of freedom and justice.  To combat hate, he launched the USC Shoah Foundation, which has collected over 55,000 first-person testimonies from survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. He also supports StoryCorps, a non-profit dedicated to preserving and sharing stories that build connections and compassion. With these and many other philanthropic projects, Spielberg has used the power of narrative to help us imagine and create a better future for all people.

Rachel Levin is Executive Director of the Righteous Persons Foundation, a fund Steven Spielberg began in 1995 with his profits from the film Schindler's List. She is the founder of Fundamental, a philanthropic consulting firm, and co-founder of Reboot, an incubator for new initiatives by creative young Jews.



Conversation Guide


  • How can storytelling help to “create a better future for all people”?
  • Think of your life as a script or screenplay. Who are the main characters? What have the plot twists been? In what ways has your character developed?
  • What feelings does this poster evoke in you? What does it express about Spielberg and his impact on modern culture?



Wall of Fame©2020, Arnold Schwartzman, Quote: Steven Spielberg, Harold Grinspoon Foundation, West Springfield, MA