Steven Spielberg has had an amazing career as a film director of entertaining and, also, in more recent decades, of socially conscious movies. He considers Phoenix, Arizona as his home town. He spent his very formative years, from 10 years of age through 16 years of age, living in the Arcadia section of Phoenix. It was in Phoenix that he made his 1st film, Firelight, and previewed it at the Little Phoenix Theatre. It, also, was in Phoenix that Steven was bar mitzvahed at Beth Hebrew synagogue. His home where he lived with his mom, dad, and 3 sisters, still can be seen, much as it was with the exception of a garage substitution for a carport. His synagogue, once considered an innovative and modern building, also, still can be seen even now in its dilapidated condition. This synagogue building is for sale and, possibly, could be restored as a Spielberg Museum.
Steven Spielberg's contributions to Jewish and American life include the following:
- Shindler's List, a film of great importance in presenting a perspective of the Holocaust. For this film, Steven won an Oscar as Best Director and the film won an Oscar as Best Picture. Apparently, the film also was very cathartic, perhaps even an epiphany, for Steven himself. His level of contribution to Jewish and American life was significantly stirred by the experience of making the film.
- All the money that Steven earned from Schindler's List was later donated to Jewish and American historical projects.
- After Shindler's List, Steven created the Shoah Visual History Foundation.
- After Shindler's List, Steven created the Righteous Persons Foundation.
- After Shindler's List, Steven's tzedakah has benefitted numerous organizations such as the United States Holocaust Museum, New York City's Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, and Synagogue 2000.
Today, Steven can well be labeled a mensch and a participant in Jewish life.