Kol Nidre documentary airing on PBS

“18 Voices Sing Kol Nidre,” a 40-minute documentary that explores the origins and meanings of the essential Yom Kippur prayer, will air on local PBS stations in time for the High Holy Days. The film airs at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18 on KQED channel 9 and KTEH channel 54.

Produced by Emmy Award–winning producer Allen Oren, the film features 18 storytellers sharing their knowledge about the Kol Nidre (“All Vows”) prayer, recited by Jews on Erev Yom Kippur.

Among the film’s storytellers are a Chassidic rabbi; black author and convert to Judaism Julius Lester; a legal scholar; a film critic; and a composer who demonstrates how the Kol Nidre melody has gone beyond Jewish circles, adapted by non-Jewish musicians from Beethoven to Johnny Mathis.