Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival
Enjoy the 32nd Annual Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival from the comfort of your home! Explore a diverse, inspiring lineup of award-winning films and engaging, educational programming that connects the Jewish and Israeli stories.View Sponsors Newsletter Sign-Up
Tickets on sale January 4!
Opening Night: Laila Lavan – Live from Tel Aviv
Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 7pm
Tel Aviv’s annual citywide celebration known as “White Night” or in Hebrew, Laila Lavan, is an all-night event that celebrates culture, arts, and community. The bars, theatres, music clubs, and everything in-between remain open for a festive night for all to enjoy. Though we are at home, on Zoom, without planes or plans to cross the ocean to Tel Aviv, we have created the next best thing: our very own Laila Lavan to kick-off the 32nd Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival. Grab your recipe card and ingredients to follow along with a live custom cocktail demonstration by mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer and join film lecturer Galit Roichman for a cinematic journey to Israel!
A Cantor’s Head
Film Viewing Start Date & Time: Saturday, January 23; 7pm
Film Viewing End Date & Time: Monday, January 25; 7pm
2019, Documentary, 87 Minutes
Director: Erik Greenberg Anjou | Language: English
Short film screening: A Jew Walks Into a Bar by Jonathan Miller
Cantor Mendelson is suddenly let go by the Temple where he has served for 28 years. As he prepares for his final Yom Kippur services, he ponders the decline of traditional Jewish sacred music amidst growing preferences for younger cantors with more modern and engaging liturgical styles. Interviews with Mendelson
and his proteges explore the magic of this centuries-old art form and what its loss represents.
Special Event Date/Time: Monday, January 25; 7pm
Cantor Jack Mendelson in conversation with Rabbinic Fellow Jason Cook.
In partnership with Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati – Guardians and Friends.Watch Trailer
Film Viewing Start Date & Time: Tuesday, January 26; 7pm
Film Viewing End Date & Time: Thursday, January 28; 7pm
2019, Documentary, 60 Minutes
Director: Micah Smith | Languages: English, Hebrew, and Luganda
Sustainable Nation follows three individuals who are doing their part to bring sustainable water solutions to an increasingly thirsty planet. The work of this visionary trio highlights the nexus between food, energy, and water. This documentary shows how fixing global water issues is not only a matter of life and death, but the start of healing the world.
Special Event Date/Time: Thursday, January 28; 7pm
Discussion with Dean Adrian Parr, College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Arlington, a UNESCO water chair and activist, and Robert Bilott, attorney and author.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
Film Viewing Start Date & Time: Friday, January 29; 7pm
Film Viewing End Date & Time: Sunday, January 31; 7pm
2019, Historical Family Drama, 119 Minutes
Director: Caroline Link | Language: German
2020 German Film Award for Best Children’s Film
Nine-year-old Anna is too busy with schoolwork and friends to notice Hitler’s face glaring from posters plastered all over 1933 Berlin. But when her father suddenly vanishes, and the family is secretly hurried out of Germany, Anna begins to understand life will never be the same. What follows is a courageous adventure full of fear and uncertainty, as Anna and her family navigate unfamiliar lands, and cope with the challenges of being refugees.Watch Trailer
The Art of Waiting
Film Viewing Start Date & Time: Sunday, January 31; 7pm
Film Viewing End Date & Time: Tuesday, February 2; 7pm
2020, Romantic Comedy-Drama, 91 Minutes
Director: Erez Tadmor | Language: Hebrew
2019 Ophir Award nominations: Best Director and Best Actress
Short Film Screening: Torch by Odeya Rosenak.
Liran and Tali are happily married, but their lives are missing one thing: a baby. With the biological clock ticking, the film tackles sensitive topics as the couple embark on a physical and emotional rollercoaster of fertility treatments, medical procedures, and
regimented lovemaking. Content Warning: Nudity and Sexual Content.
Special Event Date/Time: Tuesday, February 2; 7pm
Discussion with Michal Raucher, PhD, Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Director, Department of Jewish Studies, Rutgers University; Marisa Phillips, JFF-CINCY Advisory Council Chair and PJ Library Coordinator; Tracy Juran, JFF-CINCY Advisory Council Member and Principal Consultant at Systems Evolution Inc; and Rachel Loftspring, JFF Board of Directors and Partner, Essig & Evans.
In partnership with Jewish Fertility Foundation.Watch Trailer
Film Viewing Start Date & Time: Tuesday, February 2; 7pm
Film Viewing End Date & Time: Thursday, February 4; 7pm
2019, Documentary, 103 Minutes
Director: Hilla Medalia | Language: Hebrew
Four Israeli teenagers undergo the process of life-and-identity-saving gender transformation in a country where military service is mandatory and religion is not separated from the state.
Special Event Date/Time: Thursday, February 4; 7pm
Discussion panelists from Transgender Health Clinic, Division of Adolescent and Transition Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
In partnership with Cincinnati Hillel.Watch Trailer
Film Viewing Start Date & Time: Saturday, February 6; 7pm
Film Viewing End Date & Time: Monday, February 8; 7pm
2020, Drama, 85 Minutes
Director: Ruthy Pribar | Language: Hebrew
Short Film Screening: Grey Zone by Gal Sagy.
Asia’s motherhood has always been an ongoing struggle with her now 17 year-old daughter, Vika. Asia stumbles to achieve balance between asserting her parental authority and respecting her daughter’s point of view. Vika’s deteriorating health urges Asia to finally find her voice as a mother and embrace and cherish their
time together. Content Warning: Drugs, Alcohol, and Sexual Content.
Special Event Date/Time: Monday, February 8; 7pm
Discussion led by Karyn Gershon, Executive Director of Project Kesher.
They Ain’t Ready for Me
Film Viewing Start Date & Time: Monday, February 8; 7pm
Film Viewing End Date & Time: Wednesday, February 10; 7pm
2019, Documentary, 88 minutes
Director: Brad Rothschild | Language: English
Short Film Screening: Dina Malul Fights Back by Amit Saragosi.
Tamar Manasseh, a black rabbinical student, leads the fight against gun violence on the south side of Chicago. Tamar’s identity and personality combine to make her a force to be reckoned with, and she hasn’t even hit her stride yet.
Special Event Date/Time: Wednesday, February 10; 7pm
Tamar Manasseh, Founder and President of MASK: Mothers and Men Against Senseless Killings, and film director Brad Rothschild in conversation with Justin Kirschner, Associate Director of Jewish Community Relations Council of Cincinnati.
Film Viewing Start Date & Time: Friday, February 12; 7pm
Film Viewing End Date & Time: Sunday, February 14; 7pm
2020, Romantic Comedy, 90 minutes
Director: Talya Lavie | Language: Hebrew
This romantic comedy of errors follows a bride and groom on their wedding night. Instead of the romantic night they had planned, the couple gets into a fight. What follows is a dazed, urban odyssey across Jerusalem that confronts them with past loves, repressed doubts, and the lives they have left behind. Content Warning: Sexual Content.Watch Trailer
My Name is Sara
Film Viewing Start Date & Time: Sunday, February 14; 7pm
Film Viewing End Date & Time: Tuesday, February 16; 7pm
2019, Historical Drama, 111 minutes
Director: Steven Oritt | Languages: English and Polish
Based on the true-life story of 13 year-old Sara Guralnick, a Polish Jew who is taken in by a Ukrainian farmer and his young wife. She soon discovers the dark secrets of her employers’ marriage, compounding the greatest secret she must strive to protect, her true identity. Content Warning: Nudity, Violence, Sexual Content.
Special Event Date/Time: Tuesday, February 16; 7pm
Discussion led by Jodi Elowitz, Director of Education & Engagement at the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center.
Shared Legacies: The African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance
Film Viewing Start Date & Time: Tuesday, February 16; 7pm
Film Viewing End Date & Time: Thursday, February 18; 7pm
2020, Documentary, 95 minutes
Director: Shari Rogers | Language: English
The alliance between African and Jewish Americans began in the early 20th century in response to shared experiences of bigotry and discrimination. This timely documentary revisits the crucial lessons of Black-Jewish cooperation and serves as an urgent call for renewed solidarity in times of rising intolerance. Content Warning: Violence.
Special Event Date/Time: Thursday, February 18; 7pm
Discussion with Dr. Gary Zola, Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives; Paul Booth, Sr., Cincinnati Office of Human Relations; Reverend Paul Booth, Jr., Legacy Pointe Church; and film director Dr. Shari Rogers.
To help continue learning and growing Jewishly, the Mayerson JCC of Cincinnati Jewish and Israeli Film Festival is partnering with Moment to offer special $18 Chai subscriptions.
Your subscription to Moment will provide you with engaging and Jewish content and for each new Chai subscription Moment will donate $9 to the Mayerson JCC of Cincinnati Jewish and Israeli Film Festival.Moment Magazine Chai Subscription