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Culture Meets Community at Jewish Film Festivals

Winter is a popular time for film – from award shows that pervade the first three months of the year, to festivals that gather people inside for screenings and discussions. Over the past several decades, Jewish film festivals have risen in popularity the world over – and they’re not just limited to major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. According to an article from My Jewish Learning, there were more than 60 Jewish film festivals in the U.S. alone in 2002, a number that has almost certainly grown over the last 17 years.

In that article, filmmakers recount the joys and challenges of Jewish film festivals: ‘“What is nice about the Jewish film festivals, in addition to creating a community,” says director Valerie Lapin Ganley, “is that they offer a venue for us to celebrate what being Jewish is all about–to rejoice in the best things about Jewish culture, history, accomplishments and identity and to critically address the tough issues and challenges that face us as a people.”’

Cincinnati has had its own Jewish & Israeli Film Festival for 30 years, and it has been a program of the Mayerson JCC since the building opened 10 years ago. The Festival has grown to offer 12+ films each year at theatres and venues throughout the city; this year’s festival includes screenings at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Union Terminal, and more.

The Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival attracts diverse audiences, representing a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and religious affiliations. They gather to share in an experience for 90+ minutes, creating a space where hundreds of people are safe to be thoughtful, to spark conversations, to form connections, and to literally see the world through the eyes of another.

Tickets and passes for the Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival are on sale now! Buy tickets today:

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