February in Cincinnati has become synonymous with the Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival. The bright, warm, and welcoming theatres provide a fun respite from the cold winter weather that still lingers outside, and the experience of sharing a movie with friends and community members from all across the city offers an opportunity to come together to laugh, to think, maybe even to shed a tear or two.
Films are unique because they give us the power, often literally, to see the world through the eyes of another person. We can begin to consider the world from a new perspective and understand the reasons why people are the way they are and do the things they do, whether we agree with them or not. These moments of empathy are good practice for moving about in a world that often seems to be increasingly divided.
We launched this year’s Film Festival at the beginning of this month with Hummus! The Movie at 20th Century Theater in Oakley. Our Scholar-in-Residence for the Festival, Israeli film expert and screenwriter Galit Roichman welcomed the sold-out crowd, sharing clips of Israeli films and television that are as well-known as This is Us in Israel, but are virtually unknown here.
Much to her surprise and joy, the crowd of more than 300 people reacted in the exact same way that she described people enjoying the scenes in Israel – laughing at the awkwardness of first dates, or sharing an appreciative groan at the perils of wedding planning. Despite the distance and differences in language and culture, these films and television shows demonstrate how we can come together to share experiences that are truly universal.
There are still plenty of opportunities to experience award-winning films from around the world as part of the Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival! Check out the complete list of events and buy tickets here: https://mayersonjcc.org/cultural-arts/jewish-israeli-film-festival/