Enjoy unique and inspiring storytelling as a community! Celebrate the diversity and joy of humanity and the powerful influence of Jewish artistry in our lives. Click here to view movie trailers or purchase featured books.
How it Works
Author talks and films are grouped in categories to help facilitate discussion. When you purchase your ticket(s), you will receive an email with link(s) to the author talk(s) and/or film(s) you selected. For the films, the links will be active for a specified week. You will have a full week to watch the film(s) at your convenience. A discussion will take place via Zoom after the last author talk or film in the theme has been taken place. Tickets are available for purchase per author talk or film or by series theme. Each purchase includes entrance to the corresponding Zoom discussion.
After making your selection(s), please scroll down to the bottom of the page to checkout.
Single author ticket: $5
Single film ticket: $10
Theme Package: $39
Complete Series Package: $108
Sammy Davis Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me
Monday, November 22 - Sunday, November 28Directed by Sam PollardFilm SeriesSammy Davis, Jr. had the kind of career that was indisputably legendary, so vast and multi-faceted that it was dizzying in its scope and scale. And yet, his life was complex, complicated and contradictory. Davis strove to achieve the American Dream in a time of racial prejudice and shifting political territory. He was the veteran of increasingly outdated show business traditions trying to stay relevant; he frequently found himself bracketed by the bigotry of white America and the distaste of black America; he was the most public black figure to embrace Judaism, thereby yoking his identity to another persecuted minority.Featuring new interviews with such luminaries as Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Novak, with never-before-seen photographs from Davis’ vast personal collection and excerpts from his electric performances in television, film and concert, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me explores the life and art of a uniquely gifted entertainer whose trajectory blazed across the major flashpoints of American society from the Depression through the 1980s.
The Best Assassination in the Nation
Thursday, December 2 | 7 PM Written by Joshua CohenAuthor SeriesBenjamin Gold is a private eye who in 1952 takes on a murder case that implicates his ex-in-laws. Gold once practiced law but changed professions after cracking up at the end of the war. The murder victim was crusading lawyer Morry Sorin, who was shot in an apparent hold-up. The police consider the case closed, but Sorin’s daughter suspects a conspiracy.Gold has a personal score to settle with his former in-laws. He is a Jew who married into a wealthy Gentile family that never accepted him despite his wholehearted efforts to assimilate. Gold’s marriage failed, but not before it irreconcilably alienated him from his own parents and brother.Gold relives this history as he investigates Sorin’s murder. He also finds himself the target of an F.B.I. sting over his association with Braunstein, his former psychiatrist whom the government is trying to deport as a Communist. Gold cracks the Sorin case, but to dubious effect, given his ex-in-laws’ success in skirting prosecution. He’s left to devise his own way of achieving justice.
Monday, December 13 - Sunday, December 19Directed by Isaac CheremFilm Series"Leona" is an intimate, insightful, and moving film that tells the story of a young Jewish woman from Mexico City who finds herself torn between her family and her forbidden love. Ripe with all the drama and interpersonal conflicts of a Jane Austen novel, watching her negotiate the labyrinth of familial pressure, religious precedent, and her own burgeoning sentiment is both painful and beautiful – there are no easy choices to be made and the viewer travels back and forth with her as she struggles with her heart to take the best path.
The Orphan's Daughter
Tuesday, December 14 | 7 PMWritten by Jan CherubinThis semi-autobiographical novel provides insight into the life in a Jewish Boys Orphanage in the 1920's and the lasting effects of having lived there.
Here We Are
Monday, January 3 - Sunday, January 9Directed by Nir BergmanFilm SeriesAharon has devoted his life to raising his son Uri. They live together in a gentle routine, away from the real world. But Uri is autistic, and now as a young adult it might be time for him to live in a specialized home. While on their way to the institution, Aharon decides to run away with his son and hits the road, knowing that Uri is not ready for this separation. Or is it, in fact, his father who is not ready?
Monday, January 10 | 7 PMWritten by Riva LehrerIn 1958, amongst the children born with spina bifida is Riva Lehrer. Her parents and doctors are determined to “fix” her, sending the message over and over again that she is broken, that she will never have a job, a romantic relationship, or an independent life. Enduring countless medical interventions, Riva tries her best to be a good girl and a good patient in the quest to be cured. Everything changes when, as an adult, Riva is invited to join a group of artists, writers, and performers who are building Disability Culture. They insist that disability is an opportunity for creativity and resistance. Emboldened, Riva asks if she can paint their portraits‚ inventing an intimate and collaborative process that will transform the way she sees herself, others, and the world. Each portrait story begins to transform the myths she’s been told her whole life about her body, her sexuality, and other measures of normal. Written with the vivid, cinematic prose of a visual artist and the author’s magnificent portraits featured throughout, Golem Girl is an extraordinary story of tenacity and creativity.
Monday, January 10 - Sunday, January 16Directed by Marcos CarnevaleFilm SeriesAnita is the story of a young woman with Down syndrome (Alejandra Manzo) who lives a happy, routine life in Buenos Aires, being meticulously cared for by her mother Dora (Academy Award nominee Norma Aleandro). One tragic morning in 1994, everything changes when Anita is left alone, confused and helpless after the nearby Argentine Israelite Mutual Association is bombed (the deadliest bombing in Argentina's history). As Anita wanders through the city, she learns not only to care for herself, but touches the lives of those around her, from an alcoholic to a family of Asian immigrants.
Monday, January 24 - Sunday, January 30Directed by Jacob GoldwasserFilm Series"Shoelaces" tells the story of a complicated relationship between an aging father and his special-needs son, whom he abandoned while he was still a young boy. Reuben's (60) kidney's are failing and his son Gadi (35), wants to donate one of his own kidney's to help save his father's life. However, the transplant committee objects to the procedure claiming that Rueben, acting as Gadi's sole legal guardian, does not have the right to authorize such an invasive procedure. Gadi, who recently lost his mother, is afraid of losing his father as well. He feels he finally has the chance to do something meaningful; to become a man and stand on his own. He's furious with the committee's decision and sets out to fight for his right to save his father's life. Through the film's portrayal of a relationship full of love, rejection and co-dependency, it manages to shed some light and question the importance of human life, human connection and if life is even possible without it either one of them.
I Have Been Buried Under Years of Dust: A Memoir of Autism and Hope
Tuesday, January 27 | 7 PMWritten by Valerie GilpeerA remarkable memoir by a mother and her autistic daughter, who’d long been unable to communicate, until a miraculous breakthrough revealed a young woman with a rich and creative interior life, a poet, who’d been trapped inside for more than two decades.
Monday, February 7 - Sunday, February 13Directed by Alexandra DeanFilm SeriesWhat do the most ravishingly beautiful actress of the 1930s and 40s and the inventor whose concepts were the basis of cell phone and bluetooth technology have in common? They are both Hedy Lamarr, the glamour icon whose ravishing visage was the inspiration for Snow White and Cat Woman and a technological trailblazer who perfected a secure radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes during WWII. Weaving interviews and clips with never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy speaking on the record about her incredible life—from her beginnings as an Austrian Jewish emigre to her scandalous nude scene in the 1933 film Ecstasy to her glittering Hollywood life to her ground-breaking, but completely uncredited inventions to her latter years when she became a recluse, impoverished and almost forgotten—BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY brings to light the story of an unusual and accomplished woman, spurned as too beautiful to be smart, but a role model to this day.
The Unexpected Spy
Tuesday, February 8 | 7 PMWritten by Tracy WalderAuthor SeriesTracy Walder, a Jewish American woman, was recruited by the CIA out of her sorority at the University of Southern California. On 9/11 she was tracking terrorists with President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney or Secretary of State Colin Powell looking over her shoulder. Driven to stop the new breed of terror that war created, Walder picked up her alias identity, flew overseas, and continued the hunt. Walder debriefed al-Qaeda’s top men‚ Jihadists who swore they’d never speak to a woman, particularly an American woman‚ and earned their trust, thus gaining critical and life-saving information. Walder held clandestine meetings in clandestine locales with spies and embedded civilians from other countries. She followed the trails she found across North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.She would eventually move over to the FBI working in counterintelligence where she faced rampant sexism. The Unexpected Spy is a powerful memoir about a woman who made a career in a male-dominated field and what she’s taken away from it now that she’s no longer in government service.
The Genius of Women
Thursday, February 24 | 7 PMWritten by Janice KaplanAuthor SeriesWe tell girls that they can be anything, so why do 90 percent of Americans believe that geniuses are almost always men? New York Times bestselling journalist and creator and host of the podcast The Gratitude Diaries Janice Kaplan explores the powerful forces that have rigged the system‚ and celebrates the women geniuses, past and present, who have triumphed anyway.Even in this time of rethinking women’s roles, we define genius almost exclusively through male achievement. When asked to name a genius, people mention Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Steve Jobs. As for great women? In one survey, the only female genius anyone listed was Marie Curie.Janice Kaplan, the New York Times bestselling author of The Gratitude Diaries, set out to determine why the extraordinary work of so many women has been brushed aside. Using her unique mix of memoir, narrative, and inspiration, she makes surprising discoveries about women geniuses now and throughout history, in fields from music to robotics. Through interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and dozens of women geniuses at work in the world today‚ – including Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold and AI expert Fei-Fei Li – she proves that genius isn’t just about talent. It’s about having that talent recognized, nurtured, and celebrated.Across the generations, even when they face less-than-perfect circumstances, women geniuses have created brilliant and original work. In The Genius of Women, you’ll learn how they ignored obstacles and broke down seemingly unshakable barriers. The geniuses in this moving, powerful, and very entertaining book provide more than inspiration‚ they offer a clear blueprint to everyone who wants to find her own path and move forward with passion.
The Women's Balcony
Monday, February 21 - Sunday, February 17Directed by Shlomit Nehama and Emil Ben-ShimonFilm SeriesAn accident during a bar mitzvah celebration leads to a gender rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem, in this rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power.When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control. This tests the women’s friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata-type rift between the community’s women and men.
Sophie Scholl: The Final Days
Monday, March 7 - Sunday, March 13Directed by Marc RothemundFilm SeriesThe Final Days is the true story of Germany's most famous anti-Nazi heroine brought to life. Sophie Scholl is the fearless activist of the underground student resistance group, The White Rose. Using historical records of her incarceration, the film re-creates the last six days of Sophie Scholl's life: a journey from arrest to interrogation, trial and sentence in 1943 Munich. Unwavering in her convictions and loyalty to her comrades, her cross-examination by the Gestapo quickly escalates into a searing test of will as Scholl delivers a passionate call to freedom and personal responsibility that is both haunting and timeless.
The Last Mentsch
Monday, March 14 - Sunday, March 20Directed by Pierre-Henry SalfatiFilm SeriesHaving spent a lifetime concealing his heritage, an aging German Holocaust survivor tries to come to terms with his past. Born Menachem Teitelbaum, Marcus Schwarz (German Academy Award winner Mario Adorf) escaped Auschwitz with his life only to exterminate his Jewishness. Without family, a synagogue or a single Jewish friend, the hardened old man has so effectively created a new identity that, when faced with his own mortality, the rabbis refuse his appeal to be buried in a Jewish cemetery in Cologne. Determined to return to his birthplace and establish his ancestry, Marcus enlists the help of Gül (Katharina Derr), a brash, chain-smoking Turkish woman with a troubled history of her own. The unlikely duo sets out on a road trip to a small village on the Hungarian-Romanian border, a journey that will irrevocably change them both.
Monday, March 21 | 7 PMWritten by Nessa RapoportAuthor SeriesSisters, secrets, sorrow, and devotion: Evening is a short novel, heartbreaking and funny, about the complicated love between two sisters, one mourning the other. Eve, the narrator, returns home from New York to Toronto for the funeral and shiva of her older sister, Tam, a famous Canadian TV journalist who has died in her thirties, far too young. Full of contradiction, Eve struggles with ambition and romance. even during shiva. Tam was devotedly married, fiercely successful, disdaining what she viewed as Eve’s inability to choose, whether in work or love. But all of Eve’s assumptions will be undone by what she discovers over these shiva days. On the morning after the funeral, Eve learns the first of the secrets that will overturn her view of her family and her future. Then there is Laurie, Eve’s great first love, who suddenly appears in the shiva house. Eve knows something will happen, but so, within her, does Tam, whose wisecracks and scorn accompany Eve as a voice in her head during this week of grief and transformation
The Art Dealer (L'Antiquaire)
Monday, March 21 - Sunday, March 27Directed by François MargolinFilm SeriesThis drama from renowned French director François Margolin (The Flight of the Red Balloon) follows a Jewish woman who embarks on a journey to recover family paintings stolen by the Nazis. During her investigation, she discovers some family secrets are best kept hidden.
The Ritchie Boys
Monday, March 28 - Sunday, April 3Directed by Christian BauerFilm SeriesThe Ritchie Boys is the riveting, untold story of a group of young men who fled Nazi Germany and returned as soldiers in U.S. uniforms. They knew the psychology and the language of the enemy better than anyone. In Camp Ritchie, Maryland, they were trained in intelligence and psychological warfare. Determined, bright, and inventive, they fought their own kind of war; they were victors, not victims.
Thursday, March 31 | 7 PMWritten by Judy Bolton-FasmanAuthor SeriesHow much do we really know about the lives of our parents and the secrets lodged in their past? Judy Bolton-Fasman’s memoir, Asylum: A Memoir of Family Secrets, recounts the search for answers to the mysteries embedded in the lives of her Cuban-born mother, Matilde Alboukrek Bolton and her elusive, Yale-educated father, K. Harold Bolton. Judy Bolton embarks on the life-long exploration of her bifurcated ancestry; Judy inherits a Sephardic, Spanish/Ladino-speaking culture from her mother and an Ashkenazi, English-only, American patriotism from her father. Contacting former associates, relatives, and friends, accessing records through the Freedom of Information Act, traveling to Cuba to search for clues, and even reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish for a year to gain spiritual insight into her father, these decades-long endeavors do not always yield the answers Judy wanted and sometimes the answers themselves lead her to ask new questions. Readers will relish every step and stage of Judy’s investigations and will begin to share in her obsession to obtain answers to the mysteries that have haunted her life.
Streit's: Matzo and the American Dream
Monday, April 11 - Sunday, April 17Directed by Michael LevineFilm SeriesFor more than 90 years, the Streit’s matzo factory sat in a low-slung tenement building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. While other matzo companies modernized, Streit’s remained a piece of living history, churning out 40 percent of the nation’s unleavened bread on pre-War machinery as old as the factory itself. In a neighborhood where the Jewish immigrants long ago moved on, in a nation where progress and profits trump all else, where manufacturing has left the cities if not the country, where family businesses are bought out by giant corporations and workers move from job to low paying job, filmmaker Michael Levine captures the Streit’s saga and echoes the American Dream.
Sunday, April 20 | 7 PMWritten by Sunday, April 20 | 7:00 PMAuthor SeriesFor millennia, the Jewish people have been telling stories of Elijah the Prophet, as the bearer of hope, good tidings, and Divine intervention in moments of crisis. Meeting Elijah is a collection of true stories of contemporary meetings with Elijah. In a moment of need, a stranger appears, offers help, and then disappears, sometimes as if by magic. These stories, heard directly from the people involved, or from a close family or relative, point to the living presence of Elijah among us, or to a “spark” of Elijah that moves in and through ordinary people, leading them to do remarkable things. The stories are surprising, inexplicable, and inspiring. They remind us that the world is a mysterious place and that God’s deliverance can occur in the blink of an eye.
Monday, May 2 - Sunday, May 8Directed by Martin ŠulíkFilm SeriesAn 80-year-old translator, Ali Ungár, comes across a book written by a former SS officer recounting his war experiences in Slovakia. Ali realizes that one of the chapters may well describe his own parents’ execution. And so, armed with a pistol, he sets off to Vienna to look for the SS man and take his revenge. But once there, the only person he encounters is the man’s 70-year-old son Georg, a former teacher who has spent his whole life avoiding his father and suffering from an addiction to alcohol. The translator’s visit arouses Georg’s curiosity and he decides to invite Ali on a trip through Slovakia. But whilst Georg is basically out to have a good time, Ali is hoping to find out how his parents really died. Gradually, these two very different men begin to warm to each other and together, they discover a country that would prefer to forget about its past.Oscillating between comedy and tragedy, Martin Šulík’s road movie focuses on two old men weighed down by the unresolved conflicts that have plagued their lives who are now trying to free themselves from this oppressive burden. Jiří Menzel plays the role of the gloomy and worldly-wise Ali, Peter Simonischek is the maverick Georg.
Red Sea Spies
Sunday, May 1 | 10:30 AMWritten by Raffi BergAuthor SeriesIn the early 1980s, on a remote part of the Sudanese coast, a new luxury resort opened for business. Catering to divers, it attracted guests from around the world. Little did the guests know that the staff members were undercover spies, working for the Mossad — the Israeli secret service. Written by BBC News website Middle East editor Raffi Berg, this page-turner tells the true story that inspired the recent Netflix drama The Red Sea Diving Resort. What began with one cryptic message pleading for help, turned into the secret evacuation of thousands of Ethiopian Jews and the spiriting of them to Israel.
An Act of Defiance
Monday, May 9 - Sunday, May 15Directed by Jean van de VeldeFilm SeriesIn this riveting historical drama, 10 political activists (including Nelson Mandela and his inner circle of Black and Jewish supporters) face a possible death sentence for conspiracy to commit sabotage after they are arrested by the apartheid South African government during a raid in the town of Rivonia during the summer of 1963. Bram Fischer (exceptionally played by Peter Paul Muller), a sympathetic lawyer, risks his career and freedom to defend these men, attempting to hide the fact that he, too, frequently convened on the farm where they were arrested. With An Act of Defiance, Dutch filmmaker Jean van de Velde (The Silent Army) captures a dark period in South Africa's recent history, skillfully balancing a nail-biting political thriller with spectacular courtroom intrigue while paying tribute to the legendary figures who fought to end segregation and corruption in their country.
In Her Footsteps
Monday, May 16 - Sunday, May 22Directed by Rana Abu FraihaFilm SeriesIn the dead of night, my parents left our house in the Bedouin village, Tel Sheva, and moved, perhaps 'fled', to Omer, a nearby Jewish town. For more than 20 years of life in Omer, we were convinced that we're like everyone else around us, till my mother became ill with breast cancer. She expresses an unprecedented wish, to be buried as a Muslim in the town’s Jewish cemetery. Her wish tore the family apart and raised serious dilemmas, about identity, belonging, femininity and the meaning of home.
All Stirred Up
Tuesday,May 17 | 7:30 PMWritten by Laura KuminAuthor SeriesIn honor of the centenary of the 19th amendment, a delectable new book that reveals a new side to the history of the suffrage movement. We all likely conjure up a similar image of the women’s suffrage movement: picket signs, red carnations, militant marches through the streets. But was it only these rallies that gained women the exposure and power that led them to the vote? Ever-courageous and creative suffragists also carried their radical message into America’s homes wrapped in food wisdom through cookbooks, which ingenuously packaged political strategy into already existent social communities. These cookbooks gave suffragists a chance to reach out to women on their own terms in nonthreatening and accessible ways. Cooking together, feeding people, and using social situations to put people at ease were pioneering grassroots tactics that leveraged the domestic knowledge these women already had, feeding spoonfuls of suffrage to communities through unexpected and unassuming channels. Filled with charm and wit and actual historic recipes (“mix the crust with tact and velvet gloves using no sarcasm especially with the upper crust”) that evoke the spirited flavor of feminism and food movements, All Stirred Up reactivates the taste of an era and carries us back through time to when women enfranchised themselves through the subversive and savvy power of the palate.