Our festival celebrates the richness, complexity and diversity of Jewish experiences as presented through film and is dedicated to screening Jewish short films in all genres. With a running time of approximately 60 minutes, every short film is intended to engage, educate, and inspire the community as we explore the full spectrum of Jewish life, values, and culture. All of the film narratives have a central Jewish or Israeli connection, but in reality, all the themes are universal.
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Theme: Jewish Identity
Facilitator: Jesse Bernstein
Bio: Jesse Bernstein is the Artistic Director of Theatre Ariel, Philadelphia’s only professional theatre company dedicated to telling stories of the Jewish experience. He has also written, directed, and performed at theatres around the Philly area and across the country.
Kid Yamaka – (14 minutes)
A short documentary film from multi-Emmy-nominated director Matt Ogens, profiling the eponymous LA-area boxer, whose real name was Zachary Wohlman. A deeply human story, this film dives into Wohlman’s troubled background, his training under world-class coach Freddie Roach, and his path to personal redemption through boxing, Judaism, and sobriety. Wohlman passed away in 2021. He was a dynamic and charismatic individual, who could not be pigeonholed. The film was written and directed by Ogens, and shot by eight-time Emmy-winning cinematographer John Tipton.
Four Questions: Short Films by Yael Reuveny about Jewish Life in Germany – (19 minutes)
Traditionally, during the Passover festival, the youngest child at the Seder asks four questions. Drawing on this tradition, film director Yael Reuveny asks Jews four questions about their Judaism and their lives in Germany. In four short films, the protagonists find very different and, always highly personal, answers to the questions. Reuveny presents the diversity of contemporary Jewish life in polyphonous, contradictory, surprising and entertaining fashion.
Thank you to the Jewish Museum Berlin for providing Four Questions, a project that they commissioned.
Ludwick’s House of Violin – (7 minutes, 52 seconds)
He started out as a hard rocker, but these days Z.Z. Ludwick is playing to the tune of Rebbe Nachman. Now his hands create songs from wood and string, while his soul sings the music of ancient wisdom.
Space Torah – (21 minutes)
Dr. Jeff Hoffman became a NASA Astronaut in 1978. He participated in five space missions, becoming the first astronaut to log 1,000 hours of flights aboard the space shuttle. Dr. Hoffman has performed four spacewalks, including the first unplanned, contingency spacewalk in NASA’s history and the initial repair/rescue mission for the Hubble Space Telescope. He was the first Jewish American male astronaut to fly into space. Over five space missions, he chose to bring numerous Jewish objects, the highlight was a small and light Torah scroll that he took with him on this fifth and last mission.
For additional information about the Space Torah Project, please click here.
Open Waters: Mikveh for Everybody – (6 minutes, 19 seconds)
Accessibility for people with disabilities has been a priority at Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Paula Brody & Family Education Center since their founding. Celebrating the principle of petichut, Hebrew for “openness” and “inclusivity,” Open Waters shows what accessibility looks like and why it matters. Produced and directed by Jen Kaplan in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation.
For more information about Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh, please click here.