Jewish Life and Culture in Film
From feature films to documentaries, explore a wide range of stories of the Jewish experience through film.
Tango Shalom2021Get this item
With a clash of cultures vibe, this movie explores a massive dilemma with a lot of heart and laughs. To save his Hebrew school from financial ruin, Moshe Yehuda, a Hasidic Rabbi, has the idea to enter a televised tango competition with a partner who is not his wife. His Orthodox beliefs dictate that he’s not allowed to touch another woman, so Moshe consults other religious leaders to figure out a way. Filmed on a small budget, yet it delivers big on fun and tango. Recommended by Sharon.
Menashe2019Get this item
Setting the film within Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, the filmmaker based the screenplay on his lead actor’s real life situation concerning his struggle to gain custody of his young son after his wife died. The cast is mostly non-actors, including the lead, Menashe Lustig, and the movie is in Yiddish. The result is authentic and heartfelt. Recommended by Sharon.
93Queen2018Get this item
Let’s talk about making noise and breaking that glass ceiling. This doc follows a group of determined Hasidic women who took the patriarchy to task and created the first all-female volunteer ambulance corp in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Recommended by Sharon.
They Ain't Ready for Me2021Get this item
Chicagoan Tamar Manasseh is definitely a person you want to know. She's a community activist, trailblazer, Black, and Jewish. This doc, which gives an up-and-close view of Tamar’s interconnected faith and work, was filmed when she was a rabbinical student. Since then she was ordained as a rabbi. Recommended by Sharon.
RBG2018Get this item
There is a lot of interesting information here, both professional and personal, about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman and the second woman to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. RBG might become your new hero, if she isn’t already. Recommended by Sharon.
Keep the Change2018Get this item
David, ordered by the court to attend a social program for adults at a Jewish Community Center, believes that he does not belong there. When he gets a homework assignment to visit the Brooklyn Bridge with the effervescent Sarah, he begins to realize other possibilities. This is an original, charming, and thoughtful movie that uses non-professional actors, who helped to craft an affecting storyline. Recommended by Sharon.
Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles2019Get this item
This insightful documentary follows the history of bringing Fiddler on the Roof to Broadway and eventually the big screen, and shows why the musical still endures and resonates with so many people. Recommended by Sharon.
Sublet2021Get this item
Michael, a New York Times travel writer, is subletting an apartment in Tel Aviv for one week to do research for his next article from Tomer, a young film student in need of extra cash. A generation gap seems to divide their approach to life, but as the two gay men spend time together, they find common ground. Full of tenderness and reflection. I can’t stop thinking about it. Recommended by Sharon.
Shiva Baby2021Get this item
An absolutely glorious hot mess of a movie where the most woeful of occasions disintegrates into something hilarious, searing, and pitch-perfect. Recommended by Chris.
Crossing Delancey2007Get this item
A modest success at the box office when it was originally released in the late '80s, this delightful rom-com directed by Joan Micklin Silver (Hester Street) has only grown in reputation since. Amy Irving plays a single Jewish woman more devoted to her spirited bubbe, Ida, than romance. But Ida, a devoted matchmaker, wants nothing more than for her granddaughter to find love and marriage, which is when a Delancey Street pickle salesman enters the picture. Recommended by Chris.
Denial2017Get this item
Deborah Lipstadt, a Holocaust scholar, is sued in a British court for libel by a Holocaust denier. Based on true events, it’s thrilling as well as surprising to see how they get to the final judgment. Lipstadt was recently appointed Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Recommended by Sharon and Rummanah.
The Passengers2021Get this item
On behalf of thousands of Ethiopian Jews blocked from emigrating to Israel by the Israeli government (who question their Jewish identities), best friends Demoz and Gezi journey to the U.S. to solicit aid from influential Jewish Americans and organizations. The young men grow close to their host, NYU professor David Elcott, becoming family to one another as the urgency of their advocacy is always present. This layered documentary touches on issues of racism, acceptance, identity, and more. Recommended by Sharon.
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