Jewish Life and Culture in Film
From feature films to documentaries, explore a wide range of stories of the Jewish experience. There is something for everyone to watch and enjoy.
The Fabelmans2023Get this item
Steven Spielberg digs into his family history and memories for this very personal, semi-autobiographical film. He focuses on the fictional Sammy Fabelman, who becomes fascinated with movies at a young age. As he learns the craft and uncovers a staggering family secret, Sammy comes to understand the power of moviemaking to tell stories, and thus determines his path in life. Suggested by Sharon.
Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort2020Get this item
In their detailed documentary, directors Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg provide viewers with a detailed and intimate glimpse into the various services the resort offered their guests and how it changed American pop culture in the comedy, sports, and vacation industries. Suggested by Rummanah.
Armageddon Time2023Get this item
This is an intimate and sometimes prickly autobiographical film touching on growing up Jewish in America. While the parents, first-generation Jewish Americans, do their best to gain "a seat at the table," their willful children begin to awaken to their own privilege and the sacrifices made on their behalf. Suggested by Chris.
Shalom Bollywood2019Get this item
You don’t have to be a cinephile to be intrigued by the subject of this documentary. The filmmaker explores how the small Indian Jewish community helped to shape India’s hugely popular movie industry, from the 1920s to contemporary times. The result is entertaining and informative. Suggested by Sharon.
Jews of the Wild West2022Get this item
Using archival footage, historical photographs, and on-camera interviews, director Amanda Marshall Kinsey presents a part of U.S. history that may not be on your radar. This documentary is filled with so many interesting facts and stories that it’s hard not to be impressed by these Jewish immigrant pioneers and the contributions they made. Suggested by Sharon and Rummanah.
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 a close-up view of Tamar’s interconnected faith and work, was filmed when she was a rabbinical student. Since then she was ordained as a rabbi. Suggested by Sharon.
Sublet2021Get this item
The story follows Michael, a New York Times travel writer who is in Tel Aviv for a week to research his next article, subletting an apartment from Tomer, a young film student. 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. Suggested by Sharon.
Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas2019Get this item
This unique musical documentary profiles a number of musicians--Irving Berlin, Mel Tormé, Jay Livingston, Ray Evans, Gloria Shayne Baker and Johnny Marks--who wrote some of the most beloved and famous Christmas songs even though they were Jewish. The songs were not religious, but focused on universal themes of love, joy, peace, family and the joys of winter. Suggested by Rummanah.
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. Suggested 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. Suggested by Chris.
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. Suggested 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 struggle to gain custody of his young son after his wife died. The cast is mostly not professional actors, including the lead, Menashe Lustig, and the movie is in Yiddish. The result is authentic and heartfelt. Suggested by Sharon.
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, enters 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, it delivers big on fun and tango. Suggested 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 nonprofessional actors, who helped to craft an affecting storyline. Suggested by Sharon.
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 go 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. This is a layered documentary, touching on issues of racism, acceptance, identity, and so much more. Suggested by Sharon.
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