Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival to light up Hanukkah season

The full program will be available soon on the Jerusalem Cinematheque website. 


The 23rd edition of the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival at the Jerusalem Cinematheque will light up the Hanukkah season with an in-person edition from November 27 through December 2. 

It will feature movies that look at every aspect of Jewish life and history, from feature films to documentaries, and will include appearances and masterclasses by distinguished filmmakers, as well as all kinds of special events. 

These will include a tribute to Barbra Streisand, which will feature a restored print of the 1968 classic Funny Girl, the story of comedian Fanny Brice, directed by German-Jewish director, William Wyler, along with a concerto inspired by Streisand’s greatest hits. 

Hagai Levi, the Israeli writer/producer who created the Scenes from a Marriage reboot and other acclaimed series including BeTipul, Our Boys and The Affair, will discuss his work with Anat Rivlin, a television editor and comedy creator. 

Vanessa Lapa, the director of Speer Goes to Hollywood, which won the Ophir Award for Best Documentary, will give a Master Class and will discuss the film with Prof. Moshe Zimmermann. 

 THE ISRAEL Film Archives. (credit: Bar Mayer) THE ISRAEL Film Archives. (credit: Bar Mayer)

The Israel Film Archive has restored the 1990 film by Avraham Heffner, The Last Love of Laura Adler, starring Rita Zohar, which tells the story of a Yiddish theater actress, and will feature a performance by Shem-Tov Levi, who composed the music for the film. 

A filmed performance of Stefano Massini’s play, The Lehman Trilogy, about the family that ran the investment bank that collapsed, in a production by the National Theatre of London, will be shown. 

The Romanian ambassador to Israel, historian and author Radu Ioanid, will speak at a screening of Radu Gabrea’s Jews for Sale, a documentary about how the Israeli government dealt with the Romanian authorities to get them to allow Jews to emigrate to Israel. 

The opening night film will be The Royal Game by Philipp Stoltzl, based on a novel by Stefan Zweig, about a lawyer arrested by the Nazis who keeps himself together by playing chess. 

There will be documentaries on a number of intriguing figures, including Nobel Prize-winning author Saul Bellow, singer Serge Gainsbourg, movie star Paul Newman (whose father was Jewish), philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, former prime minister Menachem Begin and financier/philanthropist George Soros.

Dr. Noa Regev, director of the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, and Daniella Tourgeman, artistic director of the festival, said in a statement, “We are very excited for the upcoming festival, which attracts a diverse audience from all over the country, in the pleasant atmosphere of Hanukkah. The program has been carefully curated with the intention of giving festival-goers new and in-depth perspectives on the complex Jewish theme.”

The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival 2021 is held with the support of the Culture Ministry, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Foundation, the Avi Chai Foundation, the Gesher Foundation for Multicultural Cinema, Helene Schumann and Jill Samuels.

The full program will be available soon on the Jerusalem Cinematheque website at