Exploring the religion’s history, culture and philosophy and considering what Judaism means in the modern world.
Jewish Studies Collection
Night Will Fall | Director: Andre Singer
Year of production: 2014 | Country of production: Denmark, Israel, United Kingdom, USA | Language: English, Hebrew, Russian (with full English subtitles available)
Night Will Fall tells the story of the liberation of the German Concentration Camps. Using remarkable archive footage and testimony from both survivors and liberators, it tells of the efforts made to document the almost unbelievable scenes that the Allies encountered on liberation.
The film explores how a team of top filmmakers, including Sidney Bernstein, Richard Crossman and Alfred Hitchcock, came together to make a film to provide undeniable evidence of what the Allies found, but the film was stopped in its tracks by the British Government and only now 70 years on, has it been completed. Each new generation deserves access to this evidence.
The Muses of Bashevis Singer | Director: Shaul Betser and Asaf Galay
Year of production: 2014 | Country of production: Israel | Language: English, Hebrew (with full English subtitles available)
Isaac Bashevis Singer, the famous Yiddish writer and Nobel Prize winner wrote with a 'harem' of dozens of translators behind him. Beyond simple translators, these women were a vital source of his creativity. The inspiration he drew from them came in many forms, often mixing romance with professional aspirations. Today nine remain to tell his story. Intimate, poignant interviews and exclusive archival footage combine to form the unknown story of an author who charmed and enchanted his audiences, just as he charmed and enchanted his translators. A film about the art of translation and one of the great figures of twentieth century literature.
A Match Made in Heaven | Director: Ronnie Kay
Year of production: 2014 | Country of production: Israel | Language: Hebrew (with full English subtitles available)
Dating and matchmaking in the "Haredi" (ultra-orthodox Jewish) world has always been mysterious and intriguingly different from the secular world. At a time when the institution of marriage in the modern secular world is about to go bankrupt – increasing divorce rates, infidelity, the trend of extended bachelorhood, single parenting, etc. – the question arises: where are we going wrong? And what is it about Haredi relationships that keeps them strong and stable? How does it work?
Jerusalem is Proud to Present | Director: Nitzan Gilady
Year of production: 2007 | Country of production: Israel, Italy | Language: English, Hebrew (with full English subtitles available)
In 2006 Jerusalem was to host the World Pride events for the first time. The planned parade ignited turmoil in the politically complex city, with Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders banding together against this apparent "threat" to “defile the holy city”. As activists from Jerusalem’s LGBT community centre face violent anti-gay sentiment, it is not only their right to march that is under threat but their very lives.
The Cemetery Club | Director: Tali Shemesh
Year of production: 2006 | Country of production: Israel | Language: Hebrew, Polish (with full English subtitles available)
For over two decades, a group of women and men have been meeting weekly at Israel’s National Cemetery to debate philosophy, read poetry, eat lunch and determine the fate of the Jewish nation.
Director Tali Shemesh focuses on two of the group’s members: her grandmother, and her great aunt Lena, their life choices and their relationship. A poignant, intimate, sometimes hilarious portrait of the Holocaust generation.
HAVA NAGILA: The Untold Story of the World’s Most Popular Song | Director: Roberta Grossman
Year of production: 2012 | Country of production: USA | Language: English (with full English subtitles available)
Hava Nagila is to music what the bagel is to food – a Jewish staple that has transcended its origins and become a worldwide hit. This hilarious and surprisingly deep film follow the song's fascinating journey from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the cul-de-sacs of America. Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Leonard Nimoy, Regina Spektor and more, Hava Nagila (The Movie) takes viewers around the world using the song as a springboard to explore Jewish history and identity and to spotlight the cross-cultural connections that can only be achieved through music.
The House on August street | Director: Ayelet Bargur
Year of production: 2007 | Country of production: Israel | Language: German, Hebrew (with full English subtitles available)
The House On August Street" is the untold story of the filmmaker's legendary aunt Beate Berger, and the Children's home she founded in 1922 in Berlin for Jewish children in need.
It is the story of her courageous decision at the early 30's to save "her" children from Nazi Germany, and the unique rescue operation she initiated and carried out, taking them out of Germany and bringing them to a new “Ahawah” home she built in Israel. It's a film about memory, hope and about a woman who understood reality around her like very few did at the time.
Promises | Director: Justine Shapiro B.Z. Goldberg Carlos Bolado
Year of production: 2001 | Country of production: USA | Language: Arabic, English, Hebrew (with full English subtitles available)
A beautiful and deeply moving portrait of seven Palestinian and Israeli children. Emmy award-winning and Academy award-nominated, PROMISES follows the journey of a filmmaker who meets these children in and around Jerusalem, from a Palestinian refugee camp to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Although they live only 20 minutes apart, these children exist in completely separate worlds, divided by physical, historical and emotional boundaries. PROMISES explores the nature of these boundaries and tells the story of a few children who dared to cross the lines to meet their neighbors.
The Judge | Director: Ram Landes Ami Teer
Year of production: 2009 | Country of production: Israel | Language: English, Hebrew (with full English subtitles available)
Few judges anywhere have confronted the challenges faced by Aharon Barak, the former Chief Justice of Israel's Supreme Court. A survivor of the Holocaust, he knows firsthand the dangers posed by intolerance and xenophobia, and spent his career negotiating a delicate balance between Israel as a Jewish state and Israel as a democracy. Though often controversial, his rulings have become textbook cases for law students around the world. During his tenure Barak never spoke to the media. Now that he feels his time is running out, he has agreed to bare his soul—the soul of a judge—on camera for the very first time.
Harbour of Hope | Director: Magnus Gertten
Year of production: 2011 | Country of production: Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland, Sweden | Language: English, German, Swedish (with full English subtitles available)
This simultaneously heartbreaking and life-affirming documentary introduces us to Irene Krausz-Fainman, Ewa Kabacinska Jansson and Joe Rozenberg. In 1945, these three were among the 30.000 survivors that were rescued from German concentration camps by the Red Army and brought to the peaceful harbour town of Malmö, Sweden. There life began again. Coming to Sweden in 1945 was a defining moment in the lives of these survivors. Here they reveal their stories; from the complexities of adjusting to their new found freedom, to the mysteries and questions still haunting them today.