- Films


May 8 7:00 pm
JCC Amherst - Benderson Family Building
Wine sampling, tasty treats, film and musical entertainment, raffle and lots of fun!
(a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Magen David Adom - Israel’s “Red Cross”)

Wine: Wine Sampling & Sale
presented by
Marjim Manor
- On the Seaway Trail in Appleton, NY. One of two W.O.W. (Woman Owned Wineries) in New York State, The Winery at Marjim Manor features delicious fruit and traditional wines. Marjim will also pour Israeli wine, compliments of Premier Group. Premier boasts the area’s largest selection of kosher wines and spirits.


Food: Catering by Karen - Tasty Mediterranean treats and more.

Raffle: Prizes galore! Win and support Magen David Adom.


- West Of Odessa - Featuring Roberta Levine (Percussion and tsimbl) and Alan Sisselman (clarinet). The popular Buffalo-based duo draws its musical inspiration from that spirit with Klezmer, Hassidic, Moldavian, Carpathian, and Balkan melodies.

West of Odessa (Roberta and Alan) will be featured on NPR radio (as was Klezmerola-Bob Berkman) They will air this Friday on "buffalo Avenues" at 8:00 pm and the site to catch them on later is:

West Of Odessa

- Klezmerola - Automatic Jewish music from rare piano rolls. Local actor and pianolist extraordinaire, Bob Berkman offers a fascinating and delightful glimpse of how music was packaged and marketed in the days when the player piano was a prime source of entertainment. Amusing, enlightening… a delight from beginning to end!
Listen to Klezmerola online!


Film: The Land Of Milk And Honey

Israel / 2007 / 60 minutes / English, Hebrew, Spanish
Directors: Robert Moutal, Zeji Ozeri

Thurs, May 8 (approximately) 9:00 pm Part of the Israel Independence Day Celebration

Thurs, May 15 3:30 pm (JCC Amherst) following The 10th Man

The Land of Milk and Honey

An inspirational, emotional experience, providing audiences with a heart-felt connection to the Spirit and Soul of Israel.

A story exploring Israel’s emerging folk culture and its connection to the Jewish consciousness around the world. Created and developed by two Latino Jewish filmmakers in San Diego, California and shot entirely in Israel, the film traces the roots of the music and choreography for the song “Eretz Zavat Chalav u’Dvash.” There are interviews with Israelis, dancing, singing and an intimate conversation with the acknowledged composer, Eliyahu Gamliel. An education into how a society gathers support and strength through common beliefs and cultural activities.

Sponsored in part by Greater Buffalo Chapter of Hadassah

USA / 2006 / 25 minutes / English
Directors: Alan H. Rosenberg, Richard Goldgewicht

Thurs, May 15 1:00 pm (JCC Amherst) preceeding Where Neon Goes To Die
Mon, May 19 1:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceeding Where Neon Goes To Die

California Shmeer

A gastro-philosophical documentary on how the Jewish bagel has become an American staple.

Three hundred and fifty years after the establishment of the first Jewish community in North America, Jewish food plays a central role in the American culinary experience. No better example of this phenomenon exists than the bagel & shmeer. California Shmeer looks at how a diverse population has adopted, blended and even changed what once was a recognizable ethnic Jewish food into a sometimes unrecognizable comfort food that is as American as pizza or tacos.

USA / 2006 / 53 minutes / English
Director: David Weintraub

Thurs, May 15 1:00 pm (JCC Amherst) following California Shmeer

Mon, May 19 1:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) following California Shmeer

Click below to watch the trailer

The many features of the once vibrant Jewish community of Miami Beach captured with love and nostalgia.

You won’t find South Florida’s Yiddishland on a map. No history of Miami Beach, official or otherwise includes this cultural epoch. Yet, at its height, it included tens of thousands of local residents and over 100,000 snowbirds.

For decades, Miami Beach hosted six Yiddish theaters, eight radio stations broadcasting Yiddish programming, fifteen chapters of the Workmen’s Circle (a national Yiddish cultural institution) proliferated on the beach and Yiddish choral and musical groups performed on Ocean Drive all year. Then one day it disappeared in a burst of disco lights as the Art Deco revolution and the Miami Vice-ification of South Beach resulted in mass evictions of the city’s elderly and working class, many of whom were active participants in the "shtetl by the bay."

UK / 2006 / 10 minutes / English
Director: Sam Leifer

Thurs, May 15 3:30 pm (JCC Amherst) preceeding The Land Of Milk And Honey

Sun, May 18 6:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceeding Bad Faith
Thurs, May 22 1:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceeding Bad Faith

A dark comedy on the holiest night of the year. Among the aging Jewish community of London’s East End there are simply not enough minyans to go around. With only a handful of men available, kidnapping and dirty tricks are now the way of the street as each congregation will do whatever it takes in its bid for numbers.

* Nominated Best British Short 2006 British Independent Film Award

Brazil / 2006 / 102 minutes / Portuguese & Yiddish with English subtitles
Director: Cao Hamburger

Sat, May 17 8:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) Enjoy dinner before the film at Café in the Square (see order form for prices. Call 688-4114 ext 337 for more menu details) 
View the Cafe Menu

Tues, May 20 3:30 pm (Amherst Theatre)

Click below to watch the trailer

It was 1970. Man had recently landed on the moon and Pelé had scored his one thousandth goal. Yet in Brazil, times were turbulent and agitated.

The story of a young boy, Mauro, whose parents, members of a left-wing militia, must go into hiding and leave him behind for his own safety. Stranded in an alien community of Yiddish-speaking strangers and traditions he has never been exposed to before, Mauro feels lonely and estranged from everything that was once familiar to him, except for his love for football (soccer) and his obsession with the upcoming World Cup. This is a sensitive, delicate and involving film with uplifting performances.

* Audience Award - 2006 Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival

* Best Film - São Paulo International Film Festival

* Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction - 2007 ABC Cinematography Awards

* Best Screenplay - 2007 São Paulo Association of Art Critics Awards

USA/ 2007 / 13 minutes / English
Director: Gayle Kirschenbaum

Sun, May 18 1:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceeding The First Basket

Thurs, May 22 1:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) preceeding The First Basket

Click below to watch the trailer

But what do you do when you think you look good and your mother is convinced what you need more than anything else is a nose job?

One can hardly come closer to stereotypes than talking about Jewish noses and Jewish mothers. In My Nose, Gayle Kirschenbaum proves that there is room for an original take on both subjects. This funny, personal documentary explores the intricacies of the mother/daughter relationship and what drives people into the plastic surgeon’s office. Her witty journey is an attempt to come to terms with both body image and family ties and is certain to make you laugh. It’s endearing charm is guaranteed to make you look at your profile as soon as you’re out of the cinema. Emmy Award winner Gayle Kirschenbaum has written, directed and produced films and documentaries for A&E Network, Fox Channel, Discovery Channel, NBC, CBS, and HBO.

USA / 2007 / 100 minutes / English
Director: David Vyorst / Narrator: Peter Riegert

Sun, May 18 1:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) following My Nose
Thurs, May 22 1:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) following My Nose

Click below to watch the trailer

Fascinating stories of Jewish athletic achievement. Did you know that Ossie Schectman, a Jewish kid from Queens, scored the NBA’s very first basket?

For Jewish immigrants in the early 20th century, sports played an essential part in becoming “American,” a way of disproving stereotypes of Jews as bookish and weak. By the 1920s, nearly every Jewish urban neighborhood, school and institution had a basketball team. When these teams evolved into professional leagues by the late 1940s, Jewish players and coaches led the way. Filmmaker David Vyorst uses this little-known history as a metaphor to examine the dynamics and assimilation of Jewish immigrant culture. Some five years in the making, narrated by award-winning actor and director Peter Riegert with a Klezmer-inspired score by Cuban-born jazz composer Roberto Juan Rodriguez.

Introduction by Don Gilbert, Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame inductee.

Israel / 2007 / 125 minutes / Hebrew with English subtitles
Director: Joseph Cedar

Sun, May 18 3:30 pm & 8:30 pm (Amherst Theatre)

Click below to watch the trailer

An acclaimed war film that confronts the difficult questions of Israel’s military strategy in Lebanon and the broader issues of the sacrifices of young soldiers and the futility of war.

Beaufort chronicles the final days of an Israeli army unit’s tense, painful withdrawal from a strategic bunker inside a twelfth century Crusader fortress near the Lebanese border, marking the end of nearly two decades of controversial occupation. The film explores the experiences and fears of its characters with intense, unassuming intimacy. Like many soldiers involved in modern-day conflicts, they question the value of what they are called upon to do, as well as the orders issued by their superiors. The movie’s director, himself an Israeli Defense Force veteran who was stationed in Lebanon, uses the stone walls of Beaufort Castle as a symbol of the moral dilemmas, futility and endlessness of war. The film was shot in northern Israel in the spring of 2006. Ironically, filming was completed in June, just a month before the Israeli military invasion of Lebanon. Contains scenes of war violence.

* Best Director - 2007 Berlin International Film Festival

* Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film - 2008 Academy Awards

France / 2006 / 88 minutes / French with English subtitles
Director: Roschdy Zem

Sun, May 18 6:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) following The 10th Man 
Thurs, May 22 1:00 pm (Amherst Theatre) following The 10th Man

Bad Faith

A romantic comedy whose title could have been “Guess Who’s Coming to Shabbos Dinner?”

Clara and Ishmael are gorgeous, happy, in love and in Paris. Like many cosmopolitan Parisian couples, the fact that she is Jewish and he is Muslim barely crosses the minds of these oh-so-secular lovebirds... until Clara announces that she’s pregnant. While Clara’s parents, though not exactly observant, receive the news as a religious tragedy, Ishmael’s friends register it as a political earthquake. Baby names, circumcision and keeping Ramadan suddenly become flashpoints. Will Middle East politics break the couple apart? Can love conquer all? Though the premise is as old as Romeo and Juliet and as familiar as Meet the Parents, the Arab-Jewish frisson makes this film feel fresh.

* Best First Work - 2007 César Awards, France H Best Actress - 2008 Étoile d’Or, France

France / 2004 / 102 minutes / French with English subtitles
Director: Arthur Joffé

Mon, May 19 3:30 pm (Amherst Theatre)
Wed, May 21 6:00 pm (Amherst Theatre)

Local Call

A whimsical examination of cultural rootlessness, despiritualization, filial devotion, and the legacy of the diasporic experience.

Since Felix Mandel’s father died two years ago, his Jewish consciousness has faded into the background. With a busy career as an astrophysicist and a hectic domestic life, Felix just doesn’t have the time to be Jewish as well. But then his father starts phoning from the ‘Beyond!’ Haunted and guided by his father’s voice, Félix’ life becomes transformed into a surrealistic tragic-comic trip made of strange meetings, loss, and self-discovery. This modern tale of family relationships is accompanied by a unique klezmer-jazz fusion, and features a brilliant performance from international star Sergio Castellitto. Award wining director Arthur Joffé credits Isaac Bashevis Singer as his primary screenwriting influence in this examination of filial devotion.

Israel / 2006 / 118 minutes / Hebrew with English subtitles
Director: Oded Davidoff

Mon, May 19 6:00 pm (Amherst Theatre)
Thurs, May 22 6:00 pm (Amherst Theatre)

Click below to watch the trailer

With unrelenting pace, suspense, gritty realism and heartfelt drama this film takes viewers on a riveting ride through the backstreets of Jerusalem.

When awkward and shy seventeen-year-old Assaf is asked to find the owner of a stray yellow labrador, he begins a quest that will bring him into contact with street kids, criminals, and a talented young singer, Tamar. She is engaged on her own mission to rescue a teenage drug addict. One month earlier, Tamar, with her dog embarkes on a mission into Jerusalem’s underworld. This Jerusalem is host to a subculture of kids who live in abandoned buildings and are addicted to drugs. The film follows Assaf and Tamar on parallel timelines: Assaf chased, beaten and threatened; Tamar bullied and imprisoned. When their paths converge, they are faced with a test of courage and commitment, an accelerated journey into adulthood, self-discovery and first love.

* Grand Jury Special Mention Award for Best Actress - 2007 Miami International Film Festival

* Best Supporting Actor - 2006 Israeli Academy Awards

Israel & Germany / 2006 / 100 minutes / Hebrew with English subtitles
Director: Dror Shaul

Mon, May 19 8:30 pm (Amherst Theatre)
Wed, May 21 8:30 pm (Amherst Theatre)

Click below to watch the trailer

This film shows both the shiny side of the kibbutz as an idealized social utopia and the troubling darker side of the collective society.

Amidst lush fields and the idyllic landscape of a kibbutz in 1974, 12-year-old Dvir is entering his bar mitzvah year-a time for many initiations and trials. Dvir’s father is dead, his brother is away in the army, and his mother, Miri, suffers from emotional instability. While the collective handles the practical needs of every family, the intangible moral support one expects from a close-knit cooperative is scarce, and Dvir is left to care for beautiful, fragile Miri. Dvir navigates between the professed motto of equality and the stinging reality that his mother has, in effect, been abandoned by their collective community. Sweet Mud is a multi-layered tale of coming-of-age within a richly complex tapestry of culture, idealism, love and freedom. Contains mature themes.

* Best Picture - 2006 Israeli Academy Awards H Crystal Bear - 2007 Berlin International Film Festival

* International Jury Award - 2007 Sundance Film Festival

Argentina / 2006 / 102 minutes / Spanish with English subtitles
Director: Daniel Burman

Tues, May 20 1:00 pm (Amherst Theatre)
Thurs, May 22 8:30 pm (Amherst Theatre)

A subtly perceptive charmer; deft, witty and emotionally rewarding. Like his father before him, Ariel Perelman Jr. is an attorney.

Rather than live in his father’s shadow, Perelman Jr. chooses to work as a teacher in a law school. His life is somewhat dull, but changes for the better when he pursues a former student, and they have a son together. As his father begins to reach out to him with subtle urgency, he’s forced to question his roles as father, son, and husband, and to contemplate what lies ahead. Director Daniel Burman, is described as “The Latin American Woody Allen.” This is his third in a series of semiautobiographical films about father-son relationships.

* Best Director, Best Supporting Actor - 2007 Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards

* Best Film Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress - 2006 Clarin Entertainment Awards

* Audience Award - 2006 Mar del Plata Film Festival

Canada / 2006 / 90 minutes / English
Director: David Gow

Tues, May 20 6:00 pm (Amherst Theatre)
Wed, May 21 3:30 pm (Amherst Theatre)

Powerful performances and tense drama in a film where racial hatred and religious intolerance collide with compassion.

Academy award nominee David Strathairn stars in co-directors David Gow and Mark Adam’s fiery tale of a Jewish, court-appointed lawyer assigned the task of defending a murderous neo-Nazi skinhead. David Dunkleman (Strathairn) is a Jewish liberal humanist and a lawyer working for the court system. Mike Downey (Andrew Walker) is a fierce member of the Aryan brotherhood who stands accused of a brutal, racially motivated murder. Behind prison walls, these disparate men clash in the ultimate struggle of ideology as Dunkleman attempts to put his professional beliefs before his personal beliefs, and his client clings to the hate that threatens to consume both men from the inside out. Contains one brief scene of interpersonal violence at the beginning.

* Best Screenplay - 2007 Method Fest Film Festival

* Best Feature Film - 2007 Beverly Hills Film Festival H Best Actor Award - 2006 Whistler Film Festival

United States / 2007 / 105 Minutes / English & Yiddish with subtitles
Director: Richard Trank

Tues, May 20 8:00 pm (Amherst Theatre)
Wed, May 21 1:00 pm (Amherst Theatre)

The very human story of legendary Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal’s determined fight for justice.

Born in the Ukraine, Wiesenthal lost at least 89 family members during the Holocaust. Imprisoned at the Mauthausen concentration camp, he was spared death when it was liberated by Allied forces and embarked upon a remarkable campaign of truly global proportions. With no formal training as an investigator, Wiesenthal helped bring to justice more than 1,100 of the world’s worst war criminals. With archival footage, photos, and interviews, the film provides insight into what drove Wiesenthal in his search for the criminals. The film was shot on location in Europe, Israel, North America and South America. Narrated by Academy Award winner, Nicole Kidman.

Co-Sponsored and introduced by the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo