As one of the longest-running Jewish film festivals in the country, the mission of the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma & Howard Laderberg, is to educate and engage diverse Tidewater communities, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, by presenting world-class film premieres, repertory cinema, and associated programs that are inspired by Jewish or Israeli history, heritage, and values.


Our vision is to create shared experiences and connections through film and cultural programs inspired by Jewish legacy and values.


29th Annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film

February 24-28, 2022

Presented by Alma & Howard Laderberg



Un Cielo Stellato Sopra Il Ghetto Di Roma 


Thursday, February 24

7:30 PM

Cinema Café Kemps River

1220 Fordham Drive

Virginia Beach


Tickets: $12

Limited seating, pre-purchase strongly suggested.

Join us in the theater or watch at home, LIVE!


Director Giulio Base | 100 min

Italy | 2020

Italian with English Subtitles | Not Rated


Led by a talented ensemble of young actors, this inspirational interfaith story is a reminder of the importance of memory, coexistence and resolving generational friction. When teenaged Sofia finds a wartime photo of a Jewish child hidden in an old suitcase, she enlists the help of a group of students from Rome’s Jewish community to discover the fate of this person. Her quest will have life-changing consequences as she discovers the truth about the child’s history, as well as that of her own family. The film offers a refreshing look at history through the eyes of a new generation.



[See Ticket Pricing section below for Kids Night Out babysitting during this film!]


Saturday, February 26

7:30 PM

Susan S. Goode Fine and

Performing Arts Center

Virginia Wesleyan University

5817 Wesleyan Drive

Virginia Beach


Tickets: $25

Limited seating, pre-purchase strongly suggested.
Join us in the theater or watch at home, LIVE!


Director Gabriel Bologna | 115 min

USA | 2020

English | PG-13


How fitting the first film in history that the Vatican, a Hasidic Synagogue, a Mosque and a Sikh Temple would collaborate on, is a comedy!  From the director of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Tango Shalom” features an award-winning ensemble cast including Lainie Kazan, Renee Taylor, Joseph Bologna, Judi Beecher, and Dancing with the Stars pro, Karina Smirnoff.


Moshe Yehuda, a Hasidic Rabbi and amateur Hora dancer, played by Jos Laniado, enters a Tango competition to save his Hebrew school from bankruptcy.  There is one problem: due to his orthodox beliefs, he is not allowed to touch a woman!  At odds with his family, the Grand Rabbi of his orthodox sect, and the entire Hasidic community, Moshe asks a Catholic priest, a Muslim Imam and a Sikh holy man to help him dance in the Tango contest “without sacrificing his sacred beliefs.”  “Tango Shalom” tests the bonds of family and community, and the bounds of tolerance and faith.





Sunday, February 27

2:30 PM

Susan S. Goode Fine and

Performing Arts Center

Virginia Wesleyan University

5817 Wesleyan Drive

Virginia Beach


Tickets: $12

Limited seating, pre-purchase strongly suggested.
Join us in the theater or watch at home, LIVE!


Director Yariv Mozer | 70 min

Israel | 2016

Hebrew with English Subtitles | Not Rated


An interview with David Ben-Gurion, one of modern history's greatest leaders, emerges from the obscurity of an archive where it has lain unrecognized for decades. It is 1968, and Ben-Gurion is 82 years old, five years before his death. He lives in the seclusion of his home in the desert, remote from all political discourse, which allows him a perspective on the Zionist enterprise. His introspective soul-searching is the focus of this film, and his reflections provide a surprising vision for today's crucial decisions and for the future of Israel.


Yael Perlov is the two-time winner of the Israeli Academy Prize for film, laureate of the Art of Film prize of the Ministry of Art and Culture, senior lecturer at the Film and Television Department at Tel Aviv University, and is currently a visiting scholar at Duke University.


As part of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, Embassy of Israel and community partners’ 11th annual Israel Today series.


A sparkling new 4K restoration in honor of the film’s 40th anniversary 




Monday, February 28

7:00 PM

Naro Expanded Cinema

1507 Colley Avenue



Tickets $12

Limited seating, pre-purchase strongly suggested.
Join us in the theater or watch at home, LIVE!


Director Joan Micklin Silver | 89 min

USA | 1975

English | PG


Among the great cinematic portraits of Jewish life in America, Joan Micklin Silver’s debut feature is anchored by her own screenplay (adapted from Abraham Cahan’s 1896 novella Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto) and an unforgettable, Oscar-nominated performance by Carol Kane. Kane stars as Gitl, one half of an Eastern European Jewish couple alongside Yankel (Steven Keats). Upon arriving in New York’s Lower East Side in the late 19th century, Gitl finds that Yankel, who’d come over to America before her and their young son Yossele, has begun an affair with a dancer, and Gitl finds herself in an unenviable situation in a strange new place. Hester Street reconstructs this bygone haven for Jewish immigrants to paint one woman’s journey to assimilation and her arrival at the crossroads of tradition and modernity. 


Ticket Pricing*

(Tickets available for purchase here)



Tickets: $12 per person 


The BIG Saturday Night Film & Celebration: $25 per person

Includes a conversation with Judi Beecher, as well as an executive producer and one of the film's stars, plus the champagne and dessert reception to-go!


Watch at home LIVE from the comfort of your living room: $12 per household

* No refunds, no exchanges



Kids Night Out Babysitting at the Simon Family JCC open for JCC members for the BIG Saturday Night Celebration of Jewish Film. (Registration required at the JCC Front Desk, limited availability.) Kids Night Out goes from 6 PM - 10 PM for children ages 4-12. Cost is $20 for the first child, $15 for each additional sibling. Maximum of $50 per household. For more information on Kids Night Out, please click here.


For more film festival information: 757-321-2338 or click here


Presented by the Alma & Howard Laderberg Virginia Festival of Jewish Film Restricted Fund, a legacy gift of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation.

The well-being of our audience members and theater teams remain our top priority.  The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and Simon Family JCC continue to follow CDC guidance and recommendations. Please keep an eye on this page for the most up to date COVID health protocols.


How is the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater & Simon Family JCC’s Virginia Festival of Jewish Film Keeping Audiences Safe? 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater & Simon Family JCC have made safety our first priority. That includes a commitment to monitoring evolving conditions and public health measures, and adjusting our protocols to protect moviegoers and staff. 

UJFT will continue to closely monitor the situation and update COVID-19 safeguards as circumstances warrant, in consultation with medical experts, and in accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines. 


Am I required to be vaccinated to attend Virginia Festival of Jewish Film? 

Yes. The Virginia Festival of Jewish Film will now require proof of vaccination for audiences attending in-person programs. 

Alternatively, moviegoers (including those ineligible for or unable to get the vaccine) may present proof of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the event. 


What do I need to bring with me to the theater to verify my vaccination status or COVID test result? 

You will be required to show your vaccination card, or a digital copy or photo. The card must indicate you’ve received both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, AND a booster shot, at least two weeks prior to your film screening. You will also need photo identification with the same name as that on the vaccination card.     

You also have the option to present a negative COVID-19 test result, administered within 72 hours of showtime, along with matching photo ID. 

Upon arrival at the theater entrance and verification of vaccine status or test result, you will receive a wristband, allowing you to move freely within and outside the venue without additional requirements. 


Does UJFT accept a negative COVID-19 at-home test? 

No. UJFT requires a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test, either a rapid/antigen test or PCR test, administered by a healthcare professional. Self-tests or at-home tests, as well as antibody tests, are not sufficient to attend Virginia Festival of Jewish Film. 


Am I required to wear a mask? 

Moviegoers must wear a mask throughout the theater, unless actively enjoying food or drinks. All theater employees and UJFT personnel are required to wear masks. 

Previous Films


Offering shared experiences and connections through film and cultural programs inspired by Jewish legacy and values over the last 28 years, here’s a look back at the most recent films the community has enjoyed, many of which are now available online at little or no cost.