Traditionally screened at various locations throughout Tidewater, the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma & Howard Laderberg, offers a range of cinema experiences, from compelling documentaries to poignant comedies that engage and spark conversations.

 

 

 

 

30th Annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film
February 23 - March 1, 2023

As one of the longest-running Jewish film festivals in the country, the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma & Howard Laderberg, educates and engages 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.

 

Kids Night Out Babysitting is available at the Simon Family JCC for the BIG Saturday Night Celebration of Jewish Film. Registration required in advance. Space is limited. Register at JewishVA.org/KNO-FF.

 

Ticketing:

  • Full Festival passes are available for $60 and include entry to all five films. Festival Passes must be purchased by Wednesday, February 1, 2023.
  • The BIG Saturday Night Film & Celebration: $25
  • Individual tickets for other films: $12

 

KARAOKE

Directed by Moshe Rosenthal · 2022 · Israel · Hebrew with English Subtitles · 100 Minutes

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23 • 5:00 & 7:30 PM

Cinema Café Kemps River
1220 Fordham Drive, Virginia Beach

KARAOKE

Preceeded by the short film WEST BANK STORY

Details

 

Preceded by the short film WEST BANK STORY

 

Tickets: $12

Limited seating, pre-purchase strongly suggested.

 

Meir and Tova are a retired couple living in an upscale Tel Aviv apartment complex. With their children off on their own, the parents are left with each other — which, after 46 years, has gotten old.

 

But then, the couple meets Itzik, their confident, flashy bachelor neighbor in the penthouse upstairs. When Meir and Tova visit Itzik for karaoke night, things begin to change. His influence is invigorating: Almost immediately, the couple finds themselves more attentive to their looks, more adventurous, eager for their neighbor’s flattering attentions. But like wallflowers unexpectedly befriended by the cool kids, they also rapidly become over-dependent on their new pal.

 

 

Short Film, WEST BANK STORY

 

 

Directed by Ari Sande · 2005 · United States · English · 24 Minutes

 

This musical comedy tells the story of David, an Israeli soldier who falls in love with the beautiful Palestinian cashier, Fatima, despite the animosity between their families' dueling falafel restaurants. Can the couple's love withstand a 2000-year-old conflict and their families' desire to control the future of the chickpea in the Middle East?

 

 

7:30pm has sold out. 
5:00pm screening added due to popular demand.

 

 

 

iMORDECAI

Directed by Marvin Samel · 2022 · United States · English · 102 Minutes

 

 

 

THE BIG SATURDAY NIGHT CELEBRATION OF JEWISH FILM

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25 · 7:30 PM

Zeiders American Dream Theater

4509 Commerce Street, Virginia Beach

iMORDECAI

Includes a conversation with actor Nick Puga, followed by a champagne and dessert reception with klezmer music by Bagels & Fraylox

Details

 

Tickets: $25

Limited seating, pre-purchase strongly suggested.

 

A heart-warming movie based on a true story, iMordecai stars Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy-winning actor Judd Hirsch (star of the Emmy-winning sitcom Taxi, and films Ordinary People and Independence Day) as Mordecai Samels and Academy Award-nominated actress Carol Kane (Hester Street) as his wife, Fela, both Polish Holocaust survivors now living in Miami. Their son, Marvin (Academy Award-nominated actor Sean Astin, The Lord of the Rings), is an ambitious cigar maker trying to support his own family while still being there for his aging parents.

 

When Mordecai's ancient flip phone breaks, he starts to take lessons from Nina (newcomer Azia Dinea Hale), a young employee of Ultratech. She tutors Mordecai on his new iPhone, opening him up to all kinds of novel experiences and adventures, which makes him feel like a kid again. An uplifting comedy and a love letter to the city of Miami, iMordecai urges us all to live the one life we have to the fullest.

 

 

 

 

 

THE LEVYS OF MONTICELLO

Directed by Steven Pressman · 2022 · United States · English · 71 Minutes

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26 · 2:30 PM

The Samuel C. Johnson Theater at Norfolk Academy
1585 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk

THE LEVYS OF MONTICELLO

Includes a conversation with Associate Producer Lisa Stark, and Marc Leepson, author of Saving Monticello, moderated by Vice-Admiral Herman A. Shelanski, US Navy (ret.)

Details

 

Tickets: $12

Limited seating, pre-purchase strongly suggested.

 

When President Thomas Jefferson died in 1826, he left behind a mountain of personal debt, forcing his heirs to auction off most of his possessions and sell off his iconic home, Monticello. In 1834, Monticello was purchased by Captain Uriah P. Levy, the first Jewish commodore to serve in the US Navy. A deep admirer of Jefferson’s scholarship and dedication to religious liberty, Levy and his family would go on to own Monticello for nearly a century – far longer than Jefferson and his descendants.

 

This remarkable documentary uncovers the incredible legacy of the Levy Family while confronting the racism and antisemitism that remain part of the narrative surrounding the national landmark.

 

Sponsored by KRS Law

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT STOP, GREENWICH VILL

Directed by Paul Mazursky · 1976 · United States · English · 111 Minutes

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27 · 7:15 PM

Naro Expanded Cinema
1507 Colley Ave, Norfolk

NEXT STOP, GREENWICH VILLAGE

An evening dedicated to longtime friend of the festival, Mal Vincent Introduction by Rabbi Michael Panitz

Details

 

Tickets: $12

Limited seating, pre-purchase strongly suggested.

 

Fresh out of college, Larry Lapinsky (Lenny Baker) leaves Brooklyn and moves to Greenwich Village. Larry comes from a traditional Jewish home, and though his mother, Faye (Shelley Winters), wants him to get a steady job, he tries to make it as an actor. He quickly takes his place among some young creative types, including girlfriend Sarah (Ellen Greene) and writer Robert (Christopher Walken). Soon Larry is on the verge of a career breakthrough, but his mother finds it hard to let go.

 

 

 

 

Farewell, Mr. Haffmann

Directed by Fred Cavayé · 2022 · France, Belgium · French with English Subtitles · 115 Minutes

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1 · 7:30 PM

Beach Cinema Alehouse

941 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach

Farewell, Mr. Haffmann

Adieu, Monsieur Hafmann

Preceded by the short film COLETTE

Details

 

Tickets: $12

Limited seating, pre-purchase strongly suggested.

 

In Nazi-Occupied Paris in 1941, all members of the Jewish community are instructed to come forward and identify themselves to authorities. Dedicated jeweler Joseph Haffmann, fearing the worst, arranges for his family to flee the city and offers his employee François Mercier the chance to take over his store until the conflict subsides. But his own attempts to escape are thwarted, and Haffmann is forced to seek his assistant’s protection. It’s a risky proposition for both men, and one that Mercier’s wife Blanche is skeptical of. Tensions rise as the three live in fear of being discovered by the Nazi occupiers. This gripping, morally complex thriller about greed, survival, and courage is replete with Faustian bargains and surprisingly dramatic plot turns.

 

Short Film, COLETTE

 

 

Directed by Anthony Giacchino · 2020 · France · French with English Subtitles · 24 Minutes

 

In Nazi-occupied France, resistance took courage. When Colette Marin-Catherine was a young girl, she fought the Nazis as a member of the French Resistance. Since 1945, Colette has refused to set foot in Germany. That changes when a young history student named Lucie enters her life and encourages her to visit the concentration camp where the Nazis killed her brother.

 

 

Beyond the Festival  •  A celebration of Israel @75

LIFE IN STILLS

Dir. Tamar Tal-Ana • 58 minutes • Israel • Hebrew, English

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26 · 7:30 PM

Cinema Café Kemps River

1220 Fordham Drive, Virginia Beach

LIFE IN STILLS

Includes a conversation with Photohouse owner and costar, Ben Peter

Details

 

Tickets: Free + Open to the public

Limited seating, registration strongly suggested.

 

At the age of 96, Miriam Weissenstein never imagined that she would be facing a new chapter in her life. When “The Photo House” - her late husband’s life’s work - was destined for demolition, she knew she needed help. A special relationship is forged between Miriam and her grandson, Ben, as they join forces to save the shop and its nearly one million negatives that document Israel’s defining moments. Despite the generation gap, Ben and Miriam embark on a heart-wrenching, humorous, and touching journey together.

 

Presented by The Jewish Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, & Community Partners’ 12th Annual Israel Today Series

 

 

THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS PATRONS OF THE ARTS AND SPONSORS:

Marilyn and Michel Ashe
Susan Barr
Wendy Jo and Ronald Brodsky
Stephanie Calliot and Don London
Armond and Rose Caplan Foundation
Marsha Chenman
Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer
Susan and Andrew H. Cohen
Shari Friedman and Andrew King
Barbara Dudley
Susan and Jim Eilberg
Lois and Barry Einhorn
Mona and Jeffrey Flax
Alan and Esther Fleder Foundation
Anne and Lawrence Fleder
Alicia and Robert Friedman
Bootsie Goldmeier
Jeri Jo and William Halprin

 

Harbor Group
Ellen Hundley
Hyatt Place Virginia Beach Town Center
Connie Jacobson
Jodi and Jay Klebanoff
Anne and Edward Kramer
Ruth and Edward Legum
David Leon
Karen and Richard Lombart
Marcia and Burt Moss
Stacie and Marc Moss
Andrew Nusbaum
Palms Associates
Lisa and Howard Roesen
Sharon and Gene Ross
Shikma and Danny Rubin

 

 

Sara Jo and Joel Rubin
S. L. Nusbaum Realty Co.
Beth Scharlop and Roger Schultz
Lynn Schoenbaum
Miriam Seeherman
Patty and Herman Shelanski
Sandy and Norman Sher
Leslie and Larry Siegel
Edward Soltz
Lawrence Steingold
Renee and John Strelitz
Tidewater Jewish Foundation
Jody and Alan Wagner
Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer
Wilks, Alper, Harwood & McIntyre, PC
Amy and Frank Zelenka
Jennifer and Rabbi Israel Zoberman

 

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

 

 

FOR TICKETS OR MORE INFORMATION

Contact Hunter Thomas, Director of Arts & Entertainment at  HThomas@ujft.org or (757) 965-6137.

 

 

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.

 

2022

 

2021

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015