Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania

NEPA Jewish Film Loan Library

As of July 26, 2013 (* represents new)

Coming Soon (contact Dassy Ganz at 570-961-2300 extension 2 or email dassy.ganz@jewishnepa.org)

Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness:

A riveting portrait of the great writer whose stories became the basis of the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof, SHOLEM ALEICHEM: LAUGHING IN THE DARKNESS tells the tale of the rebellious genius who created an entirely new literature. Plumbing the depths of a Jewish world locked in crisis and on the cusp of profound change, he captured that world with brilliant humor. Sholem Aleichem was not just a witness to the creation of a new modern Jewish identity, but one of the very men who forged it.

The Concert

Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a mere cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he learns by accident that the Chatelet Theater in Paris has invited the Bolshoi orchestra to play there. He decides to gather together his former musicians and perform in Paris in the place of the current Bolshoi orchestra. He wants a young violinist virtuoso, Anne-Marie Jacquet, to accompany his old Jewish or Gypsy musicians. If they all overcome the hardships ahead this very special concert will be a triumph.

Hava Nagila: The Movie

Hava Nagila is instantly recognizable and musical shorthand for anything Jewish. But as audiences will discover in- HAVA NAGILA (THE MOVIE), the song is much more than a tale of Jewish kitsch and bad bar mitzvah fashions. In its own believe-it-or-not way,- it encapsulates the Jewish journey over the past 150 years. Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Leonard Nimoy, Regina Spektor and more,- the film – follows the song from Eastern Europe to Palestine and all the way to America.

Fill the Void

Fill the Void tells the story of an eighteen-year-old, Shira, who is the youngest daughter of her family. Her dreams are about to come true as she is set to be married off to a promising young man. Unexpectedly, her sister, Esther, dies while giving birth to her first child. The pain that overwhelms the family postpone Shira’s promised match. Everything changes when an offer is proposed to match Yochay, the late Esther’s husband, to a widow from Belgium. When the girls’ mother finds out that Yochay may leave the country with her only grandchild, she proposes a match between Shira and the widower. Shira will have to choose between her heart’s wish and her family duty.

Non-Feature Films

A Film Unfinished, a harrowing look at the devious art of a propaganda film made by the Third Reich, is a rich and well-researched investigation into the filmic history of the Warsaw Ghetto. As A Film Unfinished aims to set the record straight, it furthers a political resistance that Jews undertook during the war. In other words, this documentary is a tribute, a correction of history to honor those who died, witnessed, or survived atrocities prior to their move to Treblinka, Warsaw’s affiliate death camp.

Blessed is the Match - In 1944, 22-year Hannah Senesh parachuted into Nazi- occupied Europe with a small group of Jewish volunteers from Palestine. Theirs was the only military rescue mission for Jews that occurred in World War II.

*Broadway Musicals; A Jewish Legacy- This entertaining documentary, narrated by the award winning Joel Grey, examines the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the modern American musical. There are interviews alongside standout performances and archival footage.

Budapest to Gettyburg - The past and present collide as a world-renowned historian confronts a history he has refused to study-his own. Gabor Boritt is an expert on Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War. But it took his son’s urging to get him to return to his native Hungary and learn about the Jewish experience there from the time of his childhood until, together with his family, he escaped to the United States.

Constantine’s Sword, is a 2007 historical documentary film on the relationship between the Catholic Church and Jews. Directed and produced by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Oren Jacoby, the film is inspired by former priest James P. Carroll’s 2001 book Constantine’s Sword.

Inside Hana’s Suitcase - A real-life Japanese schoolteacher, who appears throughout the film, sparked this entire story by gathering artifacts for a Holocaust educational center she was developing along with a group of girls and boys called The Small Wings. After applying to receive Holocaust artifacts, a large box arrives with a handful of artifacts, including a battered brown suitcase labeled with Hana Brady’s name. The teacher and her students begin searching for the story behind the suitcase. What they discover will surprise you. They wind up unlocking–and showing us in the film–a whole series of deeply moving memories and other related artifacts and photos. Finally, Hana’s surviving brother George travels to Japan to meet the Japanese students.

I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal - Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor who lost 89 family members, helped track down over 1,100 Nazi war criminals and spent six decades fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice against all people.

Jews and Baseball: An American Love StoryThis excellent documentary, narrated by Dustin Hoffman, portrays the contributions of Jewish major leaguers and the special meaning that baseball has had in the lives of American Jews. Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story was shown at the Opening Event for the 2012 UJA Campaign.

The Case for Israel: Democracy’s Outpost - Famed attorney, Alan Dershowitz, presents a vigorous case for Israel- for its basic right to exist, to protect its citizens from terrorism and to defend its borders from hostile enemies.

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg - As baseball’s first Jewish star, Hammering Hank Greenberg’s career contains all the makings of a true American success story.

*Orchestra of Exiles- This riveting documentary tells the story of how Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman, watched Jewish musicians being fired from classical orchestras when Hitler came to power. Huberman decided to build a new orchestra in Palestine encountering many obstacles along the way. He ultimately succeeds and the Palestine Symphony gave its first performance December, 1936. (When Israel gained independence in 1948, the orchestra was renamed the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, which remains to this day a world class orchestra.)

*The Flat- This gripping autobiographical documentary tells the story of the filmmaker, Arnon Goldfinger who travels to Tel Aviv to clean out the apartment of recent deceased German-born Jewish grandmother. Goldfinger discovers, while going through her belonging, he finds evidence that his grandparents were good friends with Leopold von Mildenstein, a leading official within the Nazi propaganda agency and that they remained friends after World War II. He journeys to find out the details of this disturbing revelation.

Feature Films

A Matter of Size - Winner of numerous international awards, this Israeli comedy is a hilarious and heart-warming tale about four overweight guys who learn to love themselves through the Japanese sport of sumo wrestling. (not rated)

A Woman Called Golda -  Ingrid Bergman plays Golda Meir,  the Russian born, Wisconsin raised woman who became Israel’s prime minister in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

*Avalon- Sam Krichinsky and his extended family arrive in American to find the American dream in a place called Avalon. We watch the Krichinsky family move from poverty to prosperity,facing their changing world with enduring humor and abiding love.

Crossing Delancey - This is a warm comedy taking place in New York City. Isabella Grossman desires to rise above her family’s Lower East Side community but her grandmother has other matchmaking plans.

Footnote - The story of a great rivalry between a father and son, both eccentric professors who have both dedicated their lives to work in Talmudic Studies departments of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Though the father shuns overt praise for his work and the son is desperate for it, how will each react when the father is to be awarded the most sought after prize, the Israel prize? This Oscar nominated film will entrance from the start.

Frisco Kid - It’s 1850 and new rabbi Avram Belinski sets out from Philadelphia toward San Francisco. Cowpoke bandit Tom Lillard hasn’t seen a rabbi before but he knows when one needs a heap of help. Getting this tenderfoot to Frisco in one piece will cause a heap of trouble- with the law, Native Americans and a bunch of killers.

GoodIn an attempt to establish its credibility, the new Nazi government is seeking out experts to endorse its policies and they come across Johnnie Halder’s novel of a husband who aids his terminally ill wife in an assisted suicide. Because of this the Nazis flatter Johnnie arranging for high paying and prestigious positions. Never evil, Johnnie Halder is an Everyman who goes along, accepts what he is told without question until he is an unwitting accomplice to the Nazi killing machine.

Hidden In Silence - Przemysl, Poland, WWII. Germany emerges victorious over the Russians, and the city comes under Nazi control. The Jewish are sent to the ghettos. While some stand silent, Catholic teenager Stefania Podgorska chooses the role of a savior and sneaks 13 Jews into her attic. Every day, she risks detection–and immediate execution–by smuggling food and water to the silent group living above her. And when two German nurses are assigned to her living quarters, the chances of discovery become dangerously high. This is the true story of a young woman’s selfless commitment and unwavering resolve in the face of war.

Noodle (PAL version- can only be played on computer NOT regular DVD players) – At thirty-seven, Miri is a twice-widowed, El Al flight attendant. Her well regulated existence is suddenly turned upside down by an abandoned Chinese boy whose migrant-worker mother has been deported from Israel.  The film is a touching comic-drama in which two human beings- as different from each other as Tel Aviv is from Beijing- accompany each other on a remarkable journey, one that takes them both back to a meaningful life.

Nora’s Will - When his ex-wife Nora dies right before Passover, Jose is forced to stay with her body until she can be properly put to rest.  He soon realizes that he is part of Nora’s plan to bring her family back together for one last Passover feast, leading Jose to reexamine their relationship. (not rated)

Operation ThunderboltThe true story of the Entebbe hijacking and rescue. “Operation Thunderbolt,” was filmed in Israel with the full cooperation of the Israeli government, and is an exciting re-creation of the events of those tense days. We see the full scope of the story, from the original hijacking to the passengers’ captivity in Uganda to the agonized debates at the highest levels of the Israeli government over a diplomatic vs. a military solution. “Operation Thunderbolt” is the thrilling and true story of how one small country refused to let their people be killed by terrorists and took action to prevent it. People who claim that Israel is a “terrorist state” should see the film and be reminded who the real terrorists are.

Orthodox Stance (documentary-2007) – Dimitriy Salita, a Russian immigrant, is making history as a top professional boxer and rigorously observant Jew.  While providing an intimate, 3-year long look at the trials and tribulations faced by an up and coming professional boxer, ORTHODOX STANCE is a portrait of seemingly incompatible cultures and characters working together to support Dmitriy’s rare and remarkable devotion to both Orthodox Judaism and the pursuit of a professional boxing title.

Playing for TimeAn outstanding cast brings life to this Fania Fenelon autobiography about a Jewish cabaret singer and other Jewish prisoners whose lives were spared at Auschwitz in exchange for performing for their captors.

Rashevski’s Tango - Just about every dilemma of modern Jewish identity gets an airing in this packed tale of a clan of more or less secularized Belgian Jews thrown into spiritual crisis by the death of the matriarch who has held all doubts and family warfare in check. (not rated)

Sarah’s KeyJulia Jarmond, an American journalist is commissioned to write an article about the notorious Vel d’Hiv round up, which took place in Paris, in 1942. She stumbles upon a family secret which will link her forever to the destiny of a young Jewish girl, Sarah.

The Angel Levine - Things couldn’t get worse for Jewish tailor Morris Mishkin (Zero Mostel). His shop has gone up in flames, his daughter has married outside the faith and, worse yet, his wife is slowly dying. But just when he decides to give up on God, a mysterious man (Harry Belafonte) appears, claiming to be his Jewish guardian angel! Doubtful that the stranger is Jewish, never mind an angel, Mishkin must overcome his skepticism if he wants one last chance at redemption.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - Set during World War II, this is the story of Bruno, an innocent and naïve eight-year old boy who meets a boy while romping in the woods. A surprising friendship develops.

The Couple - Based on the true story of a Jewish Hungarian’s desperate attempts to save his family from the Nazi death camps. Mr. Krauzenberg (Martin Landau) is forced to hand over his vast wealth to the Nazis for the safe passage of his family out of occupied Europe, only to find his two remaining servants are left trapped in a web of deceit and danger. Their only hope for survival relies on the courage of Krauzenberg.

The Debt - Academy Award winner Helen Mirren and two-time Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson star in The Debt.  In 1966, three Mossad agents were assigned to track down a feared Nazi war criminal hiding in East Berlin, a mission accomplished at great risk and personal cost… or was it?

*The Other Son- The dramatic tale of two babies switched at birth, The Other Son creates a thoughtful presentation of what could be a soap opera type event. Instead, director Lorraine Levy and a wonderful screenplay takes the viewer down a very different path allowing each to come to his/her own conclusions.

*The World of Sholom Aleichem- Three of Sholom Aleichem short stories are adapted for the stage and broadcast on the 1959 television series “The Play of the Week”.

Wallenberg: A Hero’s Story - Wallenberg: A Hero’s Story is an incredibly riveting, Emmy award-winning, fact-based story about a hero who helped over 100,000 Hungarian Jews escape from the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Ushpizin - A fable set in the Orthodox Jewish world in Jerusalem, Ushpizin tells the story of a poor childless couple, Moshe and Malli, whose belief in the goodness of the Almighty follows a roller coaster of situations and emotions but leads to the ultimate happiness, the birth of their son.

To borrow any of these films for home or synagogue use, please contact Dassy at 961-2300 x2 or dassy.ganz@jewishnepa.org.

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