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The Jewish Cultural Center is proud to announce the fourth season of the Reading Jewish Film Series, co-sponsored by the Rubin Educational Fund of the Jewish Federation of Reading and Fox Theatres. Admission is $5 per film or $30 for the series of seven films. All films will be shown on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm at Fox East, 4350 Perkiomen Avenue, Reading. Tickets can be purchased at the theater beginning at 6:30pm on the day of the screening or can be bought at the JCC. Cash and checks are accepted.
2017/2018 Film Selections
Wed., 9/13—Aida’s Secrets
Wed., 11/1—Hummus! (Hummus-tasting to follow)
Wed., 12/ 13—There are Jews Here
Wed., 1/ 24—The Women’s Balcony
Wed., 3/ 7—Body & Soul (discussion to follow film)
Wed., 4/4—Fanny’s Journey
Wed., 5/ 16—Venice Ghetto (discussion to follow film)
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 -- 7pm
Israel/Germany/US|2016|Documentary|English and Hebrew with English Subtitles|Director: Alon Schwarz, Saul Schwarz
Two brothers were born in a displaced persons camp after World War II and separated as babies, and neither was told the other existed. They lived their entire lives in the shadow of secrets kept from them by the people closest to them. Family secrets and generations of contemporary history are uncovered in this sweeping international story that begins with World War Two and concludes with an emotional 21st century family reunion. Aida’s Secrets is a powerful sojourn into the past, steeped in layers of history and reverberating with untold secrets.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 -- 7pm
Israel|2016|Documentary|English, Arabic, Hebrew with English subtitles|Director: Oren Rosenfeld
Hummus – the delicious, nutritious superfood sweeping America – has the power to bring Muslims, Christians and Jews together… in the Middle East, America and around the world. In Hummus! The Movie we meet three main characters – a hard working Muslim woman, an ever-smiling Jew and a young Christian Arab on a restless quest for meaning. But despite their historical and cultural differences they all have one thing in common… a passionate love of Hummus! Beyond arguments over the best Hummus and even beyond religious and political divides, Hummus! The Movie tells the touching personal stories of the colorful men and women who simply live their lives and love their Hummus.
*The screening of “Hummus! The Movie” will be followed by a free hummus tasting in partnership with the Islamic Center of Reading.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13 -- 7pm
THERE ARE JEWS HERE
USA|2016|Documentary|English|Director: Brad Lichtenstein
This film interweaves the stories of 4 small communities: Laredo, Butte, Latrobe and Dothan. Laredo is about a young interfaith couple who move home to Laredo to try and revive the struggling congregation but run out of time as their kids grow to the age at which they need Jewish education. Latrobe traces the last days of a conservative shul through the story of it's most devoted member. Butte is about a free spirit woman who does it all to keep the shul going, but then gets sick and so the shul has to figure out a plan without her. And Dothan follows a family from LA to Dothan as part of the relocation program that pays Jewish families to move to Dothan, Alabama.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24 -- 7pm
THE WOMEN’S BALCONY
Israel|2016|Comedy/Drama|Hebrew with English subtitles|Director: Emil Ben-Shim
When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control. This tests the women’s friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata-type rift between the community’s women and men in this rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7 -- 7pm
Body & Soul: An American Bridge *
USA|2016|Documentary|English|Director: Robert Phillipson
Out of all the cross-cultural encounters that have resulted in the richness of American popular music, none has been so prominent or so fraught with fraternity and conflict as the relationships between African Americans and American Jews. Body and Soul: An American Bridge aims to tease out the strands of this cultural knot by focusing on the early performance history of the jazz standard, “Body and Soul,” one of the most recorded songs in the jazz repertoire.
*Post-film discussion led by Dr. Kevin Kjos, the Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Trumpet at Kutztown University.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4 -- 7pm
USA|2016|Drama|English|Director: Lola Doillon
Based on a true story, Fanny’s Journey is an incredible tale of bravery, strength and survival, a story of a daring young girl who will stop at nothing and fear no one. In 1943, 13-year old Fanny and her younger sisters were sent from their home in France to an Italian foster home for Jewish children. When the Nazis arrive in Italy, their caretakers desperately organize the departure of the children to Switzerland. When they are suddenly left on their own, these 11 children do the impossible and reach the Swiss border to freedom.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 -- 7pm
The Venice Ghetto, 500 Years of Life*
Italy/France|2015|Documentary|Italian with English Subtitles|Director: Emanuela Giordano
Imaginative docu-fiction techniques bring alive the paradoxical wonders of Europe’s oldest Jewish ghetto and its integration into Italian society, in this edifying and heartwarming film. The Venice Ghetto, 500 Years Of Life recounts its tale through the eyes of its fictional character Lorenzo, a Jewish teenager from New York sent to Venice to learn about his family origins. Scholars recall various turning points and consequential figures in the ancient lagoon city’s evolution, as well as the rich and eclectic panoply of language and culture, daily life and rituals, and architectural landmarks of the Venetian Jewish quarter. Lorenzo’s journey of discovery is also depicted by exquisite animation that colorfully reconstructs historical events.
* Post-film discussion led by Dr. Daniel Leisawitz, the Director of the Italian Studies Program and Associate Professor of Italian at Muhlenberg College; Monte Lauro European Gourmet (of Temple) will provide homemade Italian cookies/desserts after the screening
The Reading Jewish Film Series is co-sponsored by the Rubin Educational Fund of the Jewish Federation of Reading and Fox Theatres.
ALL MOVIES SHOWN AT FOX EAST.