Jewish Film Festival

The Schenectady Jewish Film Festival reviews hundreds of films with Jewish themes from around the world in order to bring the best movies for your enjoyment.  All the movies that we show at the Schenectady JCC are award winners. 


2017 -2018 Season:

The Women's Balcony 

Opening Day

Sunday, October 8, 4:00 PM (NO Discussion)

Sunday, October 8, 7:00 PM.  Discussion Lead by Liora Kelman, Rabbi Linda Motzkin,  Rabbi Eleanor Pearlman

Israel, 2016, 96 min., Hebrew w/subtitles.


 A battle of the sexes tale that uses humor and pathos to deliver a cautionary message about religious fundamentalism. A close-knit community is plunged into conflict after the women’s balcony in the synagogue collapses. A new, charismatic Rabbi arrives, promising to rebuild the synagogue. When his fundamentalist agenda begins to impose ultra-orthodox practices on the women, a showdown begins between the men who are swayed by him and their wives who refuse to be subjugated. Evelin Hagoel (GettA Matter of Size) leads an all-star cast in a feel-good tale about a community struggling to balance religious protocol with progressive values.



Keep Quiet


Saturday, October 28, 7:00 PM

Sunday, October 29, 2:00 PM

United Kingdom & Hungary, 2016, 97 min., Hungarian w/subtitles

Founder of Jobbik, Hungary’s extreme right-wing Party, Csanad Szegedi was known for his outspoken anti-Semitic views. In 2012, Szegedi discovers that his maternal grandmother is a Jewish Auschwitz survivor and he is dismissed from Jobbik. Seeking redemption, he enlists the help of Rabbi Baruch Oberlander, head of the Orthodox community in Budapest. Keep Quiet follows Szegedi through this three-year process and leaves us wondering if Szegedi had a remarkable transformation.or just nowhere else to turn.




Fanny's Journey

True Life Drama

Saturday, November 11, 7:00 PM, followed by Discussion led by Professor Stephen Berk

Sunday, November 12, 2:00 PM (NO discussion)

Belgium, France, 2016, 94 min., French w/subtitles.Based on a true story. This incredible tale of bravery, strength, and victory, is the 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 arrived in Italy, their loving caretakers desperately organized the departure of the children to Switzerland. Suddenly left on their own, these 8 children understand they must do the impossible to reach the Swiss border to freedom.




The Pickle Recipe

A salty comedy

Saturday, December 30, 7:00 PM

Sunday, December 31, 2:00 PM

USA, 2016, 97 min., English

Brimming with shtick and slapstick! Rose’s closely guarded pickle recipe has kept Irv’s Deli a popular eatery for decades. And now her grandson, Joey, schemes to get the secret recipe and make a few much-needed bucks as his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah approaches. Featuring a stellar ensemble of character actors: Lynn Cohen plays matriarch Rose and guardian of the family secret; Toronto comic Jon Dore is Joey; and hapless David Paymer is Uncle Morty, whose conniving plants the seed for Joey’s plot.





MLK Day Special

Saturday, January 13, 7:00 PM

Sunday, January 14, 2:00 PM

Unites States, 2015, 100 min., English

Julius Rosenwald, the son of an immigrant peddler who never finished high school, who rose to become the President of Sears, joined forces with African American communities to build 5,300 schools, providing 660,000 black children with access to education in the segregated American South. Inspired by the Jewish ideals of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) and a deep concern over racial inequality in America, Julius Rosenwald used his wealth to become one of America's most effective philanthropists. 





Romantic Comedy

Saturday, February 17, 7:00 PM

Sunday, February 18, 2:00 PM

Netherlands, 2016, 92 min., Dutch w/subtitles.

This charming Dutch comedy is about love, family and chasing dreams. Twenty-something Moos has dedicated her life to taking care of her widowed father but decides to follow her dreams by auditioning for drama school. After a devastating audition, she takes a job at the school’s cafeteria, pretending to her family that she is attending classes. Life gets complicated as Moos finds herself caught between her best friend from Israel, a flirty singing teacher, and her meddling family.



Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown

Saturday, March 10, 8:00 PM

Sunday, March 11, 2:00 PM

Unites States, 2016, 61 min., English

Since his early days, Jerry Lewis had the masses laughing with his visual gags, pantomime sketches, and slapstick humor. Lewis became a filmmaker as well, emerging as a driving force in Hollywood – directing, writing, producing and acting in his movies. Through archival footage and interviews with friends and colleagues (including Martin Scorsese and Sean Hayes) as well as with Lewis himself, the film examines this bewildering cultural difference and takes a fascinating look at Lewis’ decades-long career.



Please note: The films and dates may change until the end of the summer.

For questions, please contact Judy Ben-Ami at 377-8803 or


Time to Say Goodbye

Closing Night

Sunday, April 15, 7:00 PM

Germany, 2015, 82 min. German, w subtitles

A delightful, rapid-fire story of pubescent awkwardness, this film pokes fun at German-Jewish domestic dysfunction with great warmth and humor. Twelve-year-old Simon Grünberg is on the edge of his bar mitzvah, and of puberty. The edge of his separated parents’ tussle over his soul and his manhood: his newly religious father is determined that his son is circumcised before his bar mitzvah, while his mother is equally determined that he be spared the ritual. Complicating matters is the arrival of Rebecca, a beautiful, young rabbi who steals the hearts of both father and son, and whom Simon is determined to win (despite their twenty-year age difference), with the help of his two best friends, who will stop at nothing on Simon’s behalf.






Galesi Group
Salmon Law Firm
Eastern Heating
Hill & Markes
M&T Bank
Freihofer Baking Company
Golub Foundation
Nigro Companies
Cool Insurance
The Jewish Federation