New York Jewish Film Festival

Foreigners But Not Strangers

Film about unique south Tel Aviv school garners Oscar nomination.

02/09/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

To read the Israeli papers is to see a steady stream of stories bemoaning the country's public education system, especially those citing Israeli students' low test scores in science and math.

But American filmmakers Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman found a unique south Tel Aviv school that is doing all the right things with a dizzyingly diverse student body. Their documentary about the Bialik-Rogozin school, "Strangers No More," was just nominated for an Oscar in the documentary short category.

The Bialik-Rogozin school in S. Tel Aviv teaches a dizzyingly diverse group of youngsters, many the children of foreign workers

Jewish Film Fest’s ‘Open Destiny’

Grace Paley documentary and Eran Riklis film top series at JCC and Walter Reade.

01/12/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

In one of her short stories, Grace Paley writes, “Everyone, real or invented, deserves the open destiny of life.” Such a splendid statement, the quotation turns up twice in Lilly Rivlin’s splendid new documentary on Paley’s life and work, “Grace Paley: Collected Shorts,” which plays in this year’s New York Jewish Film Festival. The sentiment behind the sentence is so open-handed and wholehearted that it could be applied to the best films in the festival, including Rivlin’s own offering.

Grace Paley and friends outside a draft board office during the Vietnam War in scene from “Grace Paley: Collected Shorts.”

‘Vir Bist Du, Romeo?’

‘Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish’ features a cast of young dropouts from New York’s chasidic community.

01/11/2011
Special to The Jewish Week

He was a Satmar dropout, a street kid getting by on credit card and airport baggage claim scams. She was a prodigal daughter, also from a Satmar family, knocking around as a student in Europe and Israel, asking the questions and plying the lifestyle no good chasidic girl should.

Lazer Weiss and Melissa Weisz in Yiddish retelling of star-crossed lovers tale.
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