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Spring 2011

l i t er a t u r e fi l m art m u si c dance learning

7th Annual

March 9 – March 20

Photo from the film Protektor

7 TH A N N U A L H O U S T O N J E W I S H F I L M F E S T I V A L


NIG THE HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER (Shlichuto Shel Hamemune Al Mashabei Enosh) Wednesday, March 9 • 7:30 PM • JCC Director: Eran Riklis Israel, Germany, France, Romania 2010, 103 min. Hebrew, English, Romanian with English subtitles Tragi-Comedy A forlorn human resources manager discovers his own humanity while escorting the body of a suicide-bomb victim back to her homeland in this quirky, seriocomic crowdpleaser, and Israel’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar entry. When a worker at a Jerusalem industrial bakery turns up dead, it falls to the title character to return the remains to the next of kin in remote Eastern Europe. The task turns out trickier than expected, as the HR manager leads a motley convoy of characters across a frozen postSoviet landscape. Director Eran Riklis (The Lemon Tree) poignantly tells this drama of social dislocation, adapted from a story by celebrated Israeli novelist A. B. Yehoshua. Winner of five Israeli Ophir Awards including Best Picture.



Thursday, March 10 • 10:00 AM • JCC Director: Stephanie Wang-Breal United States, 2010, 77 min. English and Mandarin/Cantonese with English subtitles Documentary

Thursday, March 10 • 7:30 PM • HMH Friday, March 11 • 1 PM • JCC Director: Richard Trank United States, 2009, 102 min. English Documentary

American families are now raising over 70,000 Chinese children. Can a Chinese girl from Guangzhou find happiness with a Long Island Jewish family? Sui Yong, an eight year old disabled Chinese girl, is being raised by a Chinese foster family with whom she has formed strong bonds. The family is reluctant to give her up but realizes that life in America will afford her better opportunities. Wo Ai Ni Mommy follows the path of Faith Sui Yong and her adoptive family, addressing the difficulties of cross-cultural adoption and the ways in which one little girl becomes attuned to American Jewish life. This intimate account of transnational and transracial adoption takes place against a background of more and more Americans adopting overseas, especially in China. Best U.S. Feature 2010 Silverdocs Film Festival.

Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, this compelling documentary provides a chilling window into the United States’ Jewish immigration policy during the Holocaust. Peter Bergson, a young activist, challenged Washington and demanded that the rescue of European Jews become a priority. Meanwhile, the Jewish establishment, led by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, preferred a subtler approach, fearing a backlash of American anti-Semitism. Against the Tide shows what happens when good people remain silent in the face of evil.

Friday Screening Senior Special: Adults ages 65+ $8 JCC Member / $10 Public RSVP required.


Patron Sponsors: June and Leonard Goldberg

lunch & a movie ....................................

get cultured Event

Call Esther Bethke at 713-729-3200 ext. 3258

............................... free event

HOLY ROLLERS Thursday, March 10 • 7:30 PM • Discovery Green Director: Kevin Asch / United States, 2010, 89 min. English / Drama


Inspired by actual events, Sam Gold (Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network) is a young Brooklyn Hasid, disillusioned with the faith, whose neighbor recruits him to transport “medicine” from Amsterdam. Feeling validated by the drug dealer’s respect for his business savvy, Sam begins to spiral deeper into the detrimental world of drugs and pulls away from his family. Caught between life as a smuggler and the path back to God, Sam goes on the run, forced to make a fatal decision that could bring the entire operation crashing down. Underwritten by This film is rated R. Viewer discretion is advised.


MARCH 9 – 20, 2011

THE KLEZMATICS: ON HOLY GROUND Saturday, March 12 • 7:00 PM • MFAH Saturday, March 12 • 9:30 PM• MFAH Director: Erik Greenberg Anjou United States, 2009, 106 min. English and Yiddish with English subtitles Documentary After the film’s success at the Jewish Book & Arts Fair, Director Erik Greenberg Anjou (A Cantor’s Tale, HJFF 2006) returns with this high-energy documentary about the Grammy Award-winning, New York-based superstar klezmer band, The Klezmatics. Mesmerizing performances are mixed with soulful interviews with band members as well as other performers including Joshua Nelson, Chava Alberstein and David Krakauer. Anjou and crew followed the Klezmatics for over three years capturing the band’s highs, lows, and relentless march forward.


NORA’S WILL (Cinco Días Sin Nora)

Sunday, March 13 • 12:30 PM • JCC Director: Marcos Carnevale Argentina, 2009, 104 min. Spanish with English subtitles Drama

Sunday, March 13 • 4:00 PM • MFAH Saturday, March 19 • 9:15 PM • MFAH

In this poignant drama, Anita Feldman (an extraordinary debut by Alejandra Manzo) is a young woman with Down syndrome. Lovingly cared for by her mother (Oscar® nominee Norma Aleandro), Anita helps run her small stationery store in their Buenos Aires Jewish neighborhood. Everything changes on July 18, 1994, when a car bomb explodes outside the AMIA Jewish Community Center, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds. Disoriented, Anita wanders the city for days, learning to care for herself and deeply affecting everyone she meets.

INTRODUCED BY FILMMAKER ERIK GREENBERG ANJOU ................................................................................

Director: Mariana Chenillo Mexico, 2008, 92 min. Spanish with English subtitles Tragi-Comedy This understated, wry comedy set in Mexico City begins as Jose discovers the body of Nora, the woman he’d been married to for 30 years and then divorced. She has finally committed suicide after many attempts to do so throughout her life. That she has done so on the eve of Passover is a deliberate, mischievous act designed to reunite family and friends for a final Seder. She leaves behind detailed instructions for the occasion, but inadvertently forgets to destroy a mysterious photograph that could unlock her longtime secret. As Jose is faced with the daunting task of preparing for the funeral of a suicide on the eve of the festival, a colorful collection of eccentric and entertaining characters arrives on the scene, with hilarious and unexpected results. Nominated for 7 Mexican Academy Awards.

Director Anjou will be in attendance at both screenings. Audience members for the 7:00 PM screening are invited to a reception in the museum’s galleries afterward. PRECIOUS LIFE (Chayim Yakarim) Sunday, March 13 • 6:00 PM • MFAH / Tuesday, March 15 • 7:30 PM • JCC Director: Shlomi Eldar / Israel, 2010, 90 min. Hebrew, English, Arabic with English subtitles / Documentary Can Israelis and Palestinians put aside their differences to save the life of a child? Documented by Israeli journalist Shlomi Eldar, this film tells the story of a four-month old Palestinian boy who will die without a bone marrow transplant, a procedure which can only be performed in an Israeli hospital. Help for the Palestinian family comes from a bereaved Jewish father who donates $55,000 to help save the boy’s life. A friendship is formed between mother, doctor, and film director, who vow to find a genetically suitable donor in the Gaza Strip. This powerhouse meditation on Middle East politics through a very personal lens was shortlisted for an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary.

7 TH A N N U A L H O U S T O N J E W I S H F I L M F E S T I V A L

free event


AMNON’S JOURNEY (Le Voyage D’Amnon)

Monday, March 14 • 7:30 PM • JCC Friday, March 18 • 1:00 PM • JCC Director: Marc Levin United States, 2009, 72 min. English Documentary

Wednesday, March 16 • 7:30 PM • JCC Director: Jean-Marie Hosatte Israel, 2009, 52 min. French, Hebrew, English with English subtitles Documentary

This charming rags to riches story brings to life the history of Manhattan’s garment district. Once the heart and soul of midtown Manhattan, the garment district was a pathway for immigrants to realize their American dream. A century later, it is in danger of disappearing as more and more jobs are outsourced to foreign countries. Schmatta relates the story of a vanishing industry through the voices of those who have experienced its highs and lows. RSVP to Judy at or 713-729-3200 ext. 3231 to reserve seats.

Preceded by a special video interview of Amnon Weinstein with former Houston Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Uri Pianka


Please bring a clean interview-appropriate woman’s suit (skirt or pants) on a hanger and/or a black handbag to donate to Dress For Success® Houston. Partnering with the Houston Chapter of Hadassah.

Amnon Weinstein has a mission: to recover and restore violins Jews played in the camps, ghettos and forests during the Holocaust. In restoring these instruments in his Tel Aviv workshop, Amnon restores the remains of a once vibrant, thriving Jewish culture. Culminating in a dramatic and moving concert at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, sixteen of the restored violins are played by international virtuosos including Maestro Shlomo Mintz, Yair Dalal and Cihat Askin. These “Violins of Hope” are joined by the Symphonic Orchestra of Istanbul, Turkey and the Symphonette Orchestra of Ra’anana, Israel for an emotional, breathtaking celebration of Israel’s 60th Anniversary.

e warmly welcome you to our 7th Annual Houston Jewish Film Festival, a collaboration between the Jewish Community Center of Houston and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. We are pleased to again have Holocaust Museum Houston as a venue. We are enormously grateful to our underwriters, sponsors, Patrons, committee members and the creative collaboration of staff and volunteers of the JCC, MFAH and HMH. This festival is about you, our audience, who continue to support the HJFF annually. So, get your tickets, bring your friends and take your seats. You are in for a reel treat! Doreen Joffe Co-Chair

Sharon Kagan Co-Chair

THE MATCHMAKER (Pa’am Hayiti) Thursday, March 17 • 7:30 PM • JCC Director: Avi Nesher Israel, 2010, 112 min. Hebrew with English subtitles Drama Holocaust survivor Yankele Bride makes his living as a matchmaker and a smuggler. Sixteen year old Arik needs a summer job. He finds employment with Bride as a scout for possible clients. The job provides him with cash and an education: about prostitution, illegal gambling and love. Set in Haifa in 1968, this coming of age story introduces Arik to a damaged group of characters in need of redemption and healing from one of history’s greatest tragedies. In the naïve Arik, they see the future, and even Arik himself falls in love for the first time. Ophir Awards Winner for Best Actor (Adir Miller) and Best Actress (Maya Dagan).

2011 HOUSTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL COMMITTEE Karen Aptekar Neil Aussenberg Heidi Balentine Margie Beegle Maya Ben-Bassat Barbara Bronstein Nada Chandler Michelle Dannemiller Rhonda Glick Shelby Goodman Sue Goott

Shirley Horvitz David Lane Michele Lane Diane Lee Noreen Lewitton Marian Luntz David Mendel Miriam Pacht Tamara Savage Susan Schneider Helen Wils





MARCH 9 – 20, 2011




Saturday, March 19 • 7:00 PM • MFAH Sunday, March 20 • 1:00 PM • MFAH Director: Kaspar Heidelbach Germany, 2009, 100 min. German with English subtitles Drama

Sunday, March 20 • 3:15 PM • MFAH Director: Marek Najbrt Czech Republic, 2009, 98 min. Czech with English subtitles Drama

Sunday, March 20 • 7:30 PM • JCC Director: David R. Brooks United States, 2009, 115 min. English Comedy

Prague, 1938: Germany is about to occupy Czechoslovakia. Emil, a radio reporter, is married to Hana, a successful Jewish actress. Emil’s Nazi boss agrees to pretend he does not know Hana is a Jew provided Emil becomes the voice of Nazi propaganda. Emil becomes a celebrity while Hana is confined at home, unable to work. Hana, however, resists Emil’s control and sneaks out of the house boldly sporting her yellow star. Protektor explores how war exacts odious compromises, and a woman’s rebellion against them. This is a visually stunning psychological thriller that evokes ‘30s and ‘40s film noir.

Can an ex-con find redemption coaching an upstart Orthodox baseball team? Charlie, a washed-up former pro player, is sentenced to community service following a drunk driving conviction. The only group willing to give him a second chance at rebuilding his reputation and career is a desperate bunch of Yeshiva students who want to start their own baseball team. Charlie strives to lead the Yankles to victory and attempts to mend fences with those he has wronged in this sensitive comedy about overcoming bigotry and self-doubt.

Based on historical fact, Berlin ‘36 tells the story of German high jumper Gretel Bergmann. Gretel is training for the United Kingdom. Nazi racial laws having prohibited her from training in Germany. The United States, however, has insisted that Jews not be excluded from the event, and Gretel is forced to return to Germany to train. Fearing humiliation should a Jew win the high jump, the Nazis pick Marie Ketteler as Gretel’s competitor on the German team. Unbeknownst to Gretel, Marie is a man, and Gretel is excluded from the competition under false pretenses, leaving the field clear for “Marie.”

Closing night reception courtesy of Aroma Classique and Fleischer Wines

HJFF thanks its supporters:

TI CKE T IN F O R M A TI O N INDIVIDUAL TICKETS: $8 JCC Member/Patron of the Arts & MFAH Film Buff and Member $10 Public • $1 discount for students and seniors 3 tickets for $18 JCC Member/Patron of the Arts & MFAH Film Buff and Member 3 tickets for $25 Public INDIVIDUAL TICKETS: &

FESTIVAL PASS $88 JCC Member/Patron of the Arts & MFAH Film Buff and Member $100 Public • $5 discount for students and seniors FESTIVAL PASS: or call 713.551.7255


REEL FAN: $150 includes Festival Pass CINEMATOGRAPHER: $250 includes Festival Pass

Mr. & Mrs. Gerald D. Hines Jewish Community Center of Houston 5601 South Braeswood Houston, TX 77096 713.551.7255

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 1001 Bissonnet Street Houston, TX 77005 713.639.7515

Holocaust Museum Houston Morgan Family Center 5401 Caroline Street Houston, TX 77004 713.942.8000

Discovery Green 1500 McKinney St Houston, TX 77010 713.400.7336


In Kind Sponsors:

get cultured

is the J’s brand new arts & culture programming just for professionals aged 21 - 35! Join us on Facebook for more information.

To register for all programs contact Naomi Barancik 713.729.3200 ext. 3288 or by email at




Cuba, A Jewish Mission April 20 – 28* or April 27 – May 5 $3199 per person/double occupancy Single Supplement add $475 Join us on this extraordinary mission to Cuba and bring support and aid to the Cuban Jewish community. Meet the children of the ORT Sunday School and advance Jewish practices, ideals and education. Learn first-hand about today’s Jewish community and share their dreams for the future. The spirit of the Jewish community will open your eyes, heart and mind. *Please note that this trip is during Passover. Please call Naomi Barancik for additional information about this program.

In the Footsteps of My Grandparents A Photographic View of Israel by Talya Arbisser May 5 - June 3 JCC Deutser Art Gallery Opening lecture and reception with the artist May 5. In the summer of 2010, photographer Talya Arbisser traveled to Israel with Taglit Birthright in an attempt to connect with the land her grandparents had fought for decades ago. The photos she captured reflect the stories she continues to hear of the Jewish state along with her own visual interpretation of modern Israel.


Morocco, A Jewish Heritage Tour

Purim Flour Frenzy

March 20 – April 1 $3225 per person/double occupancy Single Supplement add $915

Sunday, March 13 • 10:00 AM Merfish Teen Center • 9000 S. Rice Advance: $10 Member Family / $12 Public Family At the Door: $12 Member Family / $14 Public Family

Morocco is a country where the colors are vivid, the contrasts are intense and views are picturesque. Landscapes range from snowcapped peaks to rolling sand dunes dotted with kasbahs and mystical Berber villages. Experience our travels of Jewish Morocco as we visit the Imperial cities of Casablanca, Fez, Rabat and Marrakech. For additional information about these travel opportunities please contact Naomi Barancik at

Why dirty your kitchen when you can have fun in ours? Join us at the Merfish Teen Center where we will make hamantaschen from scratch, see some magic and decorate masks for the upcoming holiday. Flour will be everywhere, but your family will take home a dozen hand-made hamantaschen that just need a few minutes in the oven.

OPA! A Lively Night of Music, Dance and Food with New York City’s Avram Pengas & the Noga Group! Saturday, March 26 • 8:00 PM JCC Levit/Haikin Auditorium $28 Member / $36 Public $2 Discount Seniors and Students Greek and Israeli food and wine provided. (HKA supervised) Bringing the music of Greece and Israel to the JCC is Greek-born musical arranger, lead guitarist and bouzouki virtuoso, Avram Pengas. Pengas is a versatile performer who plays popular Israeli hits, exotic Arabic melodies, pulsating Persian and Turkish rhythms, Greek and Armenian dance sounds and traditional Yiddish songs. He has appeared in New York at El Avram, Café Feenjon, and, in 1979, opened his own nightclub, Noga, in the heart of Greenwich Village. He has performed in the off-Broadway production of Hot Klezmer and can still be heard weekly at SoHo’s Cupping Room Café. Avram Pengas’ Noga Group has been a staple of New York’s downtown music scene for nearly 30 years. The CD, “Santorini,” is the group’s latest recording and takes its name from the beautiful Greek island and the Greenwich Village cabaret that was filled each week with the exotic music of the Noga Group. Come prepared to dance or just to enjoy the music from your table that will be filled with delicious Greek and Israeli delicacies lovingly prepared by Shelley Rappaport (Nosher), George Demeris and his talented mother, Eleni. This concert is funded in part by the Maurice Amado Foundation and presented in cooperation with the Hellenic Cultural Center. For tickets visit

J Teen Art Scene Second Annual Teen Art Exhibition Lectures & Learning The Women’s Beit Midrash Instructors: Rabbi Michele Faudem and Hetty Pearl Twelve Mondays Beginning Feb 21 7:30 - 9:00 PM $70 Member / $80 Public Join a group of women for the study of Biblical and Rabbinic texts each Monday night at our Women’s Beit Midrash. In these sessions we will study chapter eleven of Tractate Sanhedrin, where we will explore the concepts of resurrection and the World to Come. A basic knowledge of Hebrew is helpful. The last four weeks of the Women’s Beit Midrash is entitled “Passionate about Prayer” and will be taught by Hetty Pearl, the past director of the UOS Goldberg Montessori School. Mrs. Pearl will explore the meaning, laws, and customs behind selected daily prayers.

Making Your Way Through Midrash Instructor: Rabbi Diana Siegel Six Wednesdays Beginning Feb 23 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM $45 Member / $60 Public When we study Torah we often have questions. The commentaries of our Rabbis help answer these questions and understand different meanings of Torah. These interpretations and commentaries are called Midrash. We will study selected midrashim on the Torah and uncover their wisdom and guidance. No previous knowledge of Hebrew is needed.

Understanding the Vilification and De-Legitimization of Israel Lecture by Dr. Mitchell Bard Executive Director of the AmericanIsraeli Cooperative Enterprise Thursday, March 31 • 8:00 PM FREE The boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement is focused largely on college campuses, but it is especially nefarious because it is one element of a broader global campaign aimed at the de-legitimization of Zionism and, ultimately, the elimination of Israel. The BDS campaign is also a fight about freedom of speech that seeks to stifle academic exchange and trade with Israel while claiming rights it denies to Israel and its defenders. Join Dr. Bard as he addresses the history of the BDS movement and how the Jewish community should respond. As part of the lecture, Dr. Bard will also discuss his new book The Arab Lobby. This lecture is underwritten by Sheila & Dr. Gordon Sack and offered in partnership between the Jewish Community Center and Congregation Beth Yeshurun.

Life & Death Dilemmas: Medicine & Jewish Ethics

The Jewish Baker

Instructor: Rabbi Yossi Grossman, Dean, Jewish Ethics Institute Four-Part Series, Mondays, Mar 21, 28, Apr 4 and 11 7:30 - 8:30 PM $36 Member / $45 Public (series) $10 Member / $12 Public (session)

Instructor: Naomi Malakoff at United Orthodox Synagogue $26 Member / $35 Public (series) $15 Member / $20 Public (per class)

Join Rabbi Yossi Grossman as he discusses contemporary bioethical dilemmas and many more practical decision making issues that one faces throughout one’s life, through the prism of Jewish ethics and philosophy.


Learn some new recipes and share some laughs, as we explore the art of challah making and the sweet tastes of delicious holiday desserts. March 6 • 2:00 - 3:30 PM Desserts That Will Make Your Mouth Water March 13 • 2:00 - 3:30 PM Hamantaschen and Cookies for Purim and Beyond March 27 • 2:00 - 3:30 PM Challah Making Made Easy and Delicious

Session 1: Sharing Life: Organ Donation and Transplantation Session 2: The Human Blueprint: Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer and Other Diseases Session 3: Split Decision: Conjoined Twins Session 4: Universal Health Care: A Jewish Perspective CME Credit Pending Additional Fee Required

April 4 through May 1 Join us for an opening reception April 10 in the Deutser Art Gallery to showcase Jewish teen artists in the fields of visual art, music and food. All members of the community are invited to attend. Now accepting submissions until March 7. See for more details. Photo: Margeaux Epner

Language Beginning Hebrew - Level 1 Instructor: Karen Greenspan 10 Wednesdays beginning May 4 (no class June 9) • 7:00 – 8:30 PM $175 Member / $225 Public This introductory course is a program of letter recognition, reading proficiency, building vocabulary, and learning basic phrases using the Hebrew textbook series Aleph Isn’t Tough.

Beginning Hebrew - Level 3 Instructor: Karen Greenspan 10 Mondays beginning May 2 (no class July 4) • 7:00 – 8:30 PM $175 Member / $225 Public In this course we will continue to practice reading skills and build vocabulary with a focus on reading Torah.

Circumcise Me starring

YISRAEL CAMPBELL Sunday April 10 2:00 PM $20 JCC Member $25 Public


Circumcise Me \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Yisrael Campbell makes his Houston debut in his one-man show Circumcise Me. A comedy on the cutting edge, it’s a spiritual journey stretching across four decades, two continents, and three circumcisions. Circumcise Me is a rare collection of comedy and theater that

starring Yisrael Campbell

will have women howling with laughter, men squirming in their seats and everyone standing up to cheer. Poignant, provocative and powerfully witty, Circumcise Me is the true – and truly unforgettable – story of a man who was born funny. The Jewish part came later.

Sunday April 10 2:00 PM




5601 S. Braeswood | Houston, Texas 77096

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; NY Times


Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage


Houston, Texas Permit No. 6217

Official Airline of the JCC

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central


7th Annual

MARCH 9-20

2011 calendar

Wednesday, March 9

7:30 PM

The Human Resources Manager

JCC, Kaplan Theatre

Thursday, March 10

10:00 AM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM

Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy Against the Tide Holy Rollers

JCC, Kaplan Theatre HMH, Herzstein Theater Discovery Green

Friday, March 11

1:00 PM

Against the Tide

JCC, Kaplan Theatre

Saturday, March 12

7:00 PM 9:30 PM

The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground

MFAH, Brown Auditorium Theater MFAH, Brown Auditorium Theater

Sunday, March 13

12:30 PM 4:00 PM 6:00 PM

Anita Noraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Will Precious Life

JCC, Kaplan Theatre MFAH, Brown Auditorium Theater MFAH, Brown Auditorium Theater

Monday, March 14

7:30 PM


JCC, Kaplan Theatre

Tuesday, March 15

7:30 PM

Precious Life

JCC, Kaplan Theatre

Wednesday, March 16

7:30 PM

Amnonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Journey

JCC, Kaplan Theatre

Thursday, March 17

7:30 PM

The Matchmaker

JCC, Kaplan Theatre

Friday, March 18

1:00 PM


JCC, Kaplan Theatre

Saturday, March 19

7:00 PM 9:15 PM

Berlin â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;36 Noraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Will

MFAH, Brown Auditorium Theater MFAH, Brown Auditorium Theater

Sunday, March 20

1:00 PM 3:15 PM 7:30 PM

Berlin â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;36 Protektor The Yankles

MFAH, Brown Auditorium Theater MFAH, Brown Auditorium Theater JCC, Kaplan Theatre

Spring 2011 CJLL Brochure  
Spring 2011 CJLL Brochure  

Spring events and programs of the Jewish Community Center of Houston's Center for Jewish Living & Learning.