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Mizel Arts and Culture Center at the jcc



l a v i t s e F m l Fi h s i w e J r e v ent m e Den g a n a M h lt a e gner W a sponsored by W mily Foundation a a n d t h e St u r m F 303.316.6360




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Wagner Wealth Management, LLC | 210 University Boulevard, Suite 400, Denver, CO 80206 | Tel: 303-394-9600 |



FEBRUARY 10—21, 2016

W E D N E S D AY, F E B . 1 0

T U E S D AY, F E B . 1 6 5:30 pm Polgar Variant 7:30 pm The Kindergarten Teacher

6:30 pm

Program and screening of East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem Followed by Dessert Reception Honoring the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD)

S AT U R D AY, F E B . 1 3 7:00 pm Apples from the Desert 9:15 pm Dough S U N D AY, 10:15 am 12:30 pm 3:00 pm 6:00 pm 8:30 pm

FEB. 14 The Muses of Issac Bashevis Singer Bulgarian Rhapsody The Dove Flyer Serial (Bad) Weddings Firebirds

M O N D AY, 12:00 pm 2:30 pm 5:00 p.m. 7:45 p.m.

F E B . 1 5 : President’s Day Holiday Orange People Carvalho’s Journey To Life Suicide

W E D N E S D AY, F E B . 1 7 5:30 pm Soft Vengeance 7:45 pm Borrowed Identity T H U R S D AY, F E B . 1 8 5:30 pm Raise the Roof 7:45 pm Morgenthau S AT U R D AY, F E B . 2 0 7:15 pm Vice Versa 9:15 pm The Pleasures of Being Out of Step S U N D AY, 10:15 am 12:30 pm 3:00 pm 5:30 pm 8:15 pm

FEB. 21 Brundibar Revisitied Mr. Kaplan Secrets of War End of Season Sale/Oriented Once in a Lifetime


T H U R S D AY, F E B . 1 1 5:30 pm My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes 8:00 pm Sabina Hijacking – My Version

Box Office Hours 9 am - 5 pm, Mon-Fri Note: All seating is reserved. View the seating chart online at to select your seats when you purchase your tickets. Our seating policy is available on page 35.

B o x O f f i c e ( 3 0 3 ) 3 1 6 - 6 3 6 0 • w w w. m a c c j c c . o r g / f i l m Denver Jewish Film Festival, Volume 20, 2016 • This program is published annually by MACC at the JCC, 350 S. Dahlia St. Denver, CO 80246


(303) 316-6360 •

Opening Night Gala, $50 per person, Includes: • One ticket to Opening Night Film & Reception • Limited Availability, so book early Friend Of Arts & Culture, $1000, Includes: • Two tickets to Opening Night (subject to availability) • $800 tax deductible charitable donation • Promo Reel Acknowledgement in list of Friends of Arts & Culture • 50% Discount on one 10 Pack Pass OR Festival Pass

Individual Film Tickets: $13/Adults; $11/Student & Senior

BOX OFFICE: • Make your reservations early to assure the best seat selection.

TICKETS AND PACKAGES Duo Pass, $275, includes: • Two Opening Night tickets • One Festival Pass • $325 total value; $50 additional savings Producers Pass, $250, includes: • One Opening Night ticket • One Festival Pass • $275 total value; $25 additional savings Festival Pass, $225, includes: • 25 admissions at $9 per ticket • Tickets are transferable & shareable • $325 total value; $100 savings


10 Pack Pass, $100, includes: • 10 admissions at $10 per tickets • Tickets are transferable & shareable • $130 total value; $30 savings

• All seating is reserved. See seating policy on page 35. • Festival Passes and 10-Packs must be purchased online to receive the discount. Ticket packages that include these ticket package options must be purchased online as well. Individual film tickets may be purchased at the MACC Box Office. • Box Office hours: Monday-Friday, 9 am—5 pm and one hour before all screenings. • Tickets may be purchased via phone, 303.316.6360 (during box office hours), or anytime online, at


TWENTY YEARS OF SCINTILLATING CINEMA! For the last two decades, the Denver Jewish Film Festival has astounded Colorado audiences with the best in Jewish cinema from around the world. On Tuesday, August 20, 1996, the First Denver Jewish Film Festival premiered with a showing of the 1995 film, Holy Week. The inaugural festival screened 11 films - seven showed in the larger Shwayder Theatre and four in our smaller Pluss Theatre. Twenty years later, we have expanded to 28 screenings in our luxurious Elaine Wolf Theatre. We have been honored by an award from Westword and a plethora of dedicated donors, volunteers and patrons. Since 2006, festival audiences have grown by a colossal 286%. This year we are delighted to bestow our Cultural Achievement Award not on an individual, but on the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District for extraordinary service in shaping the cultural and scientific landscape in Colorado. This one cent on every $10 purchase in the seven counties of Metro Denver provides vital support to arts, culture and science organizations in our region – including the MACC. In an effort to continue our arts celebration throughout the festival this year, many of our films have a specific “arts & culture” focus. Our opening night film, East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem features

David Broza (popular Israeli singer - appearing live at the screening!) as he creates an album of peace with Palestinian friends in East Jerusalem. The Muses of Issac Bashevis Singer features the Yiddish literary icon and his intriguing relationships with his female translators. Carvalho’s Journey chronicles the Wild West trek by SephardicJewish photographer and artist Solomon Carvalho in 1853–54. The Pleasures of Being Out of Step features a biographical account of the incomparable Nat Hentoff, former jazz critic of the Village Voice and civil libertarian activist. Other arts centric films include Raise the Roof (art and architecture) and Brundibar Revisited (theatre). Other notable films include Dough featuring British star Jonathan Pryce; Sabena Hijacking, an edge-of-your-seat thriller docudrama; Once in a Lifetime, an inspirational story about a group of misfit French teens who are inspired by studying the Holocaust - and many more! We hope you will join us in our celebration of arts and culture through inspiring Jewish and Israeli cinema.

Steve Wilson Executive Artistic Director, MACC

Vicki Dansky Chair, Film Selection Committee


O P E N I N G N I G H T C E L E B R AT I O N 5


This year the Mizel Arts and Culture Center (MACC) is proud to bestow our 2016 Cultural Achievement Award on the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) for unparalleled support of arts, science and culture in Colorado.

OPENING NIGHT CELEBRATION An Evening Honoring the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 6:30 pm Program & Film, East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem, Elaine Wolf Theatre followed by Dessert Reception, Phillips Social Hall Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, 2016 Mizel Arts and Culture Center Cultural Achievement Honoree

The SCFD was created by visionary local citizens to provide cultural enrichment for our region. Funding comes from one cent on every $10 purchase made within Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties. However, the identity of the SCFD goes far beyond a unique operating structure. It is a film at the Denver Jewish Film Festival, the polar bear at the zoo, a masterpiece at the museum, a pirouette at the ballet and a heartwarming play at the theatre. Over 300 local institutions receive support and funding from SCFD, creating a rich, robust landscape of cultural opportunities for our children and our neighbors. Since its inception in 1989, the SCFD has distributed over $850 million to organizations of all sizes and disciplines, elevating our region to a world-class cultural center. At the MACC, the SCFD helps bring a child to the Denver Children’s Theatre or an Israeli musician to our JAAMM Fest. It facilitates student productions at our Wolf Theatre Academy and brings world-class art to our Singer Art Gallery. It assists our outreach to schools and brings films from around the world to our film festival. The SCFD provides foundational support for the MACC on our continuing mission to illuminate the human experience through our artistic and educational offerings. The envy of every creative community in the country, the SCFD is a jewel that supports a better quality of life for all of us. We hope you will join us for our cinematic celebration of arts, culture and the SCFD!


East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem Director: Henrique Cymerman & Erez Miller 2014/Israel/75 minutes/Documentary/Arts English, no subtitles

OPENING NIGHT FILM Wednesday, February 10, 6:30 pm (followed by dessert reception)

LIVE APPEARANCE BY David Broza, Star of Film, Israeli Singer-Songwriter Opening Night Sponsor Ellen Beller

8 days, 13 songs, 2 peoples. David Broza, Israeli folk-rock-singer-songwriter, collaborates with American, Palestinian and other Israeli musicians in this documentary journey filmed on the Arab side of Jerusalem. Broza (commonly referred to as the Israeli “Bruce Springsteen”) is known for his optimistic anthem “Yihye Tov” (which translates “Things Will Get Better”), written to commemorate Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s first visit to Israel. This film represents a joyful musical union of voices that also defy the dark realities of the Middle East. With American singer-songwriter (and actor) Steve Earle as co-producer, East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem promotes equality and understanding through such songs as “(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding,” a song popularized by Elvis Costello. What a miraculous 8 days! Colorado Premiere





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My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes Director: Oren Jacoby 2014/USA/93 minutes/Documentary/Holocaust/Sports English, No Subtitles

Thursday, February 11 5:30 pm

CENTERPIECE FILM Film Sponsor The Staenberg Group

My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes reveals a clandestine Italian resistance movement that helped save much of the country's Jewish population during the Shoah. An estimated 80 percent of Italy’s Jews survived WWII thanks to Italian citizens who risked their own lives to defy the Nazis. Among the figures spotlighted is Tour de France cycling champion Gino Bartali (voiced by Oscar-nominee Robert Loggia). Hiding a family of Jews in his own home, Bartali also smuggled fake identity documents in the frame of his bicycle for monasteries and convents that were sheltering Jewish exiles. Another remarkable story centers on physician Giovanni Borromeo who invented a fictitious disease to defend the Rome hospital where he was hiding Jews. Oscar-nominated documentarian Oren Jacoby also honors countless other Italians who rescued their Jewish neighbors with no thought of recognition or reward. These inspiring acts are recounted by descendants of rescuers and survivors, as well as those who escaped the concentration camps as children. Isabella Rossellini narrates this valuable addition to the ever growing canon of largely unknown Holocaust stories. Colorado Premiere



Sabena Hijacking – My Version Director: Rani Sa’ar 2015/Israel/104 minutes/Docudrama Hebrew, Arabic with English Subtitles

ISRAEL THROUGH THE LENS SERIES Thursday, February 11 8:00 pm

CENTERPIECE FILM Essie Perlmutter, Vicki & David Dansky, Lisa & Shell Cook

Film Sponsors Lisa & Jay Perlmutter, Lisa & Jonathan Perlmutter

In Loving Memory of our husband and father Jordon Perlmutter

Sabena Hijacking – My Version is a powerful, suspenseful docudrama based on previously undiscovered audio recordings of the former pilot, Captain Reginald Levy. The late Captain Levy was in command of the Sabena Flight 571 from Brussels, Belgium to Tel Aviv, Israel on May 8, 1972, when it was hijacked by four members of “Black September”, the armed wing of the Palestine Liberalization Organization (PLO). The film finally shares the untold story of what exactly took place on the flight throughout 30 hours of nerve-racking captivity. It channels the English pilot’s impartial view of the events and elaborates on them with exclusive access to three revered Israeli political leaders who were in charge of the rescue effort, as well as the only surviving hijacker. Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is featured, alongside former Prime Minister Ehud Barak and former Prime Minister, President and Nobel Prize winner Shimon Peres. Therese Halsa, one of the four hijackers who was just 18 at the time, also gives her version of events, following release from a 220 year prison sentence of which she served 13 years. This riveting and captivating fast-paced film was a finalist for the 2015 Ophir Awards. Colorado Premiere



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Apples from the Desert Director: Matti Harari & Arik Lubetzky 2014/Israel/96 minutes/Drama Hebrew/Arabic with English Subtitles

ISRAEL THROUGH THE LENS SERIES Saturday, February 13 7:00 pm

CENTERPIECE FILM Film Sponsor Strear Family Foundation


Nominated for three Israeli Academy Awards, winner of four film festival awards in 2015, and based on a play by esteemed Israeli writer Savyon Liebrecht, Apples from the Desert is a timeless and moving tale of tradition versus modernity. Rebellious Rebecca “Rivkah” Abarbanel seems destined to follow in the footsteps of her iron-fisted Orthodox father and traditionally obedient mother in Jerusalem. Stuck in a dead-end-job with no hopes for the future, Rivkah gets a taste of the secular world through a folk dancing class and a secular kibbutznik named Dooby. The expressive freedom Rivkah finds in dance strengthens her resolve to form her own identity while internally struggling with her parents’ conflicting values. This moving coming-of-age family drama suggests that personal growth is available to anyone, regardless of age, particularly where love is involved. Colorado Premiere


Dough Director: John Goldschmidt 2015/United Kingdom/94 minutes/Comedy Drama English, No Subtitles Starring Acclaimed British Actor Jonathan Pryce Jonathan Pryce stars as an old Jewish baker whose faltering business is inadvertently saved by his young Muslim apprentice in the British dramedy Dough.

Saturday, February 13 9:15 pm

CENTERPIECE FILM Film Sponsor Susan Mathews, Liv Sotheby’s International Realty In-Kind Sponsor Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen

Widowed and down on his luck, Nat Dayan (Pryce) is desperate to save his London bake shop. His customers are dying off, his sons have no interest in keeping afloat the family business, and hostile businessman Sam Cotton (London Film Critics' Circle winner Philip Davis) has his own greedy plans for the property. In a pinch, Nat reluctantly enlists the help of teenager Ayyash (Jerome Holder), a refugee from Darfur. The Muslim boy assists with the bakery’s daily chores, while selling cannabis on the side to help his struggling mother make ends meet. When Ayyash one day accidently drops his stash into the dough, the challah starts flying off the shelf, and an unlikely friendship forms between the old Jewish baker and his young Muslim apprentice. The cast of characters is rounded out by Tribeca Film Festival Best Actorwinner Ian Hart as a tough marijuana dealer and Oscar-nominee Pauline Collins as the landlady with a none-too-subtle crush on Nat. Directed by John Goldschmidt, Dough is a warmhearted and gently humorous story about overcoming prejudice and finding redemption in unexpected places. Colorado Premiere



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Muses of Issac Bashevis Singer Director: Shaul Betser & Asaf Galay 2014/Israel/72 minutes/Biography/Documentary/Arts Hebrew/English with English Subtitles

ISRAEL THROUGH THE LENS SERIES Sunday, February 14 10:15 am Film Sponsor Ricky & Don Safer, Steve Winber


Isaac Bashevis Singer, world famous Yiddish writer and Nobel Prize winner wrote with a plethora of female translators who were devoted to him. Beyond simple translation, these women were a vital source of his creativity. The inspiration he drew from them came in many forms, often mixing romance with professional aspirations. Today nine remain to tell his story. Intimate, poignant interviews and exclusive archival footage combine to portray the unknown story of an author who charmed and enchanted his audiences, just like he charmed and enchanted his translators. Colorado Premiere


Bulgarian Rhapsody Director: Ian Nichev 2014/Bulgaria, Israel/108 minutes/Drama/Romance/Holocaust Bulgarian/German/Ladino with English Subtitles

Sunday, February 14 12:30 pm Film Sponsor Marsha & Gary Blum

Bulgaria’s recent submission to the Academy Awards is a story of friendship and young love set in Bulgaria during the summer of 1943. Despite the ominous crackdowns being enforced against Jews, 17-year-old Moni manages to live a somewhat unencumbered life thanks to his best friend Giogio who, like many of his fellow countrymen, does not support the segregation of Jews. When both fall in love with Moni’s pretty, fun-loving cousin Shelli, the limits of their friendship are tested. Beautifully shot and well-acted, Bulgarian Rhapsody is both a warm tale of adolescence and a heart-rending look at the impact of war and Nazi anti-Semitism. Colorado Premiere



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The Dove Flyer Director: Nissim Dayan 2014/Israel/108 minutes/Drama Arabic with English Subtitles

ISRAEL THROUGH THE LENS SERIES Sunday, February 14 3:00 pm Film Sponsor Judy & Harvey Cohen


The Dove Flyer, based on a novel by Israeli writer Eli Amir, tells the story of the most ancient Jewish community in the world - the Jewish community of Iraq. Most of the Iraqi Jews in Bagdad in the 1950’s did not want to leave the land where they and their ancestors had lived for thousands of years. Against this background, the coming-of-age tale of 16 year old Kabi is told. When his uncle Hizkel is arrested and imprisoned, Kabi sets off to find him, joining the Zionist underground. Transformed from a studious lad, he becomes one of the central activists in the Zionist underground, thus enabling the immigration of the Jews of Iraq to Israel. The film paints a portrait of a family living in a world full of contradictions and ambivalent relationships, illustrating the complex existence of the Jewish community in Iraq. Denver Premiere


Serial (Bad) Wedings Director: Philippe de Chauveron 2015/France/97 minutes/Comedy French with English Subtitles A bourgeois Catholic family is disconcerted by a succession of multicultural marriages in Serial (Bad) Weddings, an unabashedly politically incorrect romantic comedy that pokes fun at the melting pot of modern-day France.

Sunday, February 14 6:00 pm Film Sponsor Ellen & Scott Robinson In-Kind Sponsor Alliance Française de Denver

Well-off and well-educated, Claude Verneuil and his churchgoing wife Marie are a generally conservative couple, but consider themselves open-minded. Their tolerance has been sorely tested as three of their four lovely daughters decide successively to marry an Arab, a Jew and an Asian. The last hope for a traditional marriage is dashed when their youngest daughter Laure announces her upcoming wedding to Charles, of African descent. As the parents are forced to navigate their own prejudices, the three brothers-in-law are enlisted to sabotage the interracial nuptials and save the family’s honor. When the groom’s parents roll into town from the Ivory Coast, bigotry suddenly becomes a two-way street. Needless to say, things don’t go as planned in this raucous, romantic and quirky comic romp which explores family, love and acceptance. Nominated for best European Film at the 29th Goya Awards and winner of Best Screenplay at the 28th Lumieres Awards, Serial (Bad) Weddings is sure to have you laughing out loud. Colorado Premiere



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Firebirds Director: Amir I. Wolf 2015/Israel/105 mins/Mystery-Thriller/Drama Hebrew with English Subtitles

ISRAEL THROUGH THE LENS SERIES Sunday, February 14 8:30 pm Film Sponsor Priscilla Press, Lisa & Lynn Taussig

An eighty-year-old man’s body is found with three stab wounds to the chest and a number tattooed along his forearm. Amnon, a police detective and second generation Holocaust survivor, reluctantly accepts the case and struggles to bring it to a quick close. In the weeks leading up to his death, Amikam, the victim, sought connection and companionship by searching obituaries for widows to beguile. This led him to a darker place where he felt forced to reinvent himself by seeking a ‘membership card’ to the most horrible club in the world: the club of Holocaust survivors. As the story interweaves past and present, we witness a man’s struggle to rejoin the society which rejected him. Firebirds was nominated for 10 categories at the 2013 Israeli Academy Awards. Colorado Premiere


Orange People Director: Anashim Ketumim 2013/Israel/90 minutes/Drama with Humor Hebrew with English Subtitles

ISRAEL THROUGH THE LENS SERIES Monday, February 15 12:00 p.m. Film Sponsor Sandy Wolf

Traditions clash for three generations of Moroccan Israeli women in this earthy directorial debut from acclaimed actress and screenwriter Hanna Azoulay-Hasfari (Sh’chur). A colorful, imaginative and sensual film that looks at cultural identity and personal creativity. Grandma Zohara, a much respected fortuneteller within the Moroccan community in her Israeli beachside town, wants to retire. Will her place be taken by daughter Simone, who wants to open a gourmet Moroccan restaurant, or by her teenage granddaughter? The unexpected arrival of Simone’s estranged sister brings old tensions to the surface and opens new possibilities. Tension, humor, and drama ensue in this mother-sister-daughter clash of traditional and modern values. Colorado Premiere



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Carvalho’s Journey Director: Steve Rivo 2015/USA/85 minutes/Biography/Documentary/Arts English, No Subtitles

Monday, February 15 2:30 pm Film Sponsor The Sturm Family Foundation

Few westward journeys were as exciting as that taken by Solomon Nunes Carvalho, the American Sephardic-Jewish photographer and artist who joined pioneer explorer John C. Fremont’s fifth expedition in 1853–54 (which included portions of Colorado). Carvalho grew up in Charleston, South Carolina’s thriving Jewish community. Gifted in drawing and portraiture, he was a maker of daguerreotypes, an early form of photography. The ambitious Fremont hired Carvalho to use daguerreotypes to document his westward trip in search of a viable route for a transcontinental railroad. Inexperience, harsh conditions and lack of food led to the trip’s end five months and 2,400 miles later. In his own account of the journey, Fremont never credited the artist, but Carvalho himself published a brilliant memoir of his adventure. Stunning photography, modern-day daguerreotypes by Robert Shlaer, reproductions of illustrations made from Carvalho’s own work and the words of noted historians enliven this portrait of a remarkable man. Colorado Premiere



To Life Director: Jean-Jacques Zilbermann 2014/France/104 minutes/Drama/ Holocaust French with English Subtitles

Monday, February 15 5:00 pm Film Sponsor Jennifer Kane Wiener In-Kind Sponsor Alliance Française de Denver

Back in Paris after the horrors of Auschwitz, Hélène marries her childhood crush, another survivor. Yet she keeps searching for her closest friend from the camps, Lili, a young Dutch woman. Some 15 years after the war, Hélène finally finds her. They meet for a brief holiday at Berck-sur-Mer, a seaside resort in northern France, and Lili adds a surprise: their friend Rose. Thought to have died in Auschwitz, Rose is very much alive, with a husband and children in Montreal. Savoring ice cream cones, trying on bikinis, swimming in the sea, the women resume their friendship, with occasional disagreements about what they remember. Despite high spirits, a romantic adventure for Hélène, and Rose’s insistence that they not talk about the camps, remnants of the war seep into everyday life, whether through Lili’s cutting remarks or Rose’s habit of squeezing a teabag for all it’s worth. Director Jean-Jacques Zilbermann, whose films include Not Everyone’s Lucky Enough to Have Had Communist Parents and Man Is a Woman, sets the women’s seaside reunion at the start of the ’60s, which, in fact, marks the end of the postwar era. The Yiddish songs the women sang in secret in Auschwitz serve as a backdrop for a story about the regenerative power of friendship. [Sara L. Rubin; San Francisco Jewish Film Festival] Colorado Premiere WARNING: NUDITY



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Suicide Director: Benny Fredman 2014/Israel/113 minutes/Action Thriller/Drama Hebrew with English Subtitles

ISRAEL THROUGH THE LENS SERIES Monday, February 15 7:45 pm Film Sponsor Terri & Gary Yourtz

Suicide is a tense ride, filled with unpredictable plot twists, that brings The Usual Suspects to mind. Perhaps the first action thriller to come out of Israel, Benny Fredman’s impressive debut follows what might be the final hours of Oded Tsur, a man in financial trouble who is forced to borrow money from a ruthless loan shark. As his wife investigates her husband’s desperate situation, she finds herself immersed in a seedy Jerusalem underworld. Featuring a top-notch cast that includes Rotem Keinan (Big Bad Wolves), Dror Keren (The Matchmaker) and Mali Levi. Colorado Premiere WARNING: GRAPHIC VIOLENCE


The Polgar Variant Director: Yossi Aviram 2014/Israel, Hungary, USA/68 minutes/Biography/Documentary Hebrew, Hungarian, English with English Subtitles

Tuesday, February 16 5:30 pm Film Sponsor Joanne & Art Kleinstein

In Budapest during the 1970s, Lazlo Polgar decided to test his theory that “geniuses are made, not born” by raising his three daughters, Susan, Sofi and Judit, to be chess champions. Isolated from the world outside their apartment, the girls spent all their time studying and practicing chess. Despite opposition from Communist authorities, Laszlo continued his ’experiment’ with remarkable results. This fascinating documentary vividly traces how these Jewish-Hungarian sisters took the chess world by storm, breaking down gender barriers as they rose to the top. Going head-to-head with male Grandmasters, they proved, as their father believed, that gender isn’t an obstacle in chess. Colorado Premiere



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The Kindergarten Teacher Director: Nadav Lapid 2014/France, Israel/119 minutes/Drama Hebrew with English Subtitles Selected as part of the Critics Week series at Cannes, Nadav Lapid’s (Policeman) The Kindergarten Teacher has been met with much critical acclaim.

ISRAEL THROUGH THE LENS SERIES Tuesday, February 16 7:30 pm Film Sponsor Sue & Mort Aaronson In-Kind Sponsor Alliance Française de Denver

Sarit Larry gives a riveting performance as Nira, a kindergarten teacher who discovers the poetic talents of one of her students. Convinced that he is a kind of latter day Mozart, she nurtures his talent and protects him from a society that she feels is too superficial to appreciate such artistic genius. Nira’s concern for her student soon crosses a line into obsession with dangerous consequences for both of them. The Kindergarten Teacher is a complex morality tale that was included on the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s list of the 20 best non-American films distributed in the United States in 2014. Colorado Premiere


Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa Director: Abby Ginzberg 2014/USA, South Africa/84 minutes/Biography/Documentary English, No Subtitles

Wednesday, February 17 5:30 pm Film Sponsor The Denver “Boks� Guest Speaker Director/Producer Abby Ginzberg

A Jewish hero of South Africa's half-century struggle for democracy and racial equality is lionized in Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa, winner of Best Documentary at the Vancover South African Film Festival and Encounters Film Festival. The son of affluent Lithuanian union activists who immigrated to South Africa, Albie Sachs was motivated at an early age to embrace human rights advocacy. Joining the anti-apartheid movement, this white legal scholar became the unlikely defender of freedom fighters committed to overturning the country's repressive laws. For his actions, he was jailed in Cape Town, tortured and forced into exile, and lost his arm and partial eyesight in a 1988 car bombing in Mozambique. Returning to South Africa following the release of Nelson Mandela, Sachs helped write the new Constitution and was appointed to the Constitutional Court. Compelling interviewees include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, government leaders, and, most extraordinarily, the former military official responsible for the attack that nearly killed Sachs. Actress Alfre Woodard narrates this story of national reconciliation and one man's fearless pursuit of justice. Colorado Premiere



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A Borrowed Identity Director: Eran Riklis 2014/Israel/104 minutes/Drama/Disability Hebrew, Arabic with English Subtitles

ISRAEL THROUGH THE LENS SERIES Wednesday, February 17 7:45 pm Film Sponsor Krista & Mark Boscoe and Ryley Carlock & Applewhite

A young Palestinian outsider struggles to find his place in Israeli society in the coming-of-age drama, A Borrowed Identity, by acclaimed veteran filmmaker Eran Riklis (The Syrian Bride). Eyad is the first and only Arab teenager to earn a place in Jerusalem’s most prestigious boarding school. Initially isolated and lonely in his new surroundings, he slowly overcomes social, cultural and language barriers with the help of his peers. The compassion of a Jewish girl, Naomi, blossoms into a forbidden romance that crosses religious divides. Eyad also finds kinship with Yonatan, a classmate with muscular dystrophy, while providing enormous support to the wheelchair-bound boy's single mother, Edna. As heartbreak, personal tragedy and sociopolitical strife intrude on his adolescence, Eyad realizes that he must embrace a life-changing compromise of identity in order to be accepted. Arab-Israeli journalist Sayed Kashua's semiautobiographical screenplay is a plea for understanding between both sides of an intractable political divide. Nominated for four Israeli Academy Awards.



Raise the Roof Director: Yari & Cary Wolinsky 2015/USA/85 minutes/Documentary/Holocaust/Arts English with No Subtitles An international team chases an improbable dream to reconstruct one of the magnificent lost wooden synagogues of Poland in Raise the Roof.

CENTERPIECE FILM This film has no sponsor. There was an error in the printing of our brochure.

These architectural marvels originated in the small 18th century town of Gwozdziec. Inside the complex log structure, the prayer hall was elaborately adorned with Hebrew inscriptions and brightly painted animals. Eventually more than 200 of these unique wooden synagogues dotted the countryside, until the Nazis burned every last one to the ground. Though neither Jewish nor Polish, two former University of Georgia students mastermind a remarkable effort to rebuild this architectural wonder. Boston-based artists Rick and Laura Brown recruit hundreds of craftsmen, students and other volunteers to their cause. Employing old tools and artisanal techniques, the team sets about recreating the synagogue’s timber-framed roof and intricate mural designs. Despite seemingly impossible deadlines, hammering downpours and exhaustion, a profound relic slowly rises from the ashes. `

Thursday, February 18 5:30 pm

Beautiful to behold and buttressed by traditional klezmer melodies, Raise the Roof is an inspiring story of how combined talents in art and science brought back to life an artifact lost to history. Colorado Premiere



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Morgenthau Director: Max Lewkowicz 2015/USA/107 minutes/Biography/ Documentary/ Politics English, No Subtitles

Thursday, February 18 7:45 pm

CENTERPIECE FILM Film Sponsor Celeste & Jack Grynberg

Morgenthau, winner of New York Emmy Award for Best Historical/Cultural Program/Special, tells the epic story of one American family whose careers brought them to the forefront of some of the most dramatic events of the last hundred years. The dynamic arcs of their exemplary public service – Henry Morgenthau Senior as United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire; Henry Morgenthau Junior as United States Secretary of Treasury under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt; and Robert M. Morgenthau as District Attorney of New York County for over 30 years – reveal new perspectives on the social and political shifts in twentieth century history. From fighting for international action against the genocide of Armenians on the cusp of WWI, through the efforts to rescue Jews during the Holocaust despite American political obstruction, and on to the struggle to reduce street crime and pioneer the prosecution of white collar corruption in the financial capital of the world, New York City, the trajectory of the three Morgenthau generations epitomizes the American experience and the continual fight for justice. Colorado Premiere


Vice Versa Director: Amichai Greenberg 2015/Israel/62 minutes/Drama/ Romance Hebrew with English Subtitles


Vice Versa tells the story of 18-year-old Ayelet, who, when diagnosed with advanced bone cancer, stubbornly refuses treatment. Yochai, a dedicated Yeshiva student, is enlisted to change her mind. When the two unexpectedly fall in love, Yochai is faced with an agonizing moral decision—whether to leave the Yeshiva or abandon his newfound love. Colorado Premiere

Saturday, February 20 7:15 pm

CENTERPIECE FILM Film Sponsor Vicki & David Dansky



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The Pleasures of Being Out of Step Director: David L. Lewis 2013/USA/86 minutes/Biography/Documentary English, No Subtitles

Saturday, February 20 9:15 pm

CENTERPIECE FILM Film Sponsor Dan Recht, Rick Kornfeld and Mark Grueskin, Recht Kornfeld P.C., Attorneys at Law Guest Speaker David L. Lewis, Director

Pleasures profiles legendary jazz writer and civil libertarian Nat Hentoff, whose career tracks the greatest cultural and political movements of the last 65 years. The film is about an idea as well as a man – the idea of free expression as the defining characteristic of the individual. Nat Hentoff and his passionate championing of jazz made him beloved by musicians and fans, while his outspoken civil libertarian writings didn’t always sit well with his readership. This interesting portrait traces his successes and missteps from growing up Jewish in Boston where he began a radio show, through his influential writings on jazz and groundbreaking television program, to his articles in the Village Voice. Featuring an outstanding jazz score, this well-crafted documentary shows us a man who is both a fascinating and frustrating singular figure, who happily upends expectations in his pursuit of free expression. Colorado Premiere


Brundibar Revisited Director: Douglas Wolfsperger 2014/Germany/88 minutes/Documentary/Holocaust/Arts German with English Subtitles

Sunday, February 21 10:15 am Film Sponsor The Alterman Family

This inspiring documentary by Douglas Wolfsperger explores Hans Kràsa’s “Brundibar,” a children’s opera performed more than 50 times between 1943 and 1944 by Jewish children in the Terezin/Theresienstadt ghetto. “Brundibar” footage first appeared in the Nazi propaganda film “The Fuhrer Gives the Jews a City", shown to the Red Cross to hide the camp’s deadly conditions. This uplifting film highlights a far better rendition of the opera— through the eyes and the experiences of a Berlin theater group of young outcasts, who travel to Terezin to understand the opera’s roots. Krasa was murdered in Auschwitz, as were most of the children who sang in the opera. Brundibar Revisited brings the opera back to life by tracing the cast’s journey to Terezin with octogenarian Israeli Greta Klingsberg, who played the lead role of Aninka in Theresienstadt as a 13-year-old, before being shipped to Auschwitz. The lively and spirited Klingsberg, one of the few remaining original cast members, bonds easily with the young actors. Her vital living legacy makes an impression on the cast members that is more indelible than a history book or lesson could ever be. Colorado Premiere



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Mr. Kaplan Director: Alvaro Brachner 2014/ Spain; Uruguay; Germany/94 minutes/Comic Drama/ Holocaust Spanish, Yiddish with English Subtitles

Sunday, February 21 12:30 pm Film Sponsor Carol & Irwin Wagner

A downtrodden Jewish retiree attempts to restore his self-worth by unmasking an alleged Nazi fugitive in this eccentric comic drama. 76-year-old Jacob Kaplan is starting to feel like an old man and is beginning to ask the hard questions: “Have I made a difference in the world? Did I accomplish anything remarkable?” Kaplan thinks he has found his purpose in identifying a suspicious elderly café owner/would-be former Nazi official. Laugh-out-loud funny at times, the film evokes empathy in it's unsympathetic portrayal of a man who tries to confirm his enduring relevance by righting past wrongs. The result is a film that will leave its mark on us, a legacy that Mr. Kaplan would have liked to share. Uruguay’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission.



Secrets of War Director: Dennis Bots 2014/Netherlands/95 minutes/Drama/Holocaust Dutch with English Subtitles Inseparable childhood friends in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands find their loyalty severely tested in the family-friendly, coming-of-age story, Secrets of War.

Sunday, February 21 3:00 pm Film Sponsor Mindy & Steve Peckar

As conflict rages across Europe in the summer of 1943, 12-year-old best friends Tuur and Lambert are all but oblivious to the danger. Days are spent going to school, and playing in the dense woods and underground caves outside their idyllic village in Dutch Limburg. Reality soon intrudes and begins to divide families, with Tuur’s father and brother joining a fledgling resistance movement, while Lambert’s parents ally themselves with the local Nazi party. The boys’ relationship is particularly strained, however, with the arrival of Maartje, a dark-haired girl with a mysterious identity. As the boys compete for her attentions, jealousy and betrayal set in motion a series of high-stakes events that will alter the lives of all three youths. Director Dennis Bots and a talented child cast approach the sensitive subject matter from a delicate point of view suitable for young audiences. A bittersweet ode to innocence lost, Secrets of War is adapted from the best-selling young adult novel by Jacques Vriens. Colorado Premiere Note: Appropriate for a family audience, ages 10 and older (who don’t mind reading subtitles).



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End of Season Sale Director: Eli Glazer 2014/Israel/35 minutes/Short/Drama/LGBTQ Hebrew with English subtitles

ISRAEL THROUGH THE LENS SERIES Sunday, February 21 5:30 pm Followed by a showing of Oriented

Two aging men meet on the street on a rainy night. The city no longer awaits them. They both like men, but their sexual identity is entirely different: one likes words without flesh, while the other one likes flesh without words. And when the supply of Viagra runs out, other possibilities are considered. Maybe love. Maybe. Colorado Premiere WARNING: ADULT LANGUAGE AND CONTENT


Oriented Director: Jake Witzenfeld 2015/Israel/78 minutes/Documentary/LGBTQ Hebrew with English subtitles

Sunday, February 21 5:30 pm Following showing of End of Season Sale

An intriguing look at the juxtaposition between the personal and political, Oriented shows viewers what it's like to be gay in the Middle East, as many still grapple with the myriad familial and societal pressures that encourage them to stay hidden. The documentary focuses on three Palestinian friends living in Tel Aviv, Khader (a Muslim living with his Jewish boyfriend), Fadi (a “Palestinian nationalist confronted by guilty Jewish love�) and Naim (a man who must come out to his family); over a 15-month period, we follow the charismatic trio as they navigate their personal lives in the midst of the IsraeliPalestinian conflict of summer 2014. Denver Area Premiere WARNING: ADULT CONTENT



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Once in a Lifetime Director: Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar 2014/France/105 minutes/Drama/Holocaust French with English subtitles A dedicated history teacher at a French high school taps lessons of the Holocaust in an effort to motivate her troubled students in Once in a Lifetime, an uplifting schoolhouse drama based on a true story.

Sunday, February 21 8:15 pm Film Sponsor Dr. Hilary & Rabbi Eliot Baskin, All About Braces In-Kind Sponsor Alliance Française de Denver

A teacher with 20 years of experience, Anne Gueguen is determined to give the best education she can to her underprivileged inner-city pupils. Overcoming their apathy, however, is proving to be more difficult than expected. Frustrated but undaunted, Anne tests her multicultural classroom with a unique assignment: a national competition on the theme of child victims of the Nazi concentration camps. The project is initially met with extreme resistance, until a face-to-face encounter with a Holocaust survivor changes the class’s attitude dramatically. Despite their long-shot odds of winning, these once-rebellious teens soon begin to see one another – and themselves – in a whole new light. A potent and moving antidote to the devaluation of education in an age of ignorance, Once in a Lifetime demonstrates the enduring impact of the Holocaust in transforming future generations. Winner of the Micki Moore Award for Best Narrative Film at the 2015 Toranto Jewish Film Festival. Colorado Premiere Note: Recommended for teenagers and older.


The 20th Denver Jewish Film Festival is made possible with the generous support of the following corporations and non-profit sponsors:





20th Denver Jewish Film Festival Seating Policy

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All Seating is Reserved Unlike most film events, our festival has a reserved seating policy which works much like any live theatre or concert event, where each patron has an individually numbered seat for each film. This means that if patrons are seeing multiple films, they may need to move seats after each showing. Patrons that purchase tickets in advance may request the same seat (if it is available), but they will need to exit the theatre and present their ticket separately for each film. Reserve a specific seat each time you purchase a ticket. Visit the website at to view a chart of available seating for each film. Doors will open approximately 20 minutes prior to each screening. Please come early so you can locate your seat number and row. Late-comers will be seated at the discretion of the ushers. The theatre will be emptied after each screening in order to clean and conduct a sound check for the next film. Please help us keep the festival running on time by leaving the theatre promptly. Handicapped seating is available. To reserve handicapped seating please contact the box office at (303) 316-6360. Free parking for the DJFF is available in other MACC/JCC lots to the south and west of our venue; street parking on Dahlia, Alameda and the neighborhood to the north of our location is also free.



20t h DJ F F P R I N T SO U R C ES A Borrowed Identity Strand Releasing Nathan Faustyn Apples from the Desert Israeli Films Dana Goren Brundibar Revisited Ruth Diskin Films Cara Saposnik Bulgarian Rhapsody Israeli Films Dana Goren Carvalho’s Journey The National Center for Jewish Film Becky Gillig Dough Menemsha Films Neil A Friedman East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem Film Movement Maxwell Wolkin

End Season Sale Eli Glazer Firebirds Israeli Films Dana Goren Morgenthau 7th Art Releasing Chase Daseler Mr. Kaplan Menemsha Films Neil A Friedman The Muses of Issac Bashevis Singer Asaf Galay My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes The Film Sales Company Lucas Verga Once in a Lifetime Menemsha Films Neil A Friedman

Orange People GreenProductions Michelle Pose Oriented Pictured Daniel Yankiver

Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa Social Action Media Abby Ginzberg Suicide Shachar Zefania, Producer

Polgar Variant Ruth Diskin Films Cara Saposnik

The Dove Flyer Israeli Films Dana Goren

Raise the Roof The National Center for Jewish Film Becky Gillig

The Kindergarten Teacher Kino Lorber Jonathan Hertzberg

Sabena Hijacking Go2Films Hedva Goldschmidt

The Pleasures of Being Out of Step First Run Features Paul Marchant

Secrets of War Film Movement Maxwell Wolkin

To Life Breaking Glass Pictures Michael Repsch

Serial (Bad) Weddings The Festival Agency Elodie Dupont

Vice Versa Go2Films Hedva Goldschmidt



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20t h DJ F F S P O N SO R S FESTIVAL SPONSORS Wagner Wealth Management Sturm Family Foundation OPENING NIGHT SPONSOR Ellen Beller EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS Lisa and Shell Cook Vicki and David Dansky Essie Perlmutter Lisa and Jay Perlmutter Lisa and Jonathan Perlmutter The Staenberg Group The Strear Family Foundation PRODUCERS Krista & Mark Boscoe and Ryley Carlock & Applewhite Celeste & Jack Grynberg Susan Mathews, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty

DIRECTORS Sue & Mort Aaronson The Alterman Family Dr. Hilary & Rabbi Eliot Baskin, All About Braces Marsha & Gary Blum Judy & Harvey Cohen and Family The Denver “Boks” Marcia & Bernie Karshmer Joanne & Art Kleinstein Mindy & Steve Peckar Priscilla Press Dan Recht, Rick Kornfeld and Mark Grueskin, Recht Kornfeld P.C., Attorneys at Law Ellen & Scott Robinson Ricky & Don Safer Lisa & Lynn Taussig Carol & Irwin Wagner Jennifer Kane Wiener Steve Winber Sandy Wolf Terri & Gary Yourtz

ISRAEL THROUGH THE LENS SPONSOR The Kesher Foundation and Diana Zeff Anderson

Audience Choice Awards BEST NARRATIVE The Laycob Family: Carol, Justin, Jordon, Kim, Tanner and Connor. In loving memory of Dr. Lawrence Laycob BEST DOCUMENTRY Joyce & Gary Pashel

Becoming a sponsor Our exceptional sponsors share a commitment to bring the highest quality Jewish film, literature, performing and visual arts to our community. They provide critical funding which allows Jewish cultural programs to grow and prosper. We are grateful to all of our sponsors for their support this year. Consider becoming a sponsor! Call Michael Rudnick at 303.316.6352


MACC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Elaine Tinter, Chair Joanne Singer, Treasurer Kathy Judd, Secretary Sue Aaronson Nancy Alterman Rabbi Eliot Baskin Ellen Beller Terry Heller Kathy Neustadt Dottie Resnick Andi Rosenthal Lisa Taussig Carol Wagner

Mizel Arts and Culture Center

MACC STAFF Executive Artistic Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Wilson Director of Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kellie Lambert Director of Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meghann Henry Director of Marketing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Talia Haykin Production Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emily MacIntyre Technical Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Erock Administrative Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alexis Robbins Assistant Marketing Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Adam Zandman Marketing Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jackee Raykos Creative Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Bee Asst. Creative Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Hoffman Web Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Melissa Dafni Executive Asst. to Mr Wilson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Austin Van Grack

Mizel Arts and Culture Center



at the jcc

at the jcc



ISRAEL THROUGH THE LENS “Building Connections with Israel” sponsored by The Kesher Foundation and Diana Zeff Anderson The Denver Jewish Film Festival has always been committed to offering films that showcase the many facets of life in Israel. From extraordinary narrative features to insightful documentaries, films from and about Israel, by Israeli artists, are at the core of the festival experience. This year we continue our “Israel Through the Lens” series which not only highlights our Israeli film screenings, but will provide talkbacks and conversation to ensure that our audiences have the opportunity to encounter a comprehensive, balanced and accurate examination of the many aspects that characterize Israelis and life in Israel. This year the series will feature 12 films from Israel - in 11 screenings! We have spread them out throughout the festival to give our audience an optimal opportunity to see as many as possible. Experience the beauty and complexity of Israel at the Denver Jewish Film Festival! “Israel Though The Lens” is brought to you this year by The Kesher Foundation and Diana Zeff Anderson.

FILM FESTIVAL COMMITTEES Film Festival Selection Committee Vicki Dansky – Committee Chair Sue Allon Mark Boscoe Art Kleinstein Susan Mathews Scott Robinson Stephen Sturm Jennifer Kane Wiener Steve Wilson Pre-Screener Committee Sue Aaronson Gary Blum Carol Denker Lisa Gergely Bestsy Mordecai Heyman Jill Collier Indyk Mindy Levy Peckar Geri Bader Saltzman Aimee Wagner

Winner of the Henry Award (Colorado’s Tony Award) for “Outstanding Children’s Theatre”

Summer Art and Theatre Camps

Denver Children’s Theatre Presents

FEATURED PREK-12 GRADE CLASSES: by Thatcher Hurd Directed by Steve Wilson and Meghann Henry


Painting, Filmmaking, Fashion Design, Pottery Acting, Creative Drama, or Improv Comedy

2016 MAINSTAGE PRODUCTIONS: Hello Dolly, Chicago, A Midsummer Night’s Dream


For Tickets and Info visit MACC AT THE JCC | 350 S. DAHLIA ST., DENVER, CO 80246


Mizel Arts and Culture Center or 303.316.6360


350 S. DAHLIA ST., DENVER, CO 80246

at the jcc

CONGRATULATIONS CONGR RATULATIONS TI on the 20th 2 Anniv Anniversary ers rsary off the o

Denver Jewish Jewish Film Film F estival Denver Festival Susan Sus an Mathe Mathews ws Broker A Broker Associate ssociate 720.840.7200 72 0.840.7200 Proud P roud suppor supporter rter o off the D Denver enver JJewish ewish F Film ilm F Festival estivval

We Are Proud to Support the 2016 Denver Jewish Film Festival

Mark H. Boscoe 303.813.6744

Creative Solutions

The Staenberg Group is proud of the excellent work of the JCC and MACC. Congratulations on 20 outstanding years of the Denver Jewish Film Festival! Mizel Arts and Culture Center

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Lights, Camera, ACTION Come check out our fitness center and take a lead role in getting yourself into shape today! Just Some of the Perks:

• Year-round, Salt-sanitized Indoor & Outdoor Pools • On-site Massage Therapists • Yoga & Pilates Classes • Swim Lessons for Kids • Adult & Youth Athletics • Water Aerobics & Fitness Courses For more information or to tour the facility call Judy at 303.316.6308 today! OPEN TO EVERYONE IN THE DENVER COMMUNITY JCC Sports & Fitness Center 350 South Dahlia Street, Denver, CO 80246 Photo by Eric Stephenson

Mizel Arts & Culture Center at the JCC 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, CO 80246-8102



Festival m il F h is w e J r Denve ement ner Wealth Manag g sponsored by Wa mily Foundation and the Sturm Fa

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Denver, CO Permit No. 2027

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20th Denver Jewish Film Festival Brochure  


20th Denver Jewish Film Festival Brochure  


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