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New Jersey Jewish Film Festival, April 18-28


The 13th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival (NJJFF) will open on Thursday, April 18 with the New Jersey Premiere of The World is Funny at the Festival’s home, JCC MetroWest in West Orange (7:00pm screening).  It will conclude with the New Jersey Premiere of A.K.A. Doc Pomus, on Sunday, April 28, at JCC MetroWest (7:30pm screening).  In celebration of the NJJFF’s bar mitzvah year, we invite you to be our guest at two films, Kinderblock 66 and an all-time audience favorite, Sixty Six.

There is something for everyone! The NJJFF will highlight humor, music, and Jewish history this year, featuring 25 award-winning films over 10 days from around the world, including 16 New Jersey Premieres and one Sneak Preview (Israel: A Home Movie).  Several films will be of special interest to teens and are recommended for age 13 and up. These include: Hitler’s Children, Life in Stills, Kinderblock 66, My Dad is Baryshnikov, Numbered, Lea & Daria, Sixty Six, and A Bottle in the Gaza Sea. In partnership with the Montclair Film Festival, the NJJFF will feature two films, Fill the Void (limited seating) and Oma & Bella.

There will be screenings at four venues in Essex and Morris County, including the Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC (JCC MetroWest), 760 Northfield Avenue, West Orange; AMC East Hanover 12 Theatre, 145 State Route 10, East Hanover; Clearview Bellevue Cinema 4, 260 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair; and College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown. 

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The NJJFF welcomes back this year Lead Sponsor Investors Bank and Key sponsors Toby & Leon Cooperman, Sara-Ann & Robert Sanders, and Dr. Ruth & Gerald Legow. The Festival would not be possible without the support of these and other philanthropic sponsors.

For a complete film schedule with dates, times, and locations, please visit


Highlights of the NJJFF include:
Opening Night (New Jersey Premiere followed by Dessert Reception at JCC MetroWest): The World is Funny, Thursday, April 18, 7:00pm. Preceded by B-Boy
An Israeli box office hit nominated for a record-breaking 15 Ofir (Israeli Film Academy) awards, this film follows the wanderings of a loose network of more than 50 characters.  Participants in a writers’ workshop in a public library in Tiberias use their fertile imaginations to invent stories about many of these personalities and connections are cleverly interwoven into the story of one traumatized family, one city, and one world.  Location: JCC MetroWest
A Post Screening Discussion will follow with Isaac Zablocki, Director, Israel Film Center, JCC Manhattan
Also Showing: Monday, April 22, 2:00pm (JCC MetroWest)

Israel: A Home Movie (Sneak preview; opens in NYC in June). Two great speakers…two screenings: Friday, April 19, 11:45am at JCC MetroWest and Sunday, April 28, 12:00pm at AMC East Hanover
A narrative of 20th century Israel—Jewish, British, and Palestinian—the grand story of a land, an era, a society, a conflict, and a nation.  Weddings, vacations, family events, and clips of pivotal historical events are joined together in an intricate patchwork.
A Post Screening Discussion will follow with Isaac Zablocki, Director, Israel Film Center, JCC Manhattan (April 19) and Gil Lainer, Consul of Public Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York invited (April 28)

Numbered : Tuesday, April 23, 2:00pm, AMC East Hanover
A highly visual and sentimental cinematic journey, rich with the testimonies of Holocaust survivors and their children.  The film documents the dismal era when concentration camp inmates were forcibly tattooed, the meaning these tattoos took on after the war, and the efforts of descendants to identify with them.
A Post-Screening Discussion will follow with Rabbi Clifford Kulwin, Temple B’nai Abraham

Putzel: Sunday, April 28, 2:00pm, JCC MetroWest
Walter’s aspirations of taking over his uncle’s smoked fish emporium are dashed when attractive young Sally becomes romantically involved with his uncle. After being undermined by family and friends for years, Sally helps Walter realize his potential and proves he’s more than a Putzel.
Guest Speakers; Jason Chaet, Director Producer: Rick Moor, Writer/Producer; Allegra Cohen, Producer/Actor.  Invited Guests: Actors Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Jack Carpenter, and John Pankow

Oma & Bella: Friday, New Jersey Premiere, April 26, 11:30am, JCC MetroWest
A portrait emerges of two women who share humor, vivid memories, and a deep fondness for food.  An intimate glimpse into the world of Regina Karolinski and Bella Katz, old friends living together in Berlin.
Guest speaker: Thom Powers, Artistic Director: Montclair Film Festival; DOC NYC, Programmer: Toronto International Film Festival; Sundance

Closing Night (New Jersey Premiere followed by Dessert Reception at JCC MetroWest): A.K.A Doc Pomus, Sunday, April 28, 7:30pm 
A Jewish boy born in Brooklyn as Jerome Felder, Doc Pomus composed many of the finest
rock n’roll and pop hits of the 1950s and 60s.  Childhood polio left Pomus handicapped but he defied the odds and produced a remarkable collection including Save the Last Dance for Me, Teenager in Love, and This Magic Moment. Location: JCC MetroWest
A Post Screening Discussion will follow with Peter Miller, Director
For tickets, please visit or call 1-800-494-TIXS. You can purchase tickets at the venue where the film is being screened 45 minutes prior to the screening. 

Lead Community Sponsors of the NJJFF are Israel Bonds; Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ (Jewish Family Concierge- Montclair, Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest,  Legow Family Israel Program Center, Women’s Philanthropy, and Young Leadership Division). Community sponsors of the NJJFF include: Adath Shalom Synagogue, B’nai Keshet Synagogue, College of Saint Elizabeth,  Golda Och Academy, Jewish National Fund, Mount Freedom Jewish Center, NCJW-Essex County Section, Sisterhood of Congregation Beth El, Temple B’nai Abraham, Temple B’nai Jeshurun, Temple B’nai Or, Temple Ner Tamid, and Temple Sinai- Renaissance Group.


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