San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 37

Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 2.15.31 PMCBS is delighted to announce that we are co-sponsoring four films in this year's 37th SF Jewish Film Festival!

The oldest Jewish film festival in the world is back! This highly regarded festival runs from July 20 to August 6, and we invite you to check out as many movies as you can.

If you can only catch a few of the screenings, CBS is happy to invite you to four films we are co-presenting - details below!

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 9.21.19 AMHarmonia
Writer/director Ori Sivan’s elegant and understated backstage musical drama is a modern adaptation of the Book of Genesis. Sarah is a talented harpist performing in the Jerusalem orchestra of her conductor and husband, Abraham (Alon Aboutboul). Into their childless marriage enters the enigmatic Hagar, a Palestinian horn player who offers to provide the Israeli couple with a child. The film’s finale is an unforgettable and emotional call for harmony between Arabs and Jews. (Israel; 2016; 98 minutes)

Screening locations & dates:
Castro Theatre | Friday, July 21, 8:55 p.m.
Cinearts | Saturday, July 22, 8:55 p.m.
Albany Twin | Wednesday, August 5, 2:30 p.m.
Smith Rafael | Thursday, August 6, 12:00 p.m.

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 8.51.31 AM Rabbi Wolff: A Gentleman Before God
Willy Wolff escaped the Nazis, became a renowned British journalist, and didn’t go to rabbinical school till he was in his 50s. Now in his 80s, he leads two Jewish communities in Germany and still finds time for yoga, learning Russian, and enjoying the racetrack. We go behind the scenes to see the beautiful and sometimes heartbreaking life of a deeply religious man who is rarely seen without a twinkle in his eye. (Germany; 2016; 95 minutes)

Screening locations & dates:
Cinearts | Saturday, July 22, 11:30 a.m.
Castro Theatre | Sunday, July 23, 11:10 1.m.
Roda Theatre | Sunday, July 30, 4:00 p.m.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 8.44.24 AMBen Gurion: Epilogue
Featuring never-before-aired footage from a 1968 interview with Israel’s founding Prime Minister, filmmaker Yariv Mozer (Snails in the Rain, SFJFF 2014) pays homage to one of Israel’s first generation of political leaders. The resulting film begs the question, what would Ben-Gurion do given the current political climate in the Middle East? Viewers can hazard a guess when Ben-Gurion discusses trading land for an enduring peace. (Israel, 2016, 61 minutes).

Screening locations & dates:
Cinearts | Sunday, July 23, 12:00 p.m.
Castro Theatre | Saturday, July 29, 1:45 p.m.
Albany Twin | Sunday, July 30, 12:00 p.m.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 9.54.21 AM1945
August, 1945. Two Orthodox Jews arrive at a remote Hungarian train station. When the town gets wind of their arrival, rumors and fears spread that they may be heirs of the village’s denounced and deported Jews who will want their stolen property back. Shot in elegant black and white with a minimal evocative score, 1945 is a subtle and nuanced study in collective guilt, paranoia, and anti-Semitism in a postwar Hungary. (Hungary; 2017; 91 minutes)

Screening locations & dates:
Castro Theatre | Wednesday, July 26, 6:20 p.m.
Roda Theatre | Saturday, July 29, 6:20 p.m.
Cinearts | Thursday, July 27, 6:10 p.m.
Smith Rafael | Sunday, August 6, 2:10 p.m.

This summer, join CBS to celebrate community and storytelling at the 37th Jewish Film Festival. For ticket information, contact the box office at 415.621.0523 or visit the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival website to learn more.


Learning About Israeli Democracy

Prof.-Eran-KaplanThis past Sunday afternoon, January 22, the Achshav Yisrael committee of CBS presented its eighth program, "Knesset 101." Just below, Achshav Yisrael committee member Eileen Auerbach provides a report and shares some photographs takem during the event.

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Professor Eran Kaplan, the Goldman Professor of Israel Studies in the Department of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University, gave a well-received presentation on the basic mechanisms of the Israeli political system. He specifically reviewed the original and current political parties, focusing on their differences and alliances. He discussed some of the leadership over the years and showed how the system has moved from a left-leaning orientation to a right-leaning, conservative position due to the immigration patterns of specific populations and the influence of the ultra-Orthodox religious parties. He also answered questions about political movements and about the left-leaning Israeli Supreme Court.

In the break-out discussion that followed his formal presentation, attendees were very interested in delving deeper into issues such as how an Israeli bill becomes a law, basic Israeli parliamentary process, and the likely influence of President Trump on Israeli politics.

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Check out some photos from the program below, and visit the CBS Facebook page for more.

Eileen-Auerbach,-Larry-Burgheimer,-Jason-Jungreis Katherine-Hollander,-Betsy-Eckstein,-Ephraim-Margolin Duo Betty-Miller

ABOUT ACHSHAV YISRAEL: Achshav Yisrael’s mission is to provide quality programming about Israel to Congregation Beth Sholom and the broader community. Achshav Yisrael programs are open to all age groups and will occur on a regular basis. We intend to create a safe space at CBS for community exploration of Israel.

Achshav Yisrael Steering Committee Members: Eileen Auerbach, Becky Buckwald, Sandra Cohen, Betsy Eckstein, Ovid Jacob, Eva-Lynne Leibman, Ira Levy, Ephraim Margolin, Lucia Sommers

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 36

CBS is delighted to co-present three films
included in the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 36!

SFJFF36-Twitter-optimized Celebrating its 36th year – chai, don't you know?! – the SFJFF is the oldest Jewish film festival in the world and among the most highly regarded, as well. This year, the festival runs July 21 – August 7, 2016, and we encourage you to check out as many of the movies as you can.

If you can only catch a few of the screenings, we recommend the three that we're co-presenting. Learn more below.

isaiah_sheffer_2_-_h_2016Art & Heart: The World of Isaiah Sheffer
Art & Heart, a spirited documentary film by Catherine Tambini, celebrates the life of Isaiah Sheffer, the founding artistic director of Symphony Space and host of Selected Shorts on public radio. Sheffer inspired everyone from Leonard Nimoy to Stephen Colbert. During screenings of Art & Heart, Director Catherine Tambini and producers Ethel Sheffer and Gina Leonetti will be present. (USA; 2016; 50 minutes)

Screening locations & dates:
Cinearts | Wednesday, July 27, 3:20 p.m.
Castro Theatre | Thursday, July 28, 1:30 p.m.
Roda Theatre | Friday, July 29, 1:40 p.m.


There Are Jews HereThere Are Jews Here
This quirky and poignant documentary examines the challenges of Jewish life in small­-town America. Focusing on four tiny Jewish communities, directors Brad Lichtenstein and Morgan Elise Johnson examine in intimate detail what happens to a congregation when there are scarcely enough Jews left to form a quorum for religious activities, much less to maintain a vibrant community. The film offers an unusual and intriguing look at a segment of American Jewish life that is rarely examined. During screenings of There Are Jews Here that take place in San Francisco and Berkeley, Director Brad Lichtenstein will be present. (USA; 2016; 90 minutes)

Screening locations & dates:
Cinearts | Tuesday, July 26, 1:45 p.m.
Castro Theatre | Saturday, July 30, 2:10 p.m.
Roda Theatre | Monday, August 1, 3:40 p.m.


Shtisel Season 2Shtisel: Season 2
Shtisel is a family melodrama that looks like Modern Family put on a kippah and went to Jerusalem. This melodrama returns to SFJFF for its second season. The critical and commercial success combines Haredi traditions and popular television tropes. Season 2 again follows the Shtisel clan as they navigate adolescence, engagement, sibling ties, and death. Whether for romantic, religious, or family reasons, Shtisel appeals to fans of love across all ages. (Israel; 2015; 2 x 47 minutes)

Screening locations & dates:
Castro Theatre | Friday, July 22, 2:05 p.m.
Cinearts | Saturday, July 23, 2:20 p.m.
Roda Theatre | Thursday, August 4, 4:20 p.m.
Smith Rafael | Friday, August 5, 2:10 p.m.


This summer, hop on the J Train and "celebrate the full spectrum of Jewish identity, life and thought"! For ticket information, please contact the box office at 415.621.0523 or visit the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival online.