Still image from Zoe’s Dumpling Crisis

Click below to watch a special introduction from filmmaker Ellen Rodnianski, and scroll down to enjoy the film!

Click to watch Zoe’s Dumpling Crisis

View more online monthly shorts at !

Click above for filmmaker introduction
Click to watch the short film PETE CAN’T PLAY BASKETBALL

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I got my Jewish education not by sitting in shul, but in theaters during JFI programs. JFI has given me a greater appreciation of our traditions, history, art, humor… and shaped what it means to be Jewish…

— Audience Member

jfi’s impact 2018–2020: a sneak peak

JFI champions bold films and filmmakers that expand, evolve and reframe the Jewish story. As we navigate another year of a pandemic, storytelling and film are especially important. They have the power to engage and entertain us, catalyze conversation and spark action.

We are proud to share a sneak peek at JFI’s first-ever Impact Report covering our activities from 2018…

From Former JFI Filmmaker in Resident, Yoav Potash

Click for a special filmmaker introduction and watch the film below!

This evocative short film combines a live musical performance by Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Band, filmed during the Covid-19 pandemic, with rare archival footage of prewar Jewish life in Europe. The film takes its name from Moshe Beregovsky, a Jewish ethnomusicologist who traveled throughout Ukraine beginning in the 1920’s to collect and transcribe Jewish folk music. …

With special introduction from filmmaker Lyn Goldfarb

EDDY’S WORLD was initially shown at JFI in 2020 as part of the Jews in Shorts: Documentary series. Enjoy the film below with a special thanks to The New Yorker!

View more online monthly shorts at !

A Tinder-addicted bachelor takes relationship advice from his irascible German grandma and her toy boy boyfriend with hilarious results.

Click here for a special message from filmmaker Stephan Nielson
Click here to watch GRANNY KNOWS BEST!

View more online monthly shorts at !

Dear JFI Friends and Family,

In 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. It ensured that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. JFI honors the 30th anniversary of this landmark act with six superb films focusing on people with disabilities. The screenings of these films at The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival throughout the years have been some of the most memorable and moving events in recent festival history and have included several guests with disabilities. We were fortunate enough…

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, artist Wendy MacNaughton and documentary filmmaker Sam Ball spent an afternoon silently people watching; exploring a beloved San Francisco parklet. In these times when interpersonal connection can feel difficult, their short film invites the viewer to appreciate the sense of community an outdoor public space can generate.

Watch this Q&A between subject and filmmaker, then enjoy the short film below!

Wendy MacNaughton Draws Castro Commons was originally produced for a multimedia installation at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. The JCC asked MacNaughton and Ball to create work on the theme “We are not permanent, but we are not temporary,” reflecting the Jewish holiday of Sukkot’s emphasis on reflection about the impermanence of life, the search for home and the welcoming of strangers.

View more online monthly shorts at !


Dear JFI Friends and Family,

No country has been more synonymous with the eradication of Jewish life during World War II than Poland. With antisemitism on the rise following the emergence of far-right leadership here and abroad, it’s perhaps with little surprise that even in 2018, Poland had proposed a controversial Holocaust bill that threatened prison sentences to anyone who publicly ascribed blame to the Polish state for crimes committed by Nazi Germany. Though the law would be overturned months later, the sentiments behind the claim still linger throughout modern Poland. …

Still image from PETTING ZOO

About the film:

In 1974 a local TV news station crew came into the filmmaker’s home to document and learn about Jewish rituals. A narrative evolves about the formation of American Jewish identity and transforms into an analogy for the current rise in nationalism and anti-Semitism.

The Cinegogue

Inspiring communities to expand their understanding of Jewish life through film, media and dialogue. Presented by the Jewish Film Institute!

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