Film

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 Woman and man serving themselves at a buffet, Jewish stars in background

A Better Hanukkah Movie, With Plenty of Room for Improvement

Rebecca Brenner Graham

After several attempts, the Hallmark Channel finally carves out a respectable place for Hanukkah . But is this the best we can hope for?

Topics: Hanukkah, Film

Hanna Azoulay-Hasfari wins Ophir award for best actress for leading role in "Nadia "

September 20, 1987

Israeli writer, actor, director, and producer Hanna Azoulay-Hasfari consistently advocates for Mizrahi voices in her artistic pursuits. Through films and plays that often foreground Mizrahi women’s stories in Israel, she integrates her passions for art and advocacy to produce internationally acclaimed works about stories personal to her life.  

Birth of actress Roxy Sternberg

April 20, 1989

British actress Roxy Sternberg is deeply connected to her Jewish roots. She began working as an actress in her youth, gaining traction and going on to star in major roles on screen. Her love for her Jewish community flourished at West London Synagogue, where she continues to teach when she is not filming for television, but she has faced some discrimination as a Jew of Color.  

Film still with two women dancing with each other while a man, seated, watches

At 35, Dirty Dancing is More Than a Sexual Coming-of-Age Story

Sarah Jae Leiber

In a post-Roe world, what stands out is the story of a young woman’s moral transformation.

Shira Haas becomes the first Israeli nominated for an Emmy Award for her lead role in “Unorthodox”

July 28, 2020

Israeli actress Shira Haas rose to international fame for her role as Esty in Unorthodox, a Netflix miniseries. On July 28, 2020, she became the first Israeli to be nominated for an Emmy Award for this role.

Meskie Shibru, the First Professional Ethiopian Actress in Israel, is Born

September 29, 1967

On September 29, 1967, Meskie Shibru was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After immigrating to Israel at eighteen to escape persecution, she became the country’s first professional Ethiopian actress.

Cha Cha Real Smooth Film Still - young man and woman looking at each other

'Cha Cha Real Smooth' Has a Toxically Passive Leading Man

Sarah Jae Leiber

The film could have been a powerful story about self-actualization. Instead, it’s a flawed portrait of a nearly flawless main character.

Topics: Film

Ruby Myers Wins Dada Saheb Phalke Award

October 25, 1974

Ruby Myers, later known as Sulochana, was an Indian actress from the Baghdadi Jewish community. On October 25, 1974, she won the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, Indian cinema’s most prestigious lifetime achievement award, for her impact on the history of Indian cinema.

Comic strip by Alison Bechdel entitled "The Rule" from her series Dykes To Watch Out For

It’s Time to Ditch the Bechdel Test–Or at Least Take It Less Seriously

Catherine Horowitz

We should not need a list of boxes to check off to tell us whether a movie is feminist.

Film still from Chantal Akerman's Je Tu Il Elle - two naked women lying down, facing each other

Chantal Akerman’s Queer Jewish Cinema

Emily-Rose Baker

Akerman’s queer, feminist, Jewish films deserve far more attention than they’ve received.

Film still from Kissing Jessica Stein: two women kissing

The Expansive Queerness of "Kissing Jessica Stein"

Emma Breitman

Kissing Jessica Stein flips the heteronormative script, making for a fun watch over 20 years after its release. 

Cartoon of woman in front of her painting, look at camera

A New Film About Charlotte Salomon Strips Her Soul from Her Art

Amelia Merrill

What could have been an innovative look at a forgotten artist instead becomes another cookie-cutter biopic.

Topics: Painting, Holocaust, Film

Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin’s Oscar-winning film debut in 1986’s Children of a Lesser God made history on multiple fronts. At 21, not only was Matlin the youngest-ever Best Actress winner, she was also the first Deaf actress to be recognized by the Academy. Her subsequent career in film and television, as an author, and as an activist for the Deaf community, has paved the way for inclusive, nuanced storytelling that showcases Deaf culture to hearing audiences.

Episode 78: Word of the Week: Gaslighting

From MSNBC to Fox News, the word "gaslighting" is everywhere these days. But where does it come from and what does it mean? This time in our Word of the Week series, we dig into the ubiquitous term: its roots in a 1944 Hollywood thriller, how it has come to be used today, and whether it's still a useful word. We speak with linguist Rachel Steindel Burdin and psychotherapist Robin Stern. We'll also hear from comedian Judy Gold and Tik Tok star Miriam Anzovin.

Episode 77: Word of the Week: Yenta

How did a popular Yiddish woman's name come to mean gossip and busybody? In the first of our new Word of the Week mini-series, we trace the evolution of the word yenta. Producer Jen Richler talks with Fiddler on the Roof scholar Jan Lisa Huttner, comedian Judy Gold, author Lizzie Skurnick, and Tik Tok star and Torah commentator Miriam Anzovin. And in a special cameo...Yente the Matchmaker herself!

Maya Rudolph Joins the Cast of "Saturday Night Live"

May 6, 2000

On May 6, 2000, Jewish comedian, actor, and writer Maya Rudolph appeared for the first time on Saturday Night Live, where she remained as a cast member until 2007. When she joined SNL in the show’s twenty-fifth season, she became the fourth Black female cast member in the show’s history.

Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford in The Way We Were

In 'The Way We Were,' The Political is Personal

Sarah Jae Leiber

The Way We Were might be an old film, but it couldn't be more relevant to today’s divided world.

Topics: Film

Ronit Elkabetz

Ronit Elkabetz (1963-2016) was one of Israeli cinema's leading actors. Coming from the northern periphery, she played in some of the major Israeli films of the last decades. She is particularly remembered for the trilogy she directed with her brother Shlomi Elkabetz: To Take a Wife (2004), The Seven Days (2009), and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (2013), all addressing the issue of the oppression of Mizrahi women in the name of the Jewish religion.

Tracee Elliss Ross Wins Golden Globe for "Black-ish"

January 7, 2018

On January 7, 2018, Jewish actor, director, and activist Tracee Ellis Ros won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Actress in a Musical/Comedy Series--the first black woman to win the award since 1983.

Therese Shechter stands in front of a bunch of strollers in My So-Called Selfish Life

Childfree, with No Regrets and No Apologies

Dr. Helene Meyers

Full of insights from experts and the joyously childfree, this film expands our understanding of reproductive justice.

Illeana Douglas as Denise Waverly in Grace of My Heart

You Probably Missed This Film When It Came out 25 Years Ago. Don’t Let That Happen Again.

Sarah Jae Leiber

This holiday season, skip the blockbusters and watch Grace Of My Heart instead.

Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer is one of America’s most loved and successful comedians. Her career is built on a true riches-to-rags-to-riches story and is firmly centered on growing up in an unconventional Jewish upbringing.

Jewish Women in Screendance

Jewish women made overwhelming contributions to the creation of the field of Screendance.  Maya Deren, Amy Greenfield, Anna Halprin, Yvonne Rainer, Meredith Monk, and others have created a legacy of socially conscious dance for the screen that collectively exhibits and performs principles of Jewish ritual and practice. Many of these artists share a focus on social justice and a collective approach to what might be called a feminist Jewish art form.

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