Annual Temple Beth-El film fest features historical perspectives


The Joanne Forman Film Festival presents three Sundays of films each year, with moderated  discussions and refreshments at Temple Beth-El in Providence.  This year’s theme is “Historical Perspectives: Creativity, Courage and Growth.”

March 19 kicks off the festival with the 2016 film, “In Search of Israeli Cuisine.” This film follows chef Michael Solomonov as he presents the history and traditions of modern, multicultural Israeli cuisine.  Solomonov is known for his landmark Philadelphia restaurant Zahav, which opened in 2008. The discussion following the film will be led by educator Paula Davidson-Bodo.

March 26 features “Above and Beyond” a 2014 documentary produced by Nancy Spielberg, youngest sister of director Steven Spielberg. It portrays the establishment of the Israeli Air Force after Israel became an independent state in 1948. Discussion after the film will be led by film editor Chris Callister.

April 2 features “Once in a Lifetime” based on a true story, which depicts an inner-city French high school class as the group undertakes a research project regarding child victims of the Holocaust. This 2014 film contains strong language and is not appropriate for those under age 17. Discussion with Holocaust educator Lilliane Birch.

Sponsored by the Sisterhood of Temple Beth-El, the film festival has taken place for 16 years and was originally co-chaired by Joanne Forman. Several years ago, it was named in her memory, according to current chair Ellen Silverman.

“Joanne was a generous, giving volunteer,” Silverman said in a 2016 interview. “Everyone loved her.” And, Silverman said, she cared deeply about the temple.

All films screen at 2 p.m. in the Meeting Hall of the temple, 70 Orchard Ave. Admission is free and refreshments are included.

FRAN OSTENDORF is the editor of The Jewish Voice.