PJFF is filled with exciting post-film receptions, discussions, book signings, performances, parties, and more. It’s always wonderful to see so many familiar faces and meet some of the newest additions to our PJFF family. Whether you attended our special events or missed out on a few, our photographers made sure to document all the fun. Enjoy perusing each set of pictures and thanks again for hanging out with us!

2017-18 Season

PJFF CineMondays 2018 Opening Night Film: GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II
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PJFF CineMondays 2018 kicked off the season with an unforgettable, sold-out screening of GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II at the Prince Theater. The screening was followed by a Q&A with director Lisa Ades and a delicious reception.

PJFF37 Opening Night Film: The Cakemaker
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The 37th Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival opened to a packed house at The Gershman Y with The Cakemaker, Ofir Raul Graizer’s stunning dramatic debut. The screening was followed by a private reception for our incredible sponsors and supporters who have helped us keep this festival moving forward.

PJFF37 Screening: My Art
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PJFF37 premiered My Art at NMAJH, the new film from writer/director/star Laurie Simmons (a graduate of Temple University’s Tyler School of Art). Actor John Rothman, who stars in the comedy, attended the screening for a post-film Q&A, charming the audience with anecdotes, personal stories, and behind-the-scenes commentary.

PJFF37 Food & Film: Body and Soul – An American Bridge
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PJFF37’s first Food & Film event kicked off at The Gershman Y with Body and Soul: An American Bridge, Robert Philipson’s masterful documentary. The film was followed by a delicious soul food brunch curated by Aprons Soul Food Restaurant. Robert himself also attended the screening for a post-film Q&A.

PJFF37 Centerpiece Film: Bombshell – The Hedy Lamarr Story
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PJFF37 presented its Centerpiece Film, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, at The Gershman Y. This sold-out screening about the life of renowned actress and inventor, Ms. Hedy Lamarr, was followed by a Q&A with its director, Alexandra Dean, and a vintage Hollywood-inspired reception.

PJFF37 Spotlight Film: Keep the Change
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PJFF37 was pleased to premiere Keep the Change at NMAJH, a charming modern day romance between two young people on the spectrum who meet and fall in love at a JCC group. Director Rachel Israel and stars Brandon Polansky, Samantha Elisofon, and Will Deaver attended the screening for a post-film Q&A.

PJFF37 Master Class with Barak Heymann
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PJFF37 and Penn Cinema Studies presented an informative Master Class at the University of Pennsylvania with Israeli filmmaker Barak Heymann. Together with his brother, Tomer Heymann, Barak has created poignant documentaries that merge current social and political issues with the deeply personal. Their films have garnered prestigious awards and screenings at festivals worldwide.


PJFF37 Closing Night Film: Harmonia
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The 37th Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival concluded with Harmonia, Ori Sivan’s modern day version of the biblical tale of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar set amidst the Jerusalem Philharmonic Orchestra. Alon Aboutboul, the star of the film, was present for a post-film Q&A with PJFF’s Artistic Director, Iris Drechsler.

PJFF37 Brunch & Film: Love Is Thicker Than Water
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The final day of the 37th Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival opened with a bagel brunch with libations at The Gershman Y followed by a bonus screening of Love Is Thicker Than Water, a lovely British interfaith romantic comedy. Co-director Ate de Jong attended the event for a post-film Q&A.

2016-17 Season

PJFF CineMondays 2017 Opening Night Film: The Women’s Balcony
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PJFF CineMondays 2017 kicked off the season at The Gershman Y with The Women’s Balcony, Israel’s charming box office smash from 2016. David’s Harp, a Sephardic musical group, performed for guests before the film. Special guest Shlomit Nehama, the screenwriter of the film, participated in a live Q&A following the film.

PJFF CineMondays 2017: Norman
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Week two of CineMondays 2017 began with a special advanced screening of Norman, the newest star-studded drama from acclaimed director Joseph Cedar. The film was screened at the Ritz East with star Lior Ashkenazi himself. Preceding the movie, there was a small cocktail party with Lior as well at a private home in Society Hill.

PJFF CineMondays 2017 Closing Night Film: Big Sonia
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CineMondays 2017 ended its glorious run with the award-winning documentary, Big Sonia, and the Oscar-nominated documentary short, Joe’s Violin, at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The night concluded with a beautiful violin performance by Brianna Perez and Kokoe Tanaka-Suwan, the subjects of Joe’s Violin.

One Week and a Day

PJFF 36 Opening Night Film: One Week and a Day
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PJFF’s 36th ‘Double Chai’ Festival opened at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts with Asaph Polonsky’s poignant One Week and a Day and special guest, Isaac Zablocki, Director of Film Programs at JCC Manhattan. The night ended with a private reception at The Gershman Y for VIPs, Sponsors, Supporters, and Pass Holders.

Sand Storm

PJFF 36 Screening: Sand Storm
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PJFF was delighted to host the Philadelphia premiere of Sand Storm, Israel’s submission for the 89th Academy Awards, at the Ritz East with special guest Steve Dinero, Professor of Liberal Arts at Philadelphia University. Viewers were invited to attend a post-film happy hour at the nearby Positano Coast for free hors d’œuvres and drink specials.

The Last Laugh

PJFF 36 Centerpiece Film: The Last Laugh
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In an unforgettable evening, comedian Judy Gold took to The Gershman Y stage for a quick stand-up routine before introducing Ferne Pearlstein, the director of PJFF’s thought-provoking Centerpiece Film, The Last Laugh. After the film, Judy and Ferne joined Robert Edwards, producer of The Last Laugh, Paul Lewis, Professor of English at Boston College, and PJFF screening committee member, Dr. Elliot Ratzman, for a very interesting discussion about the difference between comedians pushing boundaries and crossing the line when it comes to writing comedy about sensitive and tragic topics. Following the discussion, the audience was welcomed to a complimentary reception with delicious food and libations.

Shalom Italia

PJFF Food & Film: Shalom Italia
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PJFF hosted a tasty food and brunch event at The Gershman Y for Shalom Italia, Tamar Tal Anati’s tender new documentary. Following the film, viewers were treated to an authentic Italian spread curated by Philly’s own Gran Caffe L’Aquila and a live Skype Q&A with Tamar herself, along with Andrea and Bubi, two of the three brothers from the film.

MoosPJFF 36 Screening: Moos
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The delightful Jip Smit joined PJFF to talk about her new leading role in the Dutch comedy, Moos, at the Ritz East. Guests were invited to The Little Lion for complimentary appetizers and drink specials after the film.


Women in Shorts

PJFF 36 Closing Night Film: Women in Shorts
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PJFF 36 ended its unforgettable two-week run at The Gershman Y with Women in Shorts, four extraordinary short Israeli films by or about women. Special guests included Iris Zaki, director of Women in Sink, and Omer Tobi and Gil Sima, director and producer of Hounds. Following the post-film discussion led by PJFF Artistic Chair, Iris Drechsler, guests were invited to mix and mingle at PJFF’s Closing Night reception.

2015-16 Season

DoughPJFF 35 Opening Night Film: Dough
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PJFF’s 35th Anniversary Season opened with a Philadelphia premiere screening of Dough, featuring special guests John Goldschmidt and Jerome Holder and a private reception for PJFF Sponsors and Supporters.


DeliPJFF 35 Screening: Deli Man
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One of the best-loved events of PJFF35, we were privileged to present the charming documentary, Deli Man, along with a catered deli lunch and fascinating discussion with an amazing panel of deli insiders!


Blind HeroPJFF 35 Screening: A Blind Hero: The Love Of Otto Weidt
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PJFF35 guests enjoyed a post-film happy hour at Old City’s Positano Coast following a screening of A Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt, a powerful and moving docudrama.



RozPJFF 35 Centerpiece Film: A Very Semi-Serious Evening with Roz Chast
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It was a packed house for PJFF35’s Centerpiece event, a Philadelphia premiere screening of the documentary Very Semi-Serious with special guest, New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast!


EJWJPJFF 35 Spotlight Film: East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem
with Special Guest David Broza

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Legendary Israeli singer-songwriter David Broza joined us for a discussion and performance following the screening of the fantastic documentary East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem.


Red Leaves aerial viewPJFF 35 Screening: Red Leaves
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Barbara Ribakove Gordon, Executive Director of the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry, joined us for this incredible film and Ethiopian brunch.



NatashaPJFF 35 Screening: Natasha
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PJFF35 guests got to mingle at Old City’s Prime Stache with Natasha star Sasha K. Gordon and director/author David Bezmozgis.



ClosingPJFF 35 Closing Night Film: Soft Vengeance –
An Evening with the
Honorable Albie Sachs
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PJFF35 closed with the audience favorite documentary, Soft Vengeance, and the presentation of the Tikkun Olam Award to the guest of honor himself, Albie Sachs.


2014-15 Season

FLC_6022-53PJFF 34 Opening Night Film: Anywhere Else
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Actor Neta Riskin joined us for our Opening Night celebration, followed by a private reception for PJFF Sponsors and Supporters.



IMG_0241PJFF 34: The Sturgeon Queens
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Following PJFF’s Philadelphia premiere screening of The Sturgeon Queens, dozens of film and fish lovers joined us at Hamilton Hall for a Russ & Daughters Brunch and Book Talk by Mark Russ Federman, author of Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built.


IMG_0437PJFF 34 Screening: Etgar Keret: What Animal Are You?
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After PJFF’s exclusive screening of What Animal Are You?, the author himself, Etgar Keret, read two of his favorite short stories live onstage. Guests who brought their favorite Keret book or purchased one at the event were invited to attend a VIP Wine and Cheese Reception with the guest of honor.


MLM_9271-18PJFF 34 Screening: 24 Days
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Following our Philadelphia premiere screening of 24 Days at the Ritz East, guests joined speaker Nancy Baron-Baer, Regional Director at the Anti-Defamation League, for a post-film discussion and then headed to Positano Coast for conversation, complimentary appetizers, and drink specials.


FLC_6432-36PJFF 34 Screening: Zero Motivation
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Winner of Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival (and, more recently, the most-awarded film at the Israeli Oscars) Zero Motivation was one of PJFF34’s sleeper hits! Director Talya Lavie attended an exclusive post-film reception, including complimentary appetizers and drink specials at the Continental Diner.

FLC_6646-26PJFF 34 Closing Night Film: Above and Beyond
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This gripping documentary, produced by Nancy Spielberg (younger sister of Steven) and directed by Roberta Grossman (Hava Nagila, Blessed Is the Match), is packed with intrigue and suspense. Spielberg and Grossman joined guests for a Closing Night Party at Hamilton Hall.