Opening Night: The Women’s Balcony


Philadelphia Premiere
Monday, March 20
7:30 PM
The Gershman Y

Director: Emil Ben-Shimon
Genre: Narrative
Country: Israel
Year: 2016
Running Time: 96 min
Language: Hebrew with English subtitles

Sponsored by: Steve and Betsy Filton, and Ruth Perlmutter in memory of Archie Perlmutter

Buy tickets HERE!

A box office sensation in Israel acclaimed by critics and filmgoers alike, THE WOMEN’S BALCONY is a charming, feel-good dramedy set in a religious Sephardic community in Jerusalem.

The women’s balcony in a tight-knit Orthodox synagogue collapses during a Bar Mitzvah and leaves the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock. A young, neighboring rabbi is eager to lend a hand and offer his interpretation of the accident: what if the balcony crashed because the women are not modest enough? While the men appear to embrace Rabbi David’s more fundamentalist views, the women resent being coerced into a life of submission. With loyalties and friendships tested and a gender rift channeling Aristophanes’ Lysistrata deepening by the day, the women must organize to rebuild the balcony and reclaim their place in the congregation before it’s too late.

Special Guest: Shlomit Nehama, Co-Director/Screenwriter of The Women’s Balcony

Musical Guest: David’s Harp, Philadelphia based Sephardic Music Ensemble (first set will be performed from 6:30 – 7:15 pm)

The film is followed by Q & A and a dessert reception with more live music by David’s Harp and libations.

Film Trailer:

Official Selection: Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (Closing Night), Boston Jewish Film Festival, Charlotte Jewish Film Festival, Miami Jewish Film Festival (Opening Night), Seattle Jewish Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival

Awards: Nominated for 5 Israeli Academy Awards

Subjects: Blind faith, celebration, community, family, heroines, Jerusalem, love, marriage, rabbis, religious observation, solidarity, tradition vs. modernity

For Fans of: Box Office hits, female directors, Israeli cinema, comedy, films with feminist themes, Lysistrata

Community Partners

Arcadia University Media and Communication Department

Arcadia University Modern Languages & Cultures Program

La Salle University Communication Department

Penn Hillel

Temple University Film & Media Arts Program