From Philadelphia to the Front

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November 12—5:00 pm - November 14—5:00 pm

From Philadelphia to the Front

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About the event


November 12—5:00 pm
November 14—5:00 pm
Event Category:


Documentary Short
Running Time
37 min
General Admission $15
Genre: Documentary Short
Year: 2005
Running Time: 37 min
Language: English

Ruth’s Reels & Archie’s Archives: From the Vaults
Streaming 48 Hours

Winner of the New Filmmakers Award at the 24th Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival in 2005. Screened at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Directed by former GPJFF Screening Committee members and photographers Marianne Bernstein and the late Judy Gelles, this artistic and affecting short documentary is the first to focus on Jewish-American World War II veterans. Homing in on six Philadelphia WWII vets – all in their 80s at the time of filming – we learn about the anti-Semitism Jewish-American soldiers experienced during the war and the impact the war had on the rest of their lives. In combining archival footage and images from the men’s photo collections, Marianne and Judy share moments of profound significance, such as Jewish soldiers celebrating Shabbat and Passover during wartime and the first Jewish service at Dachau after liberation.

One of the documentary’s most memorable subjects, Milton Dank – a noted physicist and historian who flew glider planes during the war – took hundreds of photographs from the front lines. Sometimes pictures tell the story better than words. Some of Milton’s photographs may have even fallen into this category. However, it was Milton’s testimony that truly brought his story to life.

When Judy uncovered her own father-in-law’s wealth of WWII photos and artifacts after his passing, she realized the importance of documenting the experiences of men like Sidney Gelles. These men never talked about the war and now they never would. Her discovery inspired her and Marianne to document stories like Sidney’s in FROM PHILADELPHIA TO THE FRONT.


  • Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival
  • Miami Jewish Film Festival
  • New York Jewish Film Festival
  • San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
  • Washington Jewish Film Festival


  • Audience Award | Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival

PLEASE NOTE: Accessible to Residents of PA, NJ & DE Only
Ticket buyers will receive private link to the film after purchase which will activate November 12 at start time.

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