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November 10 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm$6 – $15
Tikkun Olam Award
General Admission: $15 | Seniors: $13 | *Students: $6
*Because student ID is required, tickets may only be purchased in-person.
At first flash of Eden
We race down to the sea
Standing there on freedom’s shore
Waiting for the sun, waiting for the sun, waiting for the sun
-The Doors, Waiting for the Sun
Today, there are over 9,000 Jews living in Ethiopia who speak Hebrew, keep kosher, and have relatives in Israel, but are not permitted to make aliyah (the Jewish birthright to become a citizen of Israel). Despite their devout observance and commitment to Judaism, Israel continues to delay a decision to welcome this community of Beta Israel (the house of Israel), believed to be the last Jews in the world awaiting their right to emigrate. Surviving within a temporary and harsh reality in Ethiopia, they dream of the day they can live fully as Jews in the Holy Land.
THE PASSENGERS documents their struggle through the eyes of two remarkable young men, Demoz and Gezi, who travel to the United States to share their community’s story and make an impassioned plea for assistance from American Jews. With intimate access and rich historical context, director Ryan Porush follows the unlikely spokesmen on their first trip outside of their village in Goran as they navigate the responsibility of leading a grassroots campaign to raise awareness for their cause while under the intense pressure to return to Ethiopia achieving real change. Their life-changing journey across the American landscape to garner support from prominent Jewish leaders is aided by the passion and generosity of David Elcott, an NYU professor and Jewish activist, who cares for the boys as his own sons. As the campaign gains momentum and forces in Israel begin to mobilize on their behalf, the lifelong friends must reconcile their aspirations to remain together despite an uncertain future.
A thought-provoking account of American Jews’ commitment to the values of Tikkun Olam and “kol Yisrael Arevim ze la’ze,” THE PASSENGERS calls attention to the growing divide between American Jewry and an exceedingly conservative Israeli government.
- November 10
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
- $6 – $15
- Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival (GPJFF)
- (215) 545-4400