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), New York Jewish Film Festival, 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