Monday, November 18, 2019
7 PM @ Lightbox Film Center at International House
General Admission: $15 | Seniors: $13 | *Students: $6 | *I-House Residents/Lightbox Film Center Members: $6
*Because student/I-House/Lightbox Member ID is required, tickets may only be purchased in-person.
Director: Ryan S. Porush
Genre: Documentary Feature
Running Time: 1 hr 12 min
Language: English, Hebrew and Amharic with English subtitles
Sponsored by: Jane and Joe Goldblum
Today, over 9,000 Jews live 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 S. Porush follows the unlikely spokesmen on their first trip outside their village in Goran as they navigate the responsibility of leading a grassroots campaign to raise awareness and the intense pressure to return to Ethiopia having achieved real change. Their life-altering 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 with an uncertain future.
- Ryan S. Porush | Director of THE PASSENGERS
- Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival
- San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
- Washington Jewish Film Festival