HomeOctober 2021OC Jewish Arts Festival Announces 2021 Film Selections

OC Jewish Arts Festival Announces 2021 Film Selections

For 29 years, the OC Jewish Arts Festival at the Merage JCC has provided our community with a cultural extravaganza, featuring lauded lineups of authors, filmmakers, celebrities and influencers.
    In preparation for the 30th year of the Festival, a committee of culture-savvy-enthusiasts comb through films and stories celebrating the rich tapestry of Jewish culture to showcase.
    Those who are comfortable viewing from home can do so, and people who are excited to gather in the community will be able to enjoy some in-person screenings.
    Below is a sneak preview of the best of the best… like a movie trailer, an exciting teaser to what’s next.
Shalom Taiwan
Thursday, Nov. 11
    Presented online to enjoy in your home. Link will be provided prior to screening date with 72-hour viewing window. Spanish and Taiwanese with English subtitles
    This heartwarming, joyous, and uplifting dramady follows the misadventures of a Buenos Aires Rabbi who travels the world in search of donations to save his synagogue. Years ago, Rabbi Aaron had to secretly borrow a large amount of money so his small neighborhood synagogue could continue providing generous support to the needy. Now years later, the unpaid debt has finally caught up with him, as a moneylender demands full repayment or he’ll seize the synagogue as his property. Cornered and desperately running out of time, Rabbi Aaron embarks on a trip to the Far East to secure much-needed donations to save his community’s synagogue. You have to possess a very hard heart not to find something to love in this story that imparts values of community spirit, family and hope.
Breaking Bread
Saturday, November 20, 7:30 P.M.
    Shown in-person at the Myers Theatre. The event features the screening and a delicious Middle Eastern tasting menu.
    A film about hope, synergy and exotic fare, the story celebrates the efforts of Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel—the first Muslim Arab to win Israel’s MasterChef—to launch the A-sham Arabic Food Festival to support social change through food. The festival is organized around a simple but ingenious principle: pairing Israeli chefs with Arab counterparts to transform traditional recipes and develop mouthwatering dishes. The result is a gourmet guide to the distinct historical shifts that have created the country’s multi-faceted population. Celebrating their unique cultural heritages and common love of cooking, the chefs prove that there is no room for religion and politics in the kitchen.
The Tattooed Torah
    Presented in partnership with the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education at Chapman University
Sunday, November 7, 1 P.M.
    Shown in-person at the Myers Theatre
    Over the last three decades, the beloved children’s book by Marvell Ginsburg, The Tattooed Torah, has been a powerful resource for Holocaust education. It tells the true story of how a small Torah was taken from a synagogue in Czechoslovakia by Nazi troops to be used as an artifact for a museum the Germans planned to build, survived the Holocaust and was then rescued.
    The adaptation of The Tattooed Torah into an animated short film, is a three-generational endeavor, initiated by Marvell’s daughter, Beth Kopin, who first had the dream to transform this book into a film, and is one of the executive producers. Beth’s son Brett, the co-screenwriter of the screenplay, is currently a rabbinical student in Los Angeles. Now more than ever, it is essential to continue teaching the lessons of the Holocaust to young children in an impactful and palatable way, so that such horrific events are never forgotten and never repeated.
    Narrated by Ed Asner
    For the full Festival schedule and tickets, visit


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