Santa Cruz Jewish Film Festival – Saturday, March 30 – Thursday, April 4, 2019


Nani & Popi kept a secret for 60 years.

OMWO wedding

It looked like a perfect marriage.

Curious George

The authors of the Curious George books were German Jews who escaped the Nazis.

Young Pramila headshot scarf covering hair jewel on forehead dupe2 copy

Pramila, a star of early Bollywood films, like so many others in the cinema industry, was Jewish.


Adolf Eichmann, the architect of Hitler's Final Solution, was hunted down in Argentina by the Mossad. and put on trial in Israel


Ben Ferencz argued for the creation of international crimes against humanity at the Nuremburg trials.

Nadria AKA Farhat Ezekile in Savage Princess

Narila was a Jewish star of early Bollywood.


The Last Suit tells the story of an againg Holocaust survivor who returns to Poland to find the friend who saved him.

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No tickets are required for admission to the Santa Cruz Jewish Film Festival’s 2019 film program. 

Donations will be solicited and gratefully accepted at the door.

You are invited to our Opening Night Reception:

Saturday, March 30 at the Jewish Community Center, Temple Beth El – 3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos

Suggested donation:  $20 per person, $35 per couple, includes refreshments, raffle ticket, and movie.

5:30 pm Reception: Shmooze and nosh with friends and fellow film lovers.  Raffle to put other raffles to shame. Trust me, these raffle tickets you want to buy! With a little mazel a $1 ticket could win you a bushel of glitzy first-class stuff!  And who knows what celebrities might be in the house along with our good-looking Festival volunteers? Seriously, you don’t want to miss this.  And a little nosh catered by Zena and her crew will have you smacking your lips in delight.  You can get back on the diet tomorrow, nu?

7:00 pm  WENDY’S SHABBAT   Friday night begins the sabbath, and these Jewish seniors have found friendship and community in a weekly prayer service held at their local fast food restaurant.

7:15 pm  SHALOM, BOLLYWOOD  When the Indian cinema industry began it was taboo for Hindu and Islamic women to perform on-screen, so Indian Jewish women took upon the female lead roles and continued to do so for decades. With rare archival footage, this new documentary tells the extraordinary tale of Indian Jewish icons at the heart of Bollywood from the early 20th century to the present day.

Sunday, March 31 at the Jewish Community Center, Temple Beth El Aptos                   No charge, donations appreciated.

1:30 pm THE LAST SUIT   88-year old Abraham escapes a Buenos Aires retirement home and makes a one-way trip to Poland to find the Christian friend who saved him from certain death in World War II. Comedic and poignant in equal measure, with a klezmer-driven score, evocative cinematography and fleet pacing, THE LAST SUIT approaches its weighty themes with a light touch.

3:30 pm HEADING HOME: The Tale of Team Israel   A stirring story of sports, patriotism and personal growth. Heading Home charts the underdog journey of Israel’s national baseball team competing for the first time in the World Baseball Classic. The team laughs, cries, and engages in soul-searching while discovering the pride of representing Israel on the world stage.

Monday, April 1     Del Mar Theater    1124 Pacific Ave.  Santa Cruz                     No charge, donations appreciated.

6:15 pm THE ACCOUNTANT OF AUSCHWITZ   Seventy years after WWII, Oskar Gröning, one of the last surviving members of the SS, goes on trial as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people at the Auschwitz concentration camp, even though he never killed anyone; he just plundered and cataloged the possessions of those headed to the gas chambers.

8:00 pm  SHOELACES  Reuben abandoned his wife and special needs son, Gadi, 30 years ago.  After his mother’s death, Gadi comes to live with Reuben and the father and son seek to make amends for the mistakes they made in life. With performances that ring true the film sheds light on complicated human relationships and the quest for love and redemption.

Tuesday, April 2         Aegis Aptos Community Room, 125 Heather Terrace, Aptos         No charge, donations appreciated.  Refreshments served.

2:00 pm  THE HUNT FOR ADOLF EICHMANN  Narrated by Gregory Peck this updated re-release is a riveting documentary on the life, crimes, hunt, capture, and trial of the architect of Hitler’s Final Solution.  Mossad agents reveal the inside story on how Nazi fugitives escaped Europe, how Eichmann was discovered living in Argentina and then tracked, captured, and smuggled to Israel to stand trial. It’s a thrilling story of stealth and deception worthy of a Tom Clancy novel.

Wednesday, April 3     Del Mar Theater      1124 Pacific Ave.  Santa Cruz          No charge, donations appreciated.

6:00 pm  NEAR NORMAL MAN   Ben Stern survived 2 ghettos, 9 concentration camps and 2 death marches to become an activist for social justice.  Ben arrived in America in 1946 and 30 years later sparked a national defiance of American Nazis who sought to march in Skokie, Illinois, the home of many Holocaust survivors.  Into his 90’s, Ben continued the fight to stop Nazis and white supremacists from seizing the public stage to promote hatred and violence.

6:30 pm    ON MY WAY OUT   After 60 years of a seeming model marriage, Roman and Ruth Blank reveal a huge secret. Holocaust survivors who tragically lost family members, the couple persevered in America while fulfilling the basic human need to love and be loved. Producer Lili Gross, the couple’s daughter, will be on hand to lead a discussion and answer questions after the film.

7:45 pm   MONKEY BUSINESS: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators  Hans and Margaret Rey, the authors of the Curious George children’s books, led extraordinary lives, retold through animation, interviews, and archival footage.

Thursday, April 4    Cabrillo College Samper Recital Hall (VAPA 5000), 6500 Soquel Dr., Aptos       No charge, donations appreciated.       Presented in collaboration with the Cabrillo College Office of Student Equity.

2:00 pm  PROSECUTING EVIL    Ben Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials, is a tiny man who had to stand on a stack of books to see over the podium while arguing for justice against the perpetrators of the Holocaust. Yet the now 98-year old looms large in his heroic crusade for international laws to protect human rights and promote peaceful coexistence.

The 2019 Santa Cruz Jewish Film Festival will close on Thursday after a panel discussion following the screening of Prosecuting Evil, with light refreshments in the courtyard outside the Cabrillo College Recital Hall, VAPA 5000. 

Mark your calendar for this week of extraordinary Jewish films and community events, March 30 through April 4, 2019!