The Barshop JCC Jewish Film Festival promotes Jewish values and diversity through the medium of film, striving to entertain, educate, and raise community awareness of Jewish identity, history, and culture. The Festival was conceived in 2001 by Mel Pomerantz, whose persistent efforts brought it to life. 

Film Festival

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Heading HomeLast SuitOuter CircleWhy the JewsCakemaker

The CaregiverEchoBudapest NoirHesterBikel

MurerShelterThe Unorthodox



Directed by Daniel Miller, Jeremy Newberger, Seth Kramer 

Heading Home91 min. | Israel, Japan, South Korea | 2017 | English | Documentary

Screening: Saturday, Feb. 16 | 8:00 PM

A stirring story of sports, patriotism, and personal growth, Heading Home charts the underdog journey of Israel’s national baseball team - including Jewish American Major League players Ike Davis, Josh Zeid, and Ryan Lavarnway - competing for the first time in the World Baseball Classic. Contains adult language.

“I loved this movie; I felt like they were my team. I couldn’t stop smiling!” – Sandy Levenshus, Film Festival Co-Chair


TrailerThe Last Suit 
Directed by Pablo Solarz

The Last Suit86 min. | Spain, Argentina | 2017 | Spanish, German, Polish, Yiddish w/English subtitles | Drama

Screening: Sunday, Feb. 17 | 2:00 PM

88-year old Jewish tailor Abraham Bursztein’s children have decided it’s time to put him in a retirement home. He has other plans. A cantankerous man fueled by a sense of duty and sheer bloody-minded stubbornness, Abraham embarks on a long journey to try and find the man who saved him from certain death during the Holocaust.

“I was on the edge of my seat throughout this terrific film! And I loved the music!” – Wendy Barker, PhD

TrailerThe Outer Circle (short)
Directed by Adam Baroukh

The Outer Circle13 min. | United Kingdom | 2017 | English, Arabic w/English subtitles | Drama

Screening: Sunday, Feb. 17 | 4:30 PM

As four generations of British-Iraqi Jews gather for a sumptuous holiday feast, a young couple is confronted with the problematic realities of interfaith relationships and cultural disparities.

"Reinforced that you're not just marrying the person, but also their family." – Betsy Cowan

TrailerWhy the Jews?
Directed by John Curtin

Why the Jews70 min. | Canada | 2018 | English | Documentary

Screening: Sunday, Feb. 17 | immediately following The Outer Circle

The stunning accomplishments of the Jews raise a question no film has dared ask before. How do they do it? Some of the world’s most prominent thinkers tackle a mystery shrouded in ignorance and prejudice. They tear back the curtain on a taboo and draw a startling link between a people’s achievements and the darkest hours in its history.

"A very eye-opening film about how Jews have overcome and succeeded." – Sharon Teich

TrailerThe Cakemaker
Directed by Ofir Raul Graizer

The Cakemaker105 min. | Germany, Israel | 2017 | German, Hebrew w/English subtitles | Drama

Screening: Sunday, Feb. 17 | 7:30 PM

After his affair with Oren, a married Israeli man, comes to an abrupt end, German baker Tomas finds himself traveling to Israel to learn more about his lover. While there, Tomas meets Oren’s family, where he, under a secret identity, infiltrates into the life they lead. To protect the truth, he will stretch his lie to a point of no return. Contains adult themes.

“One of my favorites! A story of love and sensitivity, of longing, desire, and fidelity, about a cake maker and his married lover.” – Jim Barshop


TrailerThe Caregiver (short)
Directed by Ruthy Pribar

The Caregiver12 min. | Israel | 2018 | Hebrew, English, Gujarati w/English subtitles | Drama

Screening: Monday, Feb. 18 | 4:30 PM

Following a short trip to visit his family back in India, Raj returns to Israel and his work as caregiver to an elderly man, only to be greeted by a Filipino woman who seems to have taken over his job. When it becomes clear that the old man prefers a female presence around the house, Raj must find a way to reclaim what he feels is rightfully his.

"Compelling human interactions and raw emotion in just 12 minutes!" – Betsy Cowan

Directed by Amikam Kovner & Assaf Snir

Echo98 min. | Israel | 2018 | Hebrew w/English subtitles | Drama

Screening: Monday, Feb. 18 | immediately following The Caregiver

Avner suspects his wife Ella of having an affair. Secretly recording her telephone conversations, he turns into a spy in his own home, listening to them again and again. But while searching for one thing, he discovers another - the woman he listens to is a stranger to him, so very different from the one he thought he knew. He tries to understand that woman, to decode their relationship, but the more he knows, the less he understands. Contains adult themes.

“An intimate view of a marriage, showing the lengths that a husband will go to when he suspects his wife of cheating on him.” – Sandy Levenshus, Film Festival Co-Chair

TrailerBudapest Noir
Directed by Éva Gárdos

Budapest Noir95 min. | Hungary | 2018 | Hungarian w/English subtitles | Thriller

Screening: Monday, Feb. 18 | 7:30 PM

Set in the politically fraught autumn of 1936, this mystery follows hard-boiled reporter Zsigmond Gordon as he probes the murder of a young prostitute. The more people try to scare him away, the deeper he digs in, not knowing who to trust, or what ulterior motives are working against him and the truth. Based on the best-selling novel by Vilmos Kondor. Contains adult themes.

“Set in 1930s Hungary, Budapest Noir is a stylish thriller haunted by Bogart, Chandler, and the Holocaust.” – Steven G. Kellman, PhD


Trailer70 Hester Street (short)
Directed by Casimir Nozkowski

Hester Street11 min. | USA | 2014 | English | Documentary

Screening: Tuesday, Feb. 19 | 4:30 PM

A documentary about director Casimir Nozkowski’s childhood home and how much of the past he could still see in it after he left. His story becomes a universal story about all childhood homes and the past lives and legacies of old buildings making room for new ones. 

“A short artistic gem. Should cause just a bit of nostalgia for those of us who grew up in NYC.” – Clarance Dickinson, Film Festival Co-Chair

Theodore Bikel:
TrailerIn the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem
Directed by John Lollos

Bikel75 min. | USA | 2014 | English | Documentary

Screening: Tuesday, Feb. 19 | immediately following 70 Hester Street

The stories of two beloved Jewish icons are woven together in this enchanting documentary: Sholom Aleichem, the great Jewish storyteller, and Theodore Bikel, troubadour, actor, and one of the most popular stage interpreters of Aleichem’s work. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Jewish Film.

“Oy gevalt! You’ll kvell over these two mensches! Schlep the kids; it would be a schanda if they missed this funny, historical, and informative film.” – Jim Barshop


TrailerMurer-Anatomy of a Trial
Directed by Christian Frosch

Murer137 min. | Austria, Luxembourg | 2018 | English, German, Hebrew, Yiddish w/English subtitles | Drama

Screening: Tuesday, Feb. 19 | 7:30 PM

Graz, Austria 1963. The well-respected local politician and land owner Franz Murer is on trial. He is accused of having committed war crimes in the ghetto of Vilnius from 1941-43. Survivors of the mass murder arrive to testify and see justice done.

“Truly a favorite of mine. You cannot miss this film!” – Sandy Weingart


Directed by Eran Riklis

Shelter93 min. | Israel | 2018 | English, Hebrew, Arabic w/English subtitles | Drama, Thriller

Screening: Wednesday, Feb. 20 | 4:30 PM

A Mossad agent is sent on a mission to protect a Lebanese informer while she recovers from plastic surgery. What should be an easy assignment quickly turns into a labyrinth of espionage and intrigue inside a safe house.

“A truly suspenseful story that will engage the moviegoer and make you like and admire the characters.” – Ann Pomerantz

TrailerThe Unorthodox
Directed by Eliran Malka

The Unorthodox92 min. | Israel | 2018 | Hebrew w/English subtitles | Comedy, Drama

Screening: Wednesday, Feb. 20 | 7:30 PM

It’s 1983 and Yakov, a printer in Jerusalem, is just a regular guy. He has no knowledge, no money, no connections, and no political experience. But he does have the will and the passion to take action, and a belief that he and other Sephardic Jews should be able to hold their heads up high.

“The Unorthodox recounts Israeli Sephardim's rise to political power in a drama of arresting cinematic power.” – Steven G. Kellman, PhD


Wendy Barker, PhD • Jim Barshop • Clarance Dickinson* • Steven G. Kellman, PhD • Sandy Levenshus*
Alan Petlin • Ann Pomerantz • Sharon Teich • Sandy Weingart
*2019 Film Festival Co-Chairs


A production of the Mel Pomerantz Cultural & Performing Arts Series, the Festival is presented with generous support from the following sponsors*:


Elsa Barshop • Jolene & Steve Davis • Randi & Bob Hutchens • Mary Sue & Maurie Kern • The Lazarus-Gershenhorn Family Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation • Ann Pomerantz • Laura & Jack Richmond • Barbara & Stanley Spigel • Francie & Harris Sterling • Maxine & Dick Zucker


Leigh & Jim Barshop • Beldon Roofing Company • Susan & Jon Blumenthal • Luann & Larry Cohen • Dr. Roxanne Henkin & Marylou Daugherty • Toni & Richard Goldsmith • Gail & Robert Gurwitz • Dana & Bruce Hendin • Jeff Kavy • Shirley & Charles Lerner • Sandy & Saul Levenshus • Danny Markson • Judy & Seymour Palans • Kristy & Alan Petlin • Myra & Abe Ribak • Bari & Arthur Rosenthal • Bonnie Reed & Stu Schlossberg • Phyllis Davis & Leonard Seidner • Lynn & Rabbi Samuel Stahl • Alice & Richard Thorner • Sherie & Anatole Trakhtenbroit • Bette & Jack Vexler • Sandy & Mel Weingart


Gayle & Stanley Alterman • Kate Badash • Beverly & Mike Birnbaum • Linda & Stanley Blend • Clarance Dickinson • Financial Life Advisors • Claire Golden • Jayne & David Gordon • Great Adventures, Inc. • Mindi Alterman & Glen Halff • Danna & Jim Halff • Sally Halff • Ruth & Hal Hoine • Roxana & Jerry Kelfer • Wendy Barker & Steven G. Kellman • Barbara & Herbert Keyser • Michele & Alan Krapf • Rochelle & David Lefton • Louise Mandel & Brant Mittler • Max & Louie's New York Diner • New Balance San Antonio • Suzanne & Rusty Palmer • Nancy & Barry Portnoy • Sandra & Stanley Rosenberg • Ray Schneider • Alicia Leff & Dr. Stephen Shanfield • Renee & Brent Silber • Carol & Kenneth Sugarman • Kenneth Train • Leslie & Jon Tramer • Tina & Brian Weiner • Rene & Martin Wender • Ginny Wind • Ruthie & Dick Wurzburg

*As of February 1, 2019.

For more information about the Barshop JCC Jewish Film Festival or sponsorship opportunities, contact Allison Cornwell at (210) 302-6828.

InclusionInclusive Programming Indicator

This program is accessible to individuals that are differently abled. Find out more by clicking the image on the left.

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