TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS: Thank you for joining us this season.  We’d love your feedback.  Drop a line to  Cliff Wilcox at  

The Ventura County Jewish Festival Committee comes to you February 25-March 26, 2022. This is our 19th year of bringing quality films of interest to our Jewish community. We choose movies that otherwise might never be screened in Ventura County. Our goal is to curate excellent films and offer you the Festival experience.

Given the increased risks of COVID-19, we will conduct this year’s Festival virtually. All films will be shown over the web for a 48-hour viewing window. We will then hold an online Zoom talk-back by featured speakers. Individual talk-back sessions will typically be held the day following the 48-hour viewing period for the films. You will receive an email before each film with instructions on how to access it.


Because distributors charge us significant fees for the privilege of showing their movies, we must come to you for sponsorships and donations. Won’t you consider supporting this well-loved community event? We are offering a full subscription festival pass which will be available to all members of your household for $85. Individual films can be purchased for an $18 donation. Of course, we will be thrilled if you choose to hop on board as sponsors with additional contributions. We look forward to sharing our eclectic 2022 Festival roster with you.


Our TBT Board President Nancy Marcus and Past-President Pam Small will be hosting Festival Sponsors for an exclusive in-person Dessert event on Saturday evening, March 26, that will include a short documentary, I Was There, featuring our own colorful Ivor Davis. He and the film’s director, John Zilles, will be talking about the making of the film. This will be followed by the screening of the entertaining Israeli film Maktub. All you need do to enjoy this special one-of-a-kind event is to agree to sponsor the festival. For a donation of $250-$499 you get two spots at the sponsor’s dessert event plus a pair of passes for the entire Film Festival series. $500­‑$999 gets you 4 spots and $1000+, six spots.

Tiger Within

A Holocaust survivor develops a life-changing friendship with a homeless, anti-Semitic sex worker in Los Angeles. Ed Asner stars in his last film. Genre: Drama. Original Language: English.

Viewing: February 25-26 (online viewing, 48-hour window).

Talkback: Rafal Zielinski (Director: Tiger Within) [Zoom Session: Sunday, February 27, 4pm PST].

Here We Are

Aharon has devoted his life to raising his autistic son Uri. They live together in a gentle routine, away from the real world. Now as a young adult it seems time for Uri to live in a specialized home. While on their way to the institution, Aharon decides to run away with his son knowing he is not ready for this separation. Or is it, in fact, his father who is not ready? Genre: Drama. Original Language: Hebrew.

Viewing: March 1-2 (online viewing, 48-hour window).

Talkback: Robin Faigin [Zoom Session: Thursday, March 3, 7pm PST].

Persian Lessons

A young Jewish man pretends to be Iranian to avoid being executed in a concentration camp. Genre: History, Drama. Original Language: German.

Viewing: March 4-5 (online viewing, 48-hour window).

Talkback: Rabbi Michael Lotker [Zoom Session: Saturday, March 5, 4 pm PST].

The New Jew

A comical and thoughtful four-episode Israeli TV documentary series made by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation that explores the cultural and political influence of the Jewish community in the United States and examines the variety of alternative models it offers for living a rich Jewish life as well as the rifts in relations between them and the state of Israel. Genre: comedy, documentary. Original Language: Hebrew.

      ♦   March 8-9, episodes 1-2 (online viewing, 48-hr window)
      ♦   March 11-12, episodes 3-4 (online viewing, 48-hr window)

Talkback: Rabbi Lisa Hochberg-Miller [Zoom Session: Sunday, March 13, 4pm PST. Note: single Talkback discussion for episodes 1-4].


Along with Yerusalem, The Incredible Story of Ethiopian Jewry, this pairing of films offers documentaries exploring the struggles of new settlers to Israel from the diaspora and the overwhelming challenges faced by Israel to incorporate and accommodate non-European Jews into Israeli society. Genre: documentary. Original Language: Hebrew.

Viewing: March 15-16 (online viewing, 48-hour window).

Talkback: Prof. Eran Kaplan, San Francisco State University [Zoom Session: Sunday, March 20, 4pm PST. Note: single Talkback session for films Ma’Abarot and Yerusalem].

Yerusalem, The Incredible Story of Ethiopian Jewry

Along with Ma’Abarot this pairing of films offers documentaries that explore the struggles of new settlers to Israel from the diaspora Genre: documentary. Original Language: Hebrew.

Viewing: March 18-19 (online viewing, 48-hour window).

Talkback: Prof. Eran Kaplan, San Francisco State University [Zoom Session: Sunday, March 20, 4pm PST. Note: single Talkback session for films Ma’Abarot and Yerusalem].

A Starry Sky Above the Roman Ghetto

After discovering an image of a little girl in an old photograph, high school student Sofia becomes compelled to probe the history of Rome’s Jewish ghetto during World War II. Genre: drama. Original language: Italian.

Viewing: March 22-23 (online viewing, 48-hour window).

Talkback: Cliff Wilcox [Zoom Session: Thursday, March 24, 7pm PST].

Here I Am (Ivor Davis Story)

The infamous Ivor Davis is the featured star of a very-abbreviated version of his colorful life.

Talkback: John Zilles (Director, I Was There) [In-person, TBT, March. 26, 7 pm PST].   [NEW DATE]  


After surviving a restaurant bombing in Jerusalem, two criminals decide to change their ways. They fulfill the wishes of strangers by answering prayers left at the Wailing Wall. Genre: Comedy. Original Language: Hebrew.

Talkback: Cliff Wilcox [In-person, TBT, March. 26, 6:00 pm PST].  [NEW DATE and TIME]

Viewing: March 26. Event for Sponsors by invitation only ($250+). Viewing of both films and talkbacks at Temple Beth Torah.

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