Press Release

Celebrating 13 years of the best Jewish and Israeli films
Houston Jewish Film Festival
Friday, February 3, 2017
by M Groogan

Celebrating 13 years of the best Jewish and Israeli films

 Houston, TX – Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston presents the 13th Houston Jewish Film Festival March 5-19, 2017. The festival showcases 27 of the best Jewish and Israeli films from around the world. The 16-day festival is made up of current documentary and award-winning feature films with meaningful Jewish or Israeli content.

            HJFF 2017 will host two visiting filmmakers with their films. Director Dani Menkin will introduce his film, On the Map and lead a post-screening Q&A on March 7. The documentary is about Israel’s 1977 basketball team, which won the European Cup just a few years after the Yom Kippur War and is told through the eyes of six American basketball players who joined the team. Director Shimon Dotan will speak with his film, The Settlers, on March 16 at 7:30 p.m. The film provides a comprehensive view of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank and an intimate look at the people at the core of one of the most daunting challenges facing Israel and the international community today.

The festival opens with Harmonia on March 5, which is a contemporary adaptation of the biblical tale of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, set in the world of the Jerusalem Philharmonic Orchestra. 

 “Many of the films we show, whether they are from Israel, Europe, South America, often introduce me to elements of Jewish life that I wasn’t aware of,” said Film committee Chair John Dreyfus. “Since joining the committee six years ago, I have poured a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it.  After all the preparation, nothing makes me more pleased than a sold out house with the audience buzzing about the film.”

Other festival highlights include a sneak preview night on February 27 featuring the drama, Fever at Dawn and an Evening with Howard Rosenman on March 8. The Hollywood film producer shares stories from his career and how Judaism has impacted his journey. Rosenman produced Father of the Bride and The Family Man. And a children’s screening will be added to the line-up for the first time in several years. The Israeli film, Guavas will screen on March 5 at 2:00 p.m. and is intended for elementary aged children. The festival closes March 19 with Mr. Predictable. A charming and funny romantic comedy from Israel provides its main character with a crash course on how to live life to the fullest and fall in love.

Screenings are held at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH), Landmark’s River Oaks Theatre, Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH), The Emery/Weiner School, and Premiere Cinema in Galveston. The latter three are new venues to the festival this year. Visit for a complete guide to the 13th Houston Jewish Film Festival. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Send this page to a friend