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Member Communications 2 min read

A Virtual Jewish Film Festival Gets Two Thumbs Up

By JCC Milwaukee June 30, 2021

Lights dim…the smell of popcorn wafts through the air… the feeling of excited anticipation builds as a movie illuminates the giant screen. For almost 24 years, the JCC’s annual Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival has garnered rave reviews and growing, appreciative audiences.

So, when the festival needed to pivot away from its much-loved home at the Marcus Theatres North Shore Cinema and into a livestream, distanced environment, we were apprehensive.

We soon learned there was nothing to fear! While we are always grateful to gather as a community, the 2020 Virtual Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival delivered for our audience on all fronts: engaging Jewish films from around the world, the comforts of home, and the flexibility to choose convenient showtimes. Each thought-provoking and entertaining film was followed by fascinating Zoom talkbacks with educators, community leaders, actors, and directors.

“With the tremendous work of our dedicated committee, we were able to present a Festival that everyone could enjoy from the comfort of their homes,” co-chairs Cindy Benjamin and Ronna Bromberg Pachefsky shared in a message, “along with engaging talk-back presenters, many of whom wouldn’t have been able to join us under normal circumstances.”

As an added bonus, the JCC offered several additional films in the winter months following the Festival—also with curated talkbacks—to break up the monotony of a cold Wisconsin pandemic and continue to bring entertainment to our film-loving population.

What may be most remarkable about the 2020 Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival was the record number of “VIP” tickets purchased by generous members of our community, choosing to support the Festival with a donation over and above the ticket price. In years past, being a VIP included an invitation to an opening night reception and reserved prime seats for every movie. In 2020, a VIP received a link to the films, along with our sincere thanks.

Read more Stories from the JCC 2020-21 Annual Report