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Jerry Fischer Spoke to Harriet Grayson about the 24th International Film Festival

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24th International Film Festival continues with AMEN on Saturday, May 12, 7pm at United Theatre Westerly

The Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut (JFEC), in association with The Garde Arts Center (New London), Mystic Luxury Cinemas (Mystic), B.P. Learned Mission (New London), Connecticut College Hillel (New London) and United Theater (Westerly, RI) are excited to announce the line-up for eastern Connecticut's 24th International Film Festival (IFF), which will run from Sunday, May 6 to Wednesday, June 6, 2018.

The next film featured at this year's Film Festival is AMEN (France, Germany, Romania; English subtitles, 132 minutes, 2002) on Saturday, May 12, 7:00pm at the United Theatre in Westerly, RI. The cost is $10 per person. Post movie reception sponsored by Congregation Sharah Zedek.

Nazi officer Kurt Gerstein, a chemist by training, is assigned to develop a disinfectant to purify water for the German army, but soon discovers that his invention, Zykon Be, is being used to exterminate Jews and other "undesirables." Horrified, he approaches a number of diplomatic figures with his history, but only Riccardo Fontana, a priest, takes him seriously. Fontana returns to Vatican but is informed by his superiors they have more pressing concerns.

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Please look for the IFF flyer showcasing all of the films, locations and movie times; will also feature this information. Please reach out to Mimi Perl at (860) 442-8062 or should you like to be an International Film Festival sponsor this year. 

JFEC Mission to Israel 2018: Unusual Mission returns from Israel

By Jerry Fischer

An unusual Mission to Israel just returned, and all its participants are still amazed about whom they met, what they saw, what they tasted, and how much they did in the space of 10 days in the country.

Billed as an Art, Culture, Cuisine, and Archaeology Mission, it also included significant encounters with Jews, Arabs, Palestinians, and Druze in Israel and on the West Bank. And it included very warm home hospitality in the homes of past and future Young Emissaries from Afula/Gilboa to Eastern Connecticut.

The Art focus included guided tours through the highlights of the Israel Museum, Tel Aviv Museum, Beit Hagefen in Haifa, the City Gallery and Old Market Street Art in Afula, the Design Museum in Holon, and a talk on Kabbala and Art by artist David Friedman in Tsfat.

The Culture focus was mainly the theater of the deaf and blind in Jaffa, called Na LaGa’at, Please Touch. But the Dan Boutique Hotel in Jerusalem and the Art Plus Hotel in Tel Aviv gave participants exposure to the contemporary arts in those cities.

Cuisine was accomplished through a guided tasting walk through the Machaneh Yehuda Market in Jerusalem followed by a private cooking workshop in the home of Chen and Alon. In Tel Aviv we enjoyed a tasting tour of the Carmel Market and the adjacent Yemenite neighborhood. And every day saw exceptional dining experiences from the countryside to the heart of the major cities.

Archaeology focused on the Roman ruins of Caesarea and Beit Shean, the Crusader City uncovered in Akko, and in Jerusalem, the Archeology Park surrounding the Temple Mount and the Davidson Center that brings to life the day to day activities in ancient Jerusalem, plus walks through the Jewish, Christian, and Armenian quarters of the Old City that revealed the ancient Cardo and the original paving stones of the ancient streets.

In addition we visited many Federation sponsored activities and programs in Afula and the Gilboa, met with Christian Palestinians in the home of Jiries Attrash in Beit Sahour to the southeast of Jerusalem, had home hospitality dinners with Israeli families, and shared a Friday evening Shabbat experience with an African American Church from Middletown, CT.

In addition to city hotels, we also spent three nights on a kibbutz, and we walked more than 5 miles every day! It was an inspiring and invigorating experience. We are planning another one for next March 2019. Hope you can join us!!

2017-18 JFEC Annual Campaign: Everyone Counts: Can we count on you? Please donate today online (via PayPal) or return your pledge form! Thank you!