Past Festivals - 2019 Events

Shabbat Shabang + Other Israel

One Community. One Meal. Four Amazing Events.
It starts with rituals and appetizers in the lobby. It continues with fascinating and entertaining program offerings, paired with a dairy meal and seasonal wines. We reconvene for delicious desserts and coffee. Your weekend has not just begun. It’s kicked off—with a SHABBANG.

This shabbat evening is inspired by and presented with the Other Israel Film Festival.  Our dinners will include conversations, films, panels and music featuring aspects of Israeli and Palestinian society and underrepresented populations in Israel. Our dinner takes the spiritual practice of breaking bread together and uses our shared time to explore human stories, engage our community, and challenge our perspectives. $18, pre-registration required. Please check the web for updates

Mira AwadStories and Music 

The multitalented Mira Awad uses her guitar and mesmerizing voice to share her stories and experiences as a Palestinian singer, songwriter, actress, artist, advocate for peace, and creator of the recent hit TV show Muna.

Short Films for 20s + 30s

Join the JCC 20s + 30s group for a collection of films focusing on connections and conflicts between family, identity, and relationships. Films include Arabic Friday, Girl on a Bike, and The Day My Father Dies.

Samaritansa Discussion with Abood Cohen*

Samaritans were one of the original tribes of Israel, and their traditions date to before the Second Temple. Today, the 780 remaining members of this religion observe religious laws closely to how they were observed in biblical times. Join Abood Cohen, the Samaritans’ high priest’s grandson, in a conversation about culture, religion, and the rare path of the Samaritan people.  Facilitated by Moshe Samuels, program director at the David H. Sonabend Center for Israel.

*For those who prefer a traditional Shabbat experience with no technology or amplified sound. 

A Conversation with Professor and Pioneer of Women’s History Laura Schor

Laura S. Schor, author of the newly published Sophie Halaby in Jerusalem, An Artist’s Life, will discuss her biography of this little-known Palestinian Christian artist. This sweeping book captures the character of this Russian-Arab, British-educated, French-trained artist from Mandate Palestine, Jordanian Jerusalem, and Occupied/United Jerusalem, who lived among violence yet painted the gorgeous landscapes of Jerusalem. Schor served as provost of Hunter College, executive director of Hadassah, and founding dean of the Macaulay Honors College. The first 30 registrants will receive a complimentary copy of the book. 

An Openhearted discussion on Shared Society in Israel

Join our distinguished panel, Dr. Merav Ben-Nun, Motaz Ershield, and Meg Sullivan, in conversation.

Dr. Merav Ben-Nun founded the Hand in Hand integrated Jewish-Arab school in Haifa. She lectured at Oranim Academic College, and has combined academia with experience and knowledge in historical and contemporary aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, community aspects of peace-building, and the fostering of a shared society.

Motaz Ershield is a graduate of the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School in Jerusalem. He currently attends Columbia University.

Meg Sullivan is the director of JCC Harlem. She is also the founder and director of Camps at Project Harmony Israel, an initiative of the Hand in Hand Center, overseeing English immersion camps at two school sites. Meg’s thesis on restorative justice in deeply divided societies, focused on Israel/Palestine and South Africa as case studies; she holds an MS in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Columbia University.

Panel Discussion: What Is Left?

What is the future for the left in Israel? Join us as a panel of expert guests explore the polarization of Israeli society and the deepening divide between left and right.

Event will take place in the JCC Auditorium.

Panelists include lawyer Lea Tsemel, former Knesset member Dov Khenin, singer, activist, and TV creator Mira Awad, and filmmaker Barak Heymann.

Moderated by Libby Lenkinski of NIF.

Other Israel Underground

Join us for a night out and a screening of two episodes of Muna in the vibrant scene of West Harlem, all hosted by Silvana cafe-bar-music. 

Admission includes one free drink. 21+ (photo ID required).

Other Israel Festival Pass

The Other Israel Film Festival pass is good for five (5) general admission tickets based on availability. Special events & programs excluded. See a full list of films at

Your pass is not a ticket. After purchase of your pass online, you can call our registration department at 646.505.5708 to reserve your film selections. 

Please reserve your seats as soon as you can as they are subject to availability. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected]

Opening Night: Advocate

Join us for the Red Carpet Opening Night festivities of the 13th Annual Other Israel Film Festival, featuring:

Dir. Philippe Bellaiche + Rachel Leah Jones
2019 | 108 min | Documentary
Lea Tsemel is a Jewish-Israeli lawyer who has represented political prisoners for nearly 50 years. In her tireless quest for justice, she defends Palestinians—from feminists to fundamentalists and nonviolent demonstrators to armed militants.

Screening followed by Q+A with guests and Opening Night reception.

Closing Night: Screwdriver

Join us for the Red Carpet Closing Night festivities of the 13th Annual Other Israel Film Festival starting with a pre-screening reception at 6 PM and featuring:

A short stand-up set from comedian Suzie Afridi.

Dir. Bassam Jarbawi | 2018 | 108 min | Narrative

After years of imprisonment, Ziad struggles to adjust to modern Palestinian life. Unable to distinguish reality from hallucination, he unravels, and forces himself to go back to where it all began.

Screening followed by Q+A with guests.