Edward S. Finkelstein Harrisburg Jewish Film Festival

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021

Harrisburg, PA 17101

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The Passengers

Ethiopian 20-somethings Demoz and Gezi are caught between two worlds.  Like their forefathers, the Jews of Beta Israel (House of Israel), who lived and practiced Biblical Judaism in relative isolation from the rest of the Jewish world for centuries, the two young men speak Hebrew and keep kosher in their village in Gondar, Ethiopia. But unlike their forefathers, they are only the vestige of a community - most of Beta Israel is in Israel, airlifted by the government in two massive covert operations in the ‘80s and ‘90s – and they want to go too.  With a now less-inclusive Israel continuing to deny their appeals to emigrate, the two young men embark on a campaign to find a path to the Promised Land.

Year: 2019
Runtime: 72 minutes
Language: English, Hebrew, Amharic
Country: United States, Ethiopia
Rating: not rated
Director: Ryan S. Porush


American basketball player Aulcie Perry helped lead Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv team to victory in the 1977 European Championship, putting Israel “on the map,” and making Aulcie himself a national hero. He returned the love, converting to Judaism, becoming an Israeli citizen, and leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to its second European Championship title in 1981. The sky was the limit for this African-American young man from the violent streets of 1960s’ Newark, New Jersey – but after a time, he could outrun neither his past nor the painkilling drugs that became an end in themselves. Aulcie follows the trajectory of Aulcie Perry’s life, from its highest highs to its lowest lows, and to the redemption he never could have imagined.

Year: 2020
Runtime: 75 minutes
Language: English, Hebrew
Country: United States, Israel
Rating: not rated
Director: Dani Menkin
Screenwriter: Dani Menkin

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