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February, 2013
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About the Event

Film: Dough

What could be better: Jewish comfort food, a klezmer band, amazing local coffee and a great film!

Start the Festival off right by attending this delicious special event on Sunday, April 3rd. Matzoh Momma Catering proudly hosts this annual soul- and belly-filling music-filled event before the screening of the film DOUGH (PG). This incredible spread features smoked salmon smear with a panoply of bagels, Matzoh Momma's famous blintz loaf with sour cream and fresh fruit preserves, egg salad with toasted almonds and a quashadu (Sephardic frittata of eggs, feta and Parmesan cheese). Come rave about Matzoh Momma's fresh homemade, flavorful Jewish comfort food.

DOUGH: Jonathan Pryce stars as an old Jewish baker whose failing business gets an unexpected boost when his young Muslim apprentice, a refugee from Darfur, accidentally drops cannabis into the dough, and an unlikely friendship buds.

Enjoy music by the The KlezKatz! and a giant Hava Nagila horah!

A special thank you to Pip and Miriam Meyerson of Matzoh Momma Catering and their staff for a wonderful event and generous donation.


Matzoh-Momma-Catering 2012 web


Special Event (Brunch & Film) $25 |$20*

Discount* for SJCC members, youth under 13/seniors 65+/students w/ID.
Film only general admission tickets also on sale.



Community Partner:



About the Event: "We're 21! Drink Up the Culture!"

Sunday, April 3, 2016 @ 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Il Fornaio, 600 Pine Street
By invitation only (mailed March 1) - RSVP required by March 24 (space limited)

The Stroum Jewish Community Center thanks festival sponsors and donors and welcomes honored guests by offering them a scrumptious, expansive buffet of authentic rustic Italian dishes, great wine and desserts at downtown Seattle's favorite trattoria, Il Fornaio. Rub shoulders with festival VIPs, local and international filmmakers and guest artists, dignitaries, SJCC board members and local leaders at this annual fete and festive feast.

This year we toast our 2016 REAL/REEL Difference Award recipients: SJFF founding chair, Deborah Rosen and Peabody-winning, Emmy-nominated filmmaker Aviva Kempner, whose film ROSENWALD screens before the event. 

VIP Gala Dinner Invitations and sponsor benefits will be mailed in early March. Please alert if you did not receive them.

04 Highlight Sponsor Gala

Join us! Become a VIP

Make a minimum gift of $500 to attend, $1800 to join the REEL Mensch Donor Tribute Circle:

Thank You VIP Gala Sponsor:


L'chaim sponsors:

Total Wine clogo. web-200pixels


Pike Brewery 2012 logo color lowres










About the Eventfacebook-rsvp

Film: Rock in the Red Zone

ROCK IN THE RED ZONE is a feature-length music documentary about Sderot, a town of factory workers and rock musicians transforming Israel’s sound, is also the target of near-constant Hamas rockets. Filmmaker Laura Bialis travelled there to tell this captivating story and fell in love, changing the course of her life.

Concert: Avi Vaknin Unplugged


Avi Vaknin is a singer, composer, writer and music producer, born and raised in Sderot, Israel. His critically acclaimed debut album Square of the Lost was published in the summer of 2008. Music critic Amos Oren wrote: “A pearl in a sea of attempts by unknown artists. Vaknin has a unique voice that sounds rough and angelic, with fragile vocals and delightful melodies, with ethnic colors and soul music.

For ten years, Vaknin managed Sderock, a music club and rehearsal space for teenagers that cultivates young artists in Sderot. Using this framework, he created master classes, bringing major Israeli artists from the industry to work with Sderot’s youth.

 Avi produced two albums with bands from Sderock: The Record Project (2001) and The Hope Project (2007).  With lyrics written by the youth of Sderot about the frustrations of life under Qassam rocket fire, The Hope Project combined the talents of three Hip Hop bands under Vaknin’s direction.  The project toured Israel to raise awareness about the situation in Sderot, and to give a voice to the expressions of Sderot’s youth.



Film Details:

Director: Laura Bialis
Country: Israel
Language: English, Hebrew w/subtitles
Running Time: 87 minutes
Year: 2014
Genre: Documentary
Official Website


  • Music
  • Israeli/Palestinian Relations
  • Israel


 Community Partners:


About Opening Night Film:facebook-rsvp

An encore screening of A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS will take place on Thursday, June 9 at 7:00 PM at The Stroum Jewish Community Center of Greater Seattle. Tickets:

Academy Award®-winning actress Natalie Portman makes her feature directorial debut in this adaptation of celebrated Israeli author Amos Oz’s international best-selling memoir.

This touching, dream-like film tells the tale of an immigrant family’s struggles alongside the birth of the nation of Israel. In the mid-1940s, 8-year-old Amos (Amir Tessler) lives in British Mandate Palestine with his stoic father Arieh (Gilad Kahana) and his emotionally fragile mother Fania (Portman). The rising tensions between Arabs and Jews is mirrored in the troubled marriage of Amos’ parents. Though much of the story is told through Amos’ eyes, the narrative’s focus remains on Fania, and Amos’ deep affection for his mother is clear—as is Portman’s connection to this complex and troubled character. Portman imbues Fania with a regal, tortured spirit, sensitively portraying her spiritual longing and desolation while allowing her deep affection for her only child to shine through.

Portman’s directing is assured and visually rich, creating a compelling rendition of Oz’s heartfelt story and a nuanced portrait of the actress’s home country. Prior to A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS, Portman directed one short film (Eve, 2008) and a segment of the feature film New York, I Love You, produced by Seattle’s own Michael Benaroya. This is Portman’s first Hebrew-language film since starring in Amos Gitai’s Free Zone in 2005.

About the Festivities

7:30 PM Happy Hour (no-host): Join the Stroum JCC board and staff for a no-host bar ($3 beer/$5 wine) happy hour in the upstairs lobby at AMC.
8:30 PM Intros & Film
Post-Film: Tom Douglas Dessert Party


Opening Night Presenting Sponsors: 


  • Martin Selig and Catherine Mayer

Event Sponsor:

Community Partner:


About Closing Nightfacebook-rsvp

SOLD OUT - No standby tickets. Ticket and pass holders only.

SJFF concludes with Israel’s submission to this year’s Oscars® and a special appearance by Navid Neghaban (best known for his role as Abu Nazir on Showtime’s HOMELAND) – followed by a “We’re 21! Drink up the culture” farewell toast.

About the Film: Israel’s 2016 Oscar® submission. Three generations of stubborn men struggle to manage their Persian-Jewish family’s ramshackle turkey farm in 1980s Israel.

Plays with What We Left Behind (short)

Guest Speaker

Neghaban headshot

BABA JOON’s lead actor Navid Neghaban is sometimes called “the man of a thousand faces” but he is best known and recognized for his role as Abu Nazir on Showtime's Emmy®-winning series HOMELAND. Neghaban also played Sheikh Al-Obodi in the 2014 Oscar®-winning film AMERICAN SNIPER. The versatile scene-stealer has received critical praise for other television roles, including Jamot on the final season of Fox's hit series, 24, and repeat appearances on CSI, LAW & ORDER, THE CLOSER, CRIMINAL MINDS, LOST, JAG, THEWEST WING, WITHOUT A TRACE, THE SHEILD.

About the Event

Reception to Follow: Wine, cheese and light refreshments.


Film Details:

Director: Yuval Delshad
Country: Israel
Language: Hebrew, Farsi w/subtitles
Running Time: 91 mins
Year: 2015
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG


  • Israeli
  • Family
  • Persian Jews
  • Iranian Jews



  • Jessica Prince and David Wilborn

Community Partners:

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