Jewish Community Center 2023 Film Festival February 5-28

2023 Film Festival February 5-28

The mission of the Columbia Jewish Film Festival is to offer outstanding world cinema that promotes awareness, appreciation and pride in the diversity of the Jewish experience. Reaching out to the entire greater Columbia area, the Festival’s aim is to educate, illuminate and entertain through film; including history, language, people, the State of Israel and the history of the Jewish people from pre-biblical to modern times.

Announcing the dates for our 23rd annual Film Festival!

February 5-28, 2023


Anne Frank–After the Arrest | Sunday, February 5, 2023 | 3pm

Capstone Center at the University of South Carolina

Join us for the opening film of the 23rd Annual Arline & Gerald Polinsky Film Festival. Anne Frank–After the Arrest, shown as a three part series, rethinks the Anne Frank story and imagines how Anne would have documented her experiences had she been able to use iPhone technology. This powerful series picks up Anne’s story after the residents of the Annex were betrayed. Offered in partnership with the Anne Frank Center at USC, this unique offering is a modern-day re-examining of a story we thought we knew. Limited tours of the Anne Frank Center will be available after the screening via separate registration. The Anne Frank Center at USC is the only center in the US and houses the Annex set from the series.


The New Jew | Available Online February 7-9, 2023

A four-episode documentary-series showcasing the cultural and political influence of the Jewish community in the United States, the variety of alternative models it offers for living a rich Jewish life and the rifts in relations between them and the State of Israel – presented by Guri Alfi, one of Israel’s most popular comedians.

Join us on Sunday, February 12 at 10am for a Panel Discussion at Beth Shalom Synagogue.  Local clergy will be on hand to discuss their reactions to the series and discuss their current views on modern Jewry.

Click here to watch the trailer



Queen Shoshana | Available Online February 9-11, 2023


Shoshana Damari was the first Israeli diva. She graced local and international stages, stirring millions with her beguiling voice and spectacular performance. Yet behind the larger-than-life persona and her memorable songs was a woman about whom we know little. She didn’t like to be interviewed and never volunteered details about herself and her family. Hers was the life of a Hollywood legend and she paid the price for it. This is a story about fame and loneliness, acclaim and loss, daring and compromise. For the first time, the woman behind the crown, the cloak and the palace will come to light.


Click here to see the trailer

Marrying Myself | Available Online February 14-16, 2023

An unmarried 38 year old decides to give up on men, but lives the fantasy of being a bride at a wedding, and decides to marry herself. Her hilarious girlfriends support her and her selfish mother objects, but what will she do when suddenly the right man shows up?


Click here to watch trailer





Reckonings | Sunday, February 19, 2023 | 3pm

The Nickelodeon Theatre, Downtown Columbia

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, the unprecedented destruction and plight of survivors prompts the unthinkable – German and Jewish leaders meet in secret to grapple with the first reparations in history.

Exclusive for the Arline & Gerald Polinsky Columbia Jewish Film Festival, pre-recorded remarks by the film’s producers will add further context to this power film.


Click here to watch the trailer




iMordecai | Tuesday, February 21, 2023 | 7pm

The Nickelodeon Theatre, Downtown Columbia

A heart-warming comedy based on a true story, Starring Academy Award nominated and two-time Emmy-winning actor Judd Hirsch (star of the Emmy-winning sitcom Taxi, Ordinary People, Independence Day), Academy Award nominated actress  Carol Kane (Hester Street) and Academy Award nominated actor Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings).

Marvin is an ambitious cigar maker trying to support his own family while still being there for his aging parents, Mordecai and Fela.

When Mordecai’s ancient flip phone breaks, he starts to take lessons on his new iPhone, opening him up to all kinds of novel experiences and adventures, which makes him feel like a kid again. An uplifting comedy that urges us all to live the one life we have to the fullest.

Click here to watch trailer

Exodus 91 | Available Online February 23-25, 2023

A 3,000-year dream. A 36-hour mission.

A docu-narrative film that tells the story of Asher Naim, an Israeli diplomat caught between worlds and facing a crisis of faith in himself and his country. Asher, a North-African Jew himself, is sent to Ethiopia to negotiate the escape of 15,000 Ethiopian Jews from a country collapsing under famine and civil war. Working with his Ethiopian-Israeli colleagues who, themselves, immigrated to Israel a decade earlier, Asher and his partners begin to question if the Israeli government is serious or using the operation as part of an elaborate publicity stunt against claims that “Zionism is Racism.” With rebel forces closing in on the capital, Asher’s faith in his mission is put to the test as he navigates the treacherous world of bureaucracy and politics in Ethiopia, Israel, and the US.

Exodus 91 takes viewers behind the scenes – and behind the spin – of Operation Solomon, the diplomatic and military mission to bring thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel in the midst of Ethiopia’s brutal civil war. The feature-length film explores challenging questions of racism, white saviour-ism, homeland, cultural identity, the politics of immigration, and the hardships of these immigrants, and those that followed them, to this day.

Click here to watch trailer


The Jews and the Blues| Sunday, February 26, 2023 | 2:30pm

Katie & Irwin Kahn JCC

The Jews and the Blues is a musical journey that along the way becomes something much more. My name is Drew Stone, I’m a documentary filmmaker, musician and talk show host born and raised in New York City. Join me as I follow my passion for music and adventure as I travel to Israel and discover how the blues ties into this incredible mix of cultures. Arab, Ethiopian, Moroccan, all Jewish, all Israeli, united through the universal tie that bids us together…. Music. Experience the sights, sounds and the unexpected on this expedition into uncharted territory. The Jews and The Blues : A musical AND spiritual Journey.

Pre-show reception begins at 2:30 pm; film begins at 3:15. Israeli hors d’oeuvres and music are included with your ticket or as part of your festival pass.

Click here to watch the trailer


Interested in being a sponsor for the festival?  Click here for sponsorship information.

Thank you to our sponsors!  Click here to see our list of supporters.


Questions? Contact Dani Glass, Director of Culture and Development at 803-787-2023.