The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Presents The 2018 Naiditch Family Foundation Jewish Film Festival
March 8-18

The ninth annual film festival features 12 celebrated feature films that highlight Israel and includes the southwest Florida premiere of the documentary “Ben-Gurion, Epilogue.” 


(Sarasota, FL) The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee presents the 2018 Naiditch Family Foundation Jewish Film Festival, March 8-18.The Federation’s ninth annual festival celebrates Israeli life, history and culture with 12 feature films, including the southwest Florida premiere of the documentary, “Ben-Gurion, Epilogue.” In response to last year’s unprecedented attendance, organizers have added more matinee and evening screenings, most of which are at Regal Hollywood 20, 1993 Main Street, Sarasota. Tickets are $15 per film, except the opening night and closing events, which are $25 per person. Tickets can be purchased Beginning February 1 online at or by calling 866-465-3995.

The festival kicks off on Thursday, March 8, 7 p.m., with the Opening Night Celebration showcasing the southwest Florida premiere of “Ben-Gurion, Epilogue,” an intimate interview with Israel’s founding prime minister. Filmed nearly 50 years ago, this never-before-aired documentary is “a wistful ode to a lost generation of leaders who viewed simplicity as a virtue even as they strove for giant goals.” (The New York Times) Ben-Gurion’s introspective soul searching is the focus of this film, and his clear voice provides a surprising vision for today’s crucial decisions and the future of Israel. Featured guest Yariv Mozer, the film’s director and producer, will speak after the film.  Alon Ben-Gurion, the grandson of the late prime minister, will join guests at the pre-film Sponsor Cocktail Party. For those unable to attend the Opening Night Celebration, “Ben-Gurion, Epilogue” will be screened multiple times during the festival. The opening night event is at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased online at or by calling 866-465-3995.

The Closing Event is Sunday, March 18, 3 p.m., at the Sahib Shriners Auditorium, 600 N Beneva Road, Sarasota. The event includes a showing of the classic 1960 film, “Exodus,” starring Paul Newman and directed by Otto Preminger. Based on the best-selling novel by Leon Uris, “Exodus” focuses on the birth of the State of Israel after World War II. It follows Ari Ben Canaan, an Israeli resistance leader, as he tries to help a group of 600 Jewish immigrants escape British-blocked Cypress for Palestine. The film will be shown with an intermission, during which time attendees will enjoy a special Israeli-style buffet meal. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased online at or by calling 866-465-3995.

The 2018 films were chosen by co-chairs Fran Braverman and Evans Tilles, and their film screening committee, Karen Bernstein, Jack Braverman, Meredith Ernst, Barbara Horowitz, Barbara Jacob, Susan Newmark, Ronnie Riceberg, Nadia Ritter, Cheryl Shapiro, Bunny Skirboll, Lois Stulberg, Janet Tolbert and Frank Tucciarone. They give special thanks to Roz Goldberg, JFF founder and honorary chair.


The 2018 Naiditch Family Foundation Jewish Film Festival Films

A full schedule of screenings and locations can be found online at or call the Federation at 941-552-6305 to request a film festival brochure.


  • Amor” is a lyrically and beautifully shot drama that explores the depths of what love sometimes demands of us and how memories are simultaneously both fragile and fleeting.
  • Between Worlds” is an intriguing film about an unexpected friendship that begins in a hospital between two women. The women are both hiding a secret and while waiting and hoping, they learn about truth, faith, understanding, acceptance, and love that can, and maybe should, replace the fear of the unknown.
  • A Heartbeat Away” tells the story of an Israeli pediatric cardiologist who is sent to Africa to perform lifesaving operations in Tanzania, where every day five children die from hearth conditions.  The documentary is a riveting human drama, swinging on the pendulum between science and faith, hope and despair, life and death.
  • In Between” introduces viewers to three Palestinian women living in an apartment in Tel Aviv who are trying to find a balance between traditional and modern culture. The script’s nuanced treatment provides a feel for the many-faceted, multicultural city in which it is set—a unique blend of hedonism and tradition, bound together by hummus and history.
  • An Israeli Love Story” is based on the true story of the love affair between Israeli theater and movie actress Pnina Gary and Eli Ben-Zvi, son of the second President of the State of Israel. Set in the turbulent period of pre-state Israel, the two are torn between their love for one another and where they see their own futures in the Jewish state.
  • Mr. Predictable” is a delightful and funny romantic comedy about Adi, a good guy who has always followed the rules and tried to please everyone. When he meets Natalia, a sexy and free-spirited dog walker, he gets a crash course in breaking the rules he has spent his life obeying and finds that embracing the unpredictable can often bring out the best in all of us.
  • Operation Wedding” tells the story of a group of young Jewish dissidents who plot to hijack an empty plane and escape Leningrad in 1970 with hopes of making it to Israel. Caught by the KGB a few steps from boarding, they were sentenced to years in the gulag and two were sentenced to death, despite the fact that they never boarded the plane.
  • A Quiet Heart” is a riveting suspense thriller about the evils of religious intolerance. The film delivers an interesting examination of the tensions between Jerusalem’s secular and religious communities.
  • The Wedding Plan” is a poignant romantic comedy about love, marriage, and faith in life’s infinite possibilities. Michal, blindsided by her fiancé’s decision to call off their wedding with only a month’s notice, is unwilling to return to single life. She puts her trust in fate and continues with the wedding plans, believing that God will supply her with a husband.
  • The Women’s Balcony,” a major box-office success in Israel, is a dramatic comedy about an accident during a bar mitzvah celebration that leads to a gender rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem.  The film is a rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power.


About The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen Jewish life and identity in our community, provide for Jewish people in need, and promote support for Israel. For more information, call 941-371-4546 or visit