Documentary Film Series

Please join us once a month for a FREE documentary film screening. 

Special thanks to our SPONSORS, who enable us to screen these films free to the public. 
Email to RSVP or for sponsorship information

Special thanks also to the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture for supporting our documentary film series and other
fine arts and culture programs.

January 9, 2018 (SOLD OUT)
January 16, 2018 (Seats Available)
Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem (2014)
(Sponsored by Susan and Ira Feldman)

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Portraits of two beloved icons--Sholom Aleichem and Theodore Bikel--are woven together in this enchanting new documentary. The two men have much in common: wit, wisdom and talent, all shot through with deep humanity and Yiddishkeit.

This new film Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem combines Bikel's charismatic storytelling and masterful performances with a broader exploration of Aleichem's remarkable life and work.   Theodore Bikel, the unstoppable performer whose career spanned more than 150 screen roles (including an Oscar-nominated turn in The Defiant Ones) and countless stage and musical productions, was also the foremost interpreter of Sholom Aleichem's work.  Bikel, who passed away in 2015, played Tevye the Milkman on stage more than 2,000 times. Bikel animated Aleichem's work through his creation of two celebrated musical plays about the great Russian author.  75 min.

February 6, 2018
Destination Unknown (2015)
(Sponsored by Sharon and Joe Luber)

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Destination Unknown blends intimate testimony with immersive archive to bring the stories of twelve Holocaust survivors to the screen.

The film creates a seamless mosaic of first-hand accounts, rare archive from the time, and family Super 8 footage from after the war. The survivors share their memories, some for the first time, some for the last, bringing their experiences to a new generation.

They endured the death camps. They hid in remote farms. They fought as partisans in Polish forests. But when the war ended, those survivors’ struggles were only just beginning. With the only interview ever recorded of Mietek Pemper, the stenographer for the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp Commandant - Amon Göth and advisor to Oskar Schindler, who previously refused to talk on film, among other incredible personal stories, Destination Unknown paints a uniquely intimate portrait of survival, revealing the pain that has never faded, but cannot crush the human spirit. 
78 min.

March 13, 2018
The Four Sons (2007)
(Sponsorship Available)

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The Four Sons are the focus of one of the most beloved and intriguing tales at the Passover Seder, so much so that the fable has been relentlessly reinterpreted over the centuries—in art, in music, in words—as often as any story ever told.

Generations have used it to suggest how to pass on beliefs to their children, a cornerstone of the Seder and really of all faiths. So, join us for this wonderful film about the Seder, including 34 versions of the story, and meet the most special siblings at any Seder—the Four Sons.  51

April 10, 2018 
49,172: Bulgaria and the Holocaust
(Sponsored by Andi & Marcus Gottlieb and Gail & Mark Pierce)


This film examines the little known rescue of Bulgarian Jews during the Holocaust.   After 12,000 Jews of Thrace and Macedonia, annexed in an arrangement between Bulgaria's King Boris and Nazi Germany, were deported and murdered, King Boris ceased cooperating with Germany, preventing Bulgaria’s own 49,172 Jews from also being deported and exterminated.

49,172 delivers the dramatic escape of Bulgarian Jews and the post-war rescue of their Jewish compatriots. A powerful exploration of persecution and salvation comes to life through the Holocaust survivors themselves, honoring the rescuers of Bulgaria's Jewish community, and paying tribute to their heroic acts of bravery in defying the overwhelming sway of Nazi rule.  Includes subtitles.  61


May 8, 2018
Ben Gurion: Epilogue (2016)
(Sponsored by Judith Dobbs, Toby & Abbey Goldberg, Barry & Randi Kipnis, Ilene Lashinsky, and Joan & Sam Weissman)


The year 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel.   To commemorate this momentous occasion, the AZJHS invites you to attend a screening of the newly released film.  

In the great depths of the archive, six hours of interview footage was discovered of one of modern history’s greatest leaders- David Ben-Gurion. It is 1968 and he is 82 years old, five years before his death. He lives in his secluded home in the desert, removed from all political discourse, which allows him a hindsight perspective on the Zionist enterprise. 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.  70 min.


June 5, 2018
Body and Soul: An American Bridge - The Black/Jewish History of an American Song (2013)
(Sponsored by Susan and Mark Sendrow)


Out of all the cross-cultural encounters that have resulted in the richness of American popular music, none has been so prominent or so fraught with fraternity and conflict as the relationships between African Americans and American Jews.

Body and Soul: An American Bridge
aims to tease out the strands of this cultural knot by focusing on the early performance history of the jazz standard, “Body and Soul,” one of the most recorded songs in the jazz repertoire.  58



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