Temple Israel to host Israeli Film Festival

The movies “Lemon Tree” and “The Champagne Spy” will headline Congregation Temple Israel’s fourth annual Israeli Film Festival on Sunday, March 6. “Lemon Tree”” will open the festival at 3 p.m. A discussion of the film led by members of the St. Louis Israeli community will follow. The festival will conclude with a 6:30 p.m. screening of “The Champagne Spy.” Complimentary light Israeli refreshments will be served between screenings. Admission to the festival for one or both films is free and open to the community. Seating is limited, so advance reservations are required. The films will be shown in the May Chapel of Temple Israel, 1 Rabbi Alvan D. Rubin Dr., at the corner of Ladue Road and Spoede.

“Lemon Tree” is suitable for ages 10 and older, while “The Champagne Spy” contains adult themes and is most appropriate for mature teens and adults. Both films are primarily in Hebrew with English subtitles.

“Lemon Tree” tells the story of Salma, a Palestinian widow, who stands up against her new neighbor, the Israeli Defense Minister, when he moves into his new house opposite her lemon grove, on the green line border between Israel and the West Bank. The Israeli security forces declare that Salma’s trees pose a threat to the Minister’s safety, and order them uprooted.

In “The Champagne Spy”, Egyptian generals and Cabinet members in the early 1960s knew Wolfgang Lotz as a wealthy German horse breeder with an engaging habit of sending champagne and other lavish gifts to well-placed friends. They thought of him as an ex-Nazi who later made a fortune in Australia. In reality, and to the astonishment of his Egyptian friends, he was disclosed in 1965 to be a quiet husband and father, and an agent with Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. His was a life in the fast lane…but at a price. Years later his son tells the story.


The Israeli Film Festival is co-sponsored by the Israel Engagement Committee and the Israeli House of Temple Israel. To make a reservation to attend one or both films, contact Temple Israel, 314-432-8050 or [email protected] For more information, call Jerry or Linda Koenig, 636-394-6027.