Temple Israel to host Israeli Film Festival

James Caan (right) and Tom Hollander in the 2019 film ‘Holy Lands.’  

Congregation Temple Israel is hosting its 13th annual Israeli Film Festival on Sunday, March 15 from 3:30 to 8 p.m. Guests will enjoy two Israeli films and Israeli-style refreshments and cuisine during intermission and are welcome to attend one film or stay for both. The event is free of charge and open to the entire St. Louis community. A donation of $5 per person is suggested to help cover the cost of refreshments. RSVP is also required at www.ti-stl.org/Films or by phone to Martina Stern at 314-432-8050 x233.

“Israel is an important part of our identity as a Jewish community,” said Rob Litz, chair of the congregation’s Israeli Engagement Committee. “Hosting this annual event…is an exciting way for us all to connect with modern Israeli culture through film and food.”

Linda Koenig, co-chair of the film festival, said, “We try to choose award-winning Israeli films, or films about Israel, which have wide community appeal.”

The first film, “An Israeli Love Story,” which starts at 3:30 p.m., tells the tale of 18-year-old Margalit, an aspiring actress from northern Israel in 1947. While traveling to see a play in Haifa one day, she meets Eli, a devoted kibbutznik who is also passionate about his work in the pre-state Palmach Israeli army. After another chance encounter, the two fall in love. Margalit moves into Eli’s kibbutz, and they set a wedding date, but Israel’s harsh reality intervenes. The film is based on the true story of a young theater director and the son of Israel’s second president, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi.


The second film, “Holy Lands,” begins at 6 p.m. and is about a retired New York cardiologist who leaves everything behind to start an unlikely pig farm in Israel, arousing the anger of the local community. His conflict with the town rabbi slowly turns to a friendship, leading the farmer to reevaluate his relationship with his estranged family, including his difficult ex-wife, his 34-year-old student daughter and his playwright son.