Project of the Month

ESRA Computer Centers provide free access to computers and innovative instruction in computer skills for underprivileged children, youth and adults helping to close the cultural and educational gap.

Raanana Cinema Club

Monthly screening of acclaimed documentary films - 20:00 at Yad Lebanim, Raanana.
Tickets: NIS 60; ESRAcards NIS 50. Reservations in advance from ESRA 09-748 2957.

You can see a list of all the films shown at the ESRA Raanana Cinema Club by clicking on the red highlight, or on the link below.

ESRA's Cinema Club in Raanana re-opened in February 2015, honoring Audrey Goodman ז''ל  who conceived and ran the program for 10 years.

The first 2015 screening of the Audrey Goodman Cinema Club took place in February with 'The Green Dumpster Mystery', in April with 'Waves of Memory' , in June with 'Probation Time', in October with 'Mom is not Crazy' and in December with 'The Polgar Variant'.

Ellen Kronitz is ESRA's new volunteer coordinator for the Cinema Club. If anyone has any suggestions or requests for films please contact her at:

2017 season

Wednesday 29 March  "Tour De Finaly"  Directed by Micha Shagrir

Synopsis:  Grenoble, France, late-1943. Dr. Fritz and Annie Finaly handed over their children – two-and-a-half year old Robert and eighteen-month-old Gerald – into the guardianship of a neighbor. In February 1944, Fritz and Annie were arrested by Gestapo agents and never seen again. Records show they were killed in Auschwitz.
Robert and Gerald were later sent to the local abbot, who placed them in the Catholic Church orphanage in Grenoble. Robert and Gerald were formally baptized. The following years saw a fierce, long and exhausting battle to return the children to Judaism and their family in Israel.
In the autumn of 2006, the Finaly brothers confront their past for the first time, in the Grenoble courtyard of the Catholic orphanage. 64-year-old Gad is now a Kiryat Haim pensioner, and 66-year-old Robert is a senior physician at the Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.
The film “Tour de Finaly” recounts the journey of Robert and Gad Finaly - now adult
s with children and grandchildren of their own – to the geographical milestones of their childhood. The film winds between France, Israel, Italy and Austria, incorporating rare archival footage. It brings the brothers together with the people who participated in the struggle over their rescue and identity - attempting to portray their story from a contemporary point-of-view.

Dr Robert Finaly will speak after the screening


Wednesday 22 February   "Ameer Got His Gun"

Produced by Saar Yogev, Directed by Naomi Levari, Written by Naomi Levari & Saar Yogev

Ameer is about to enlist in the army. As opposed to the majority of eighteen-‎year-old boys in Israel, for whom army service is mandatory, Ameer is exempt ‎from military service under the assumption that his enlistment may endanger ‎Israel’s security. That is because Ameer is a Muslim Arab.‎
All alone, he sets out on a journey of civic and self-definition, while carefully ‎navigating the thin line between Jewish and Arab societies.‎
Ameer, an eternal optimist, wishes to be both a proud Arab and an ‎enthusiastic Israeli, while his only enemy is reality.‎

One of the writers, Naomi or Saar, will speak with us after the screening


Documentary Moroccan-born Muslim filmmaker Kamal Hachkar explores the 2000-year-old Mellah (Jewish quarter) in his family’s village of Tinghir, Morocco, and follows the trail of the town’s once substantial Jewish population to its émigrés and descendants in Israel. In the film, he weaves back and forth between his city’s old Jewish quarter and Israel, where he meets Sephardic Jews who still hold tight to their Moroccan identity.

A fascinating, inquisitive, and deeply humanist work that presents the true story of a long term collaboration between Jews and Muslims that eventually fell apart. As Hachkar tries to understand exactly what happened, he simultaneously seeks a better way forward.
Director Kamal Hachkar spoke after the screening

2016 season

14 December     ‎'Open Heart'       Directed by Gad Aisen

Ami Shinfeld was a young boy from an ultra-Orthodox family in Bnei Brak who managed to fulfill his dream and become a top cardiac surgeon at Sheba Hospital. A few years ago, when the town of Sderot came under missile fire, Dr. Shinfeld decided to help its residents. Since then, he’s volunteered as a community doctor, helping his patients receive public care on par with private medicine.

He may clash with the bureaucracy of the public medicine system, but he refuses to go into private practice, despite all the money it offers. He is saving people’s lives, but he is also giving up his free time.

Now, with the steep financial cost and the burden his work imposes on his family, he is left to wonder whether he should abandon his patients in Sderot and go into private practice.
Director Gad Aisen spoke after the film.

10 November   "THE JERUSALEM BOXING CLUB"   Written and directed by Helen Yanovsky

For four years, the camera followed life at a Boxing Club located in a bomb shelter in a residential ‎parking lot in Jerusalem. The Club serves a mixture of people, weaving a tapestry of life in ‎Jerusalem. ‎
The movie follows four of the young boxers and club manager Gershon Luxemburg as he ‎pushes them to push themselves, and teaches the importance of always treating opponents with ‎respect. Slowly, personal stories unfold, revealing the complexities of life that Gershon and his ‎protégés have to confront. ‎
A story about growing up, loneliness and intimacy, heartache and hope, and above all, about ‎finding help where it's least expected.‎

The director, Helen Yanovsky, spoke after the film

The film was awarded the Jerusalem Foundation Awards Bernstein Prize and Aliza Shagrir Foundation Grant and it is nominated in the category of debut feature film at the Israeli Documentary Film Competition 2016.

Tuesday 5 July‎  "‎7 Days in St. Petersburg"   Written and directed by Reuven Brodsky

Liza hasn’t seen her son Leonid, a deserter from the army, in twelve years. Now she is flying to Russia to bring him back to Israel. Her seven days there are critical. Time is limited. Nothing is trivial. And yet, during this short visit, she manages to bridge the emotional gulf that has opened between them, and awakes in Leonid a longing for his family, for Israel. What he refuses to accept is the price that he must pay for returning: a year and a half in military prison. This price seems especially high since just before his mother comes to get him, Leonid meets Natasha, a pretty hairdresser.

It is a ‎poetic, delicate film about the relationship between parent and child, and the nature of ‎dependency between them that is prone to change as time goes by. ‎

The director, Reuven Brodsky, spoke after the film.‎

April ‎  'CLEMENTINE' directed by Tal Haim Yoffe
A fascinating investigation that mirrors the development of Israel. Shaking his own family ‎tree in this beautifully-crafted documentary, Tal Yoffe discovers a pioneering kibbutznik ‎filmmaker, a Czarist army officer, a Nazi-trained blacksmith, several war heroes and a ‎much-missed father.

Clementine is an intensely personal and fascinating documentary.  Tal and Ravit are ‎expecting their first child; Tal's grandmother is dying of cancer.  These two bookends – ‎birth and death – motivate the filmmaker to search out his family stories, so that he can ‎preserve them for their unborn daughter.  Intertwining the personal and national ‎narratives, and using lots of family photos and much archival footage, he tells the story ‎of his and his wife, back a few gernerations to grandparents and great-grandparents, ‎linking their stories to the history of the Zionist enterprise in Israel. ‎
Director, Tal Haim Yoffe, spoke after the film

March 2016     LOOK AT US NOW MOTHER!‎    A film by Gayle Kirschenbaum

Some years ago, Gayle made a short funny film called My Nose about her mother’s ‎relentless campaign to get her to have a nose job. The reaction was overwhelming from ‎audiences and the media. ‎
Audiences wanted to know how she handled her highly critical mother. After screenings ‎audience members shared their stories. Unexpectedly, she found herself teaching people ‎how she did it by using my “Seven Healing Tools” on how to transform abusive ‎relationships. She soon realized, as a filmmaker who has a huge archive of footage and ‎funny and smart mother who was agreeable, that it was her mission to tell her whole ‎story. The film follows the transformation of her relationship with her mother, traveling across ‎continents and over time.‎

Dr. Batya Ludman, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, spoke after the film.‎

February - TWILIGHT OF A LIFE - a Belgian/Israeli-produced documentary - won the Best Israeli Film Award at ‎DocAviv International Film Festival - a wonderful story of love, hope, old age, motherhood, ‎care, and above all, the beauty of life.‎
Director, Sylvain Biegeleisen, spoke after the film.‎
Doctors tell Biegeleisen that his 94-year-old mother has just a few weeks to live so he goes to ‎Belgium to spend some time with her. “But my mother decided that the time to pass away has ‎not yet come,” narrates Biegeleisen. With only a camera as a witness between him and his ‎mother, filming with great love around his mother’s bed, the director decides to provide a ‎testimony that proves that old age can be approached without fear, but with humor and ‎fondness.‎
A film full of humor, joy and optimism, even as it dwells on the imminent farewell, “Twilight of a ‎Life” doesn’t only give hope to older people, but to everybody who watches it.‎