Project of the Month

These programs allow talented underprivileged teenagers to fulfill their potential by providing them with a challenging program of enrichment and leadership training at the Ruppin Institute of Marine Science. Talented 7th graders from all backgrounds of Israeli society in the lower socio-economic levels are chosen - programs run for 2 years.

Raanana Cinema Club - List of Films


2016 season

December 2016     ‎'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.

November 2016  "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

July‎ 2016 -  "‎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.
The director, Reuven Brodsky, spoke after the film.‎

April ‎2016 - 'CLEMENTINE' directed by Tal Haim Yoffe

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 2016 - 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.‎

The Polgar Variant               Written & directed by: Yossi Aviram.                     December 2015
Sofi Polgar, one of the sisters, spoke after the film
The extraordinary story of three Hungarian-Jewish sisters who were raised in ‎Communist Budapest of the 1970s to be chess masters. Their father, driven by his ‎educational vision, determined their destiny before they were even born. He ‎believed that “geniuses are made, not born,” and he set out to prove it. No ‎kindergarten, no school…. Three girls, isolated from the normal world of kids, ‎studied and practiced chess – with surprising and remarkable results.‎

'MOM IS NOT CRAZY'  Director/producer Mordechai Vardi spoke after the film.    October 2015
Suffering from borderline personality disorder, Amira Raanan was constantly in danger, yet her decision to go public with her illness may have saved her life. The film which began as a therapeutic tool for Amira, became more than that. It can be a catalyst that causes viewers to rethink their ideas about mental illness, and help promote inclusiveness for people who are challenged by their psychological disabilities.

Rabbi Mordechai Vardi, spiritual leader of the Raanan's community, is also the head of the Institute for Torah and Creativity at the Ma’aleh School of Television, Film & Arts in Jerusalem. Vardi’s camera followed Amira for over two years: “I wanted the viewer to enter Amira’s world and experience things from her viewpoint.”

'PROBATION TIME' - Director and script-writer, Avigail Sperber, spoke after the film.     June 2015
The painful story of a childhood with a predetermined fate, of the desire to choose between right and wrong and the inability to tell the two apart, and of the human capacity for belief, for daring, for trying in the face of an ungrateful reality that refuses to change.
Ariela, of Ethiopian descent, was adopted when she was 5 years old by the Sperber family, a warm and tightknit religious Jewish family. Of the family’s ten children, Ariela forced them to contend with difficulties they were unfamiliar with – crime, alcohol, unwanted pregnancies and prisons. Avigail, Ariela’s sister decides to document her life when she is at a crossroads. She breaks up with her female-partner and moves into a new apartment with her son Ori (3).

"Waves of Memory" - Director Gad Eisen spoke after the film.                                                      April 2015
The story of a ship code-named Rafiah, carrying close to 800 people, which sank in the waters off a barren and rocky Greek Island in 1946. It is also the story of some of the people who were on that ship on that stormy and fateful night, including the stories of two special individuals - Shlomo, now 66 years old, who was then an infant, and the Mossad operative whose ingenuity enabled him to arrange for the rescue.

"The Green Dumpster"  Director and Producer Tal Haim Yoffe spoke after the film                February 2015
The film tells the story of the director himself, who found a stash of old photographs in a dumpster.
This docu-detective film slowly unwinds a family history, beginning in Lodz, Poland, and travelling through the Siberian Gulag, a Samarkand sugar plant, a Ha’apala ship and the battlefields of the Sinai Peninsula. This tightly-paced tour-de-force vividly evokes the now extinguished lives of an anonymous – but typical – Israeli family.
The film, in an ostensibly light tone, balances the serious subjects in the film – history and memory, Holocaust and bereavement.

"SPECIAL INTERVIEW"    Writer and Director Nitzan Rozenberg spoke after the film      February 2014
Two young people with disabilities become star reporters in this uplifting documentary.

"From The Black You Make Color" Directed by Judy Maltz and Richie Sherman.    December 2013
Judy Maltz
spoke after the film.
The film, which made its Israeli premiere at the film festival in Rehovot, provides a glimpse into the lives of eight women of diverse backgrounds who either teach or study at Diana Beauty Academy, Tel Aviv’s oldest beauty school. 

"The Garden of Eden" Director and producer Ran Tal who spoke after the film.                  June 2013
The camera accompanies vacationers at Sachne through all seasons. It watches Jews, Arabs, immigrants, kibbutzniks, ultra-Orthodox and groups of tourists that all gather there, and silently examines the interaction between them.

"The Flat"    Director Arnon Goldfinger spoke to the group after the film.                          February 2013
The flat in a Tel Aviv Bauhaus building where Arnon’s grandparents lived since they immigrated to Palestine from Berlin in the 1930’s.  After his grandmother passed away, the family found objects, pictures, letters and documents revealing traces of a troubled and unknown past.  The film develops into a riveting adventure, involving unexpected national interests, a friendship that crosses enemy lines, and even reveals some secrets that should have probably remained untold.

"804: South African Volunteers in Israel’s War of Independence". Smoky Simon, Machal volunteer in the War of Independence lead a discussion after the film.                                                               January 2013
In 1948, Israel was attacked from all sides by six Arab armies. Machal volunteers from outside of Israel rushed to the country’s aid from all over the world. “804” tells the largely unknown story of how a group of South Africans played a pivotal part in the early survival of the State of Israel.

 'One Day After Peace'. Directors Miri and Erez Laufer spoke after the film                    November 2012
Can the means used to resolve the conflict in South Africa be applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Robi Damelin, who experienced both conflicts firsthand, wonders. Born in South Africa during the apartheid era; later on she lost her son during his service with the Israeli army reserve.                      

“The Law in These Parts”     Director  Ra'anan Alexandrowicz spoke after the film              May 2012
Can a modern democracy impose a prolonged military occupation on another people while retaining its core democratic values?  Since the1967 War, the military imposed thousands of orders and laws in Gaza and the West Bank, established military courts, and developed a system of long-term jurisdiction by an occupying army that is unique in the world. The movie explores this little-known story through testimonies of the military legal professionals who were the architects of the system and helped run it in its formative years.  

“Torn”    Director and Producer, Ronit Kertsner spoke after the film.                              March 2012
Can one be a Catholic priest and an Observant Jew at the same time? Twelve years after he was ordained as a Polish Catholic priest, Romuald Waszkinel discovers that he was born to Jewish parents, and that his name was Jacob Weksler.    

"Here I learned to Love" written, produced and directed by Avi Angel, based on the book by Izhak Weinberg. Avi and Izhak spoke after the film.                                                                                     February 2012
Two brothers, three mothers - a saga shrouded in fog for almost six decades - the unique narrative of a voyage tracing the roots of a shadowy past. All remained hidden - even from close family and friends. Now Itzik and Avner journey into that past, seeking their true identity to piece together the incredible story of their survival.

“Dolphin Boy” with writer, director and producer Yonaton Nir.                                            January 2012
Morad - a teenager from an Arab village in the North of Israel disconnects himself from humans following a violent attack that he experienced.  This documentary about the devastating havoc that human violence can wreak upon the human soul, and about the healing powers of nature and of love, was filmed over the course of  four years. 

“The Champagne Spy” - with Director and Writer, Nadav Schirman.                               December 2011
Oded breaks a long silence and journeys into his father's real and covert identities as a Mossad secret agent, (aka Wolfgang Lotz - ex Nazi millionaire and horse breeder) revealing the heavy price paid by his family, trapped in the shadows of espionage.        

"Life In Stills” - Best Israeli Film, DocAviv Film Festival 2011.                                     November 2011    
Miriam Weissenstein at age 96, and her grandson, Ben, join forces to save The Photo House, her late husband’s life’s work, and its nearly one million negatives that document Israel’s defining moments.      

'Strangers No More'   directed and produced by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon.     May and September 2011
won an Oscar in 2011 for Best Documentary Short Subject. The tale of children from 48 different countries who attend the Bialik-Rogozin School in south Tel Aviv.                  

'Precious Life'  with Director, Shlomi Eldar.     February 2011

'A Film Unfinished' Yael Hersonski's powerful documentary with its penetrating look at another (unfinished)  Nazi produced propaganda film about the Warsaw Ghetto.                                                      January 2011

'Tackling Peace' - written and directed by Jewish filmmaker Marc Radomsky.                    April 2010
Young men from different sides of a political war set aside a lifetime of prejudice and hostility to compete as a team in the Australian Football League’s International Cup. Few of the aspirant players had ever heard of the game and none imagined befriending teammates from across the political divide.
Dr. Harvey Belik, and his son, Yonatan, lead the discussion after the film.

'Ajami' (with English sub-titles)  written and directed by Scandar Copti (a Palestinian born and raised in Ajami) and Yaron Shani (a Jewish Israeli), explores five different stories set in the impoverished Christian/Muslim Arab neighborhood of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The characters, played by non-professional actors, lend the story the feel of a documentary, each speaking their own, and a mixture of both languages, Arabic and Hebrew.    March 2010

'Lone Samaritan' - as a tiny sect constantly in danger of extinction, the Samaritans have very harsh rules about assimilation. After four sisters left the community, one by one, the family became subject to terrible physical and mental harassment by sect members. The film follows the youngest daughter, Sophie, a TV personality, on a journey to her family's open wounds, in an attempt to understand who was the real victim of their shattered home. Barak Heymann, director, lead the discussion after the film.                                                          February 2010

'Voices from El-Sayed' - a film about a Bedouin village in the Negev Desert, home to the largest community of deaf people in the world. Here deafness is seen not as a disability but as a natural part of life. Oded Adomi Leshem, director, will lead the discussion after the film.                                                           January 2010

'Ida's Dance Club'  - Once a year in Ida's club, a ballroom dancing competition takes place. All the competitors are way past retirement age, but that doesn’t stop them from dancing and singing, to falling in love and being disappointed. The competition participants hardly know one another outside the club walls, but their lives, full of problems, are gradually revealed to us. Dalit Kimor, director, writer and producer lead the discussion. January 2010

“The Name My Mother Gave Me” – Eli Tal El                               November 2009

“No. 4 Street of our Lady” – Judy Maltz                                             July 2009

“The Beetle” – Yishai Orian                                                                February  2009

“Yoel, Israel & Pashkavils” – Aharon Goldfinger                                   February 2009

“Waltz with Bashir”  - a dramatic depiction of a man's involvement with the Israeli Army in the first Lebanon War Ari Folman                                                                                               February 2009

“The Tree of Life” – The history of the Jews in Italy is beautifully inter-woven into the director’s personal and moving story. Hava Volterra, writer and director                                                 December 2008

“Three Times Divorced” – the true story of Khitam, a Gaza-born Palestinian woman, who was married off in an arranged match to an Israeli Palestinian. This is the powerful story of an illegal resident fighting to gain citizenship and to reunite with her children. Ibtisam Maraana, writer and director                               December 2008

“Waves of Freedom” – a documentary made by British-Israeli film maker Alan Rosenthal which recounts how 27 Americans, most of them Jewish, ferried 1,500 Holocaust refugees from Europe to Palestine in 1947. Murray Greenfield, Harold Katz, 2 of the volunteers                                                                November 2008

“The Journey of Vaan Nguyen” – a powerful documentary film about the Vietnamese "boat people". The story is a parable on identity and the tragedy of refugees.
Duki Dror, director and producer                                                                                   July 2008

“Eye Witness – 60 Years” – distinguished photographer David Rubinger, travels back in time to the places and people he photographed since the establishment of the State of Israel. Micha Shagrir, veteran producer and director                                                                                                                       June 2008

“Sisai” – An emotional and unforgettable documentary following the extraordinary journey to Ethiopia of the director's brother, Sisai, to find the birth father whom he has never known. Ethiopian/Israeli director David Gavro March 2008

“Contemporary Israeli Films” – clips from Souvenirs and Miss Entebbe Udi Ben Saadya, writer, director & lecturer January 2008

“West Bank Story” – Ari Sandel's musical parody about hope and peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The film's musical director, composer Yuval Ron, discussed the film and played the oud, a middle-Eastern lute November 2007

“Shadya” – tells the story of an Israeli Muslim girl, a world Karate champion, who strives to succeed on her own terms, while remaining committed to her life in her community. Director/producer Danny Hakim June 2007

“First Lesson in Peace” – Director, Yoram Honig March 2007

“The Children’s House” – About the childhood memories of kibbutz born artists. Director, Tami Feingold February 2007

“The Film Class” – a documentary about the Bedouin in the Negev. Director, Uri Rosenwaks December 2006 

“Tied Hands” – the story of a homosexual dancer and the complicated relationship with his mother. Director, Dan Wolman                                                              January 2007

“Paper Clips”                  November 2006

“Nadia’s Friends” – the story of Nadia, an Arab Muslim and Chanoch, a religious Jew and their class reunion. Chanoch Zeevi, writer and director October 2006

“Paper Clips” – powerful film set in rural Tennessee about a Holocaust education project collecting 6 million paper clips. Avril Shulman June 2006

“100 Children”- Oshra Schwartz April 2006

“Out for Love – Be Back Shortly” - a film by Dan Katzir on the struggle to find love and privacy amidst the reality of daily terror and hate. Yael Katzir February 2006

“Columbia – The Tragic Loss” – following the journey of Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon Dr. Yoav Yair, colleague of Ilan Ramon January 2006

“Shivah for my Mother” – dealing with the stages of the family's mourning process Yael Katzir, director December 2005

“Two States of Mind” - the story of an Israeli and a Palestinian working together.
Shira Richter, director November 2005

“39 Pounds of Love” – Hila Manor July 2005

“Watermarks”- a documentary film of the women swimmers of Hakoah Vienna, directed by Yaron Zilberman. Hanni Lux, one of the swimmers now living in Israel. March 2005