WELCOME TO THE 30th TORONTO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
(Credit: Ryan Emberley)
My annual message seems to come about more and more quickly each year but, “Why is this year different from all other years at TJFF“?
Because this is TJFF’s 30th year of celebrating Jewish culture through film.
I feel as though everything I could say about the pandemic, has been said. Those of us who came through unscathed are lucky, grateful and probably vaccinated. We all know people who were not so fortunate.
As we move forward to celebrate our 30th year, I’m thinking of how the Festival has changed and yet how it has remained the same.
The pandemic forced us to transition online, which enabled us to expand our audience to the province of Ontario. That is a good thing.
Online viewing has also made it easier for some of us to take advantage of the films from the comfort of our homes. And for the man who said he preferred screenings in the TJFF Virtual Cinema because “it was closer to his refrigerator”, thank you for making us laugh.
This year you have a choice. For those of you that miss the social part of the Festival, you can attend our in-person screenings, or if you prefer to watch from home at your convenience, that will be possible as well. But what is different this year, is that you may watch the films we are presenting online whenever you wish from June 16 – 26.
Hopefully, we are beginning to be able to return to more normal times—whatever that will be, and by next year we will have more in-person screenings with more guest filmmakers in attendance.
We will, of course continue with virtual screenings to accommodate everyone.
But for now, let us celebrate our victory — the 30 years of wonderful experiences we have had through the medium of film — a feat that you have helped us achieve.
Each year, people ask me what my favourite films are and I say: “Like my children, I love them all, differently”
Thank you for your loyalty as we worked through the worst of times on our way to the best of times to come.
Newsflash…and for the next 30!
We have embarked on the creation of the TJFF Legacy Endowment Fund to ensure the future of the Festival for our children, grandchildren and the many filmgoers that appreciate the existence of films celebrating Jewish culture all over the world.
If you are interested in learning more about the need for such a fund, please do not hesitate to contact me either at the in-person screenings or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of the board of directors, welcome to TJFF 2022! We are thrilled that you will be joining us in celebrating our 30th Anniversary!
As I write this greeting, several weeks before the Festival, I am also preparing to shoot a video interview commemorating our 30th anniversary tomorrow afternoon. One question I was asked to consider is “What does TJFF mean to you”. In considering that question, I immediately reflect on the last film I saw, Persian Lessons, our first in-theatre screening in two years. As I looked around the theatre that day, I noted that in the audience, were some of the founding TJFF board members who have been attending screenings religiously since 1993, and others who were attending their first TJFF film. Some attended on their own, others with their children, parents or grandparents. Many viewed from the comfort of their own homes via the TJFF virtual cinema.
For some TJFF is all about the cinema– our talented programmers never fail to curate a stellar selection of films that are entertaining and thought provoking, eliciting laughter, tears, discussion, and sometimes even anger.
For others TJFF is about community – an opportunity to connect with old friends or make new ones; the ability to share in meaningful discussions via the Q&A sessions or even standing in line waiting to see your next film.
To mark this special milestone year, I have asked our devoted Board of Directors, present and past, to share what TJFF means to each of them:
At its inception, the Festival was an exciting artistic, educational, community sustaining concept. When Helen asked me to join the Board, it was a thrill to be part of this venture. It was with great joy that I was able participate as Co-Chair of the Board. And here we are 30 years later and I still love the Festival!
Dayle Rakowsky – Advisory Committee Member& Past Co- Chair
TJFF –Each word has powerful meaning to me. Toronto has always been my home, one I am proud of. Jewish is my religion, my tribe, my culture. Film teaches me, inspires me, delights me. And the Festival is when all of that comes together. I look forward to being together soon. Shmoozing in line brings joy to my heart – Barbara Peltz – Advisory Committee Member & Past Co- Chair
For me, TJFF means sharing and celebrating. Thanks to both in-person and remote Q & A’s with international and local filmmakers, I have enlarged my world and shared the artistry with my fellow TJFF supporters. It has been deeply satisfying to be a part of TJFF and to contribute to the life of our thriving Toronto Jewish Community. Phyllis Angel Greenberg – Board Member & Past – Chair
TJFF provides an opportunity to learn the stories of people or places that fascinate me, move me and often inspire me to dig deeper in order to understand the challenges and triumphs that most of us can never imagine. David Beutel – Treasurer & Board Member
It’s our connection to our Jewish Culture and TJFF helps in its own way to expose aspects of our history to all multi-cultural communities and to say to the world NEVER AGAIN – Betty Eisenstadt, Board Member
Each spring I look forward to the festival. I love the diversity of films from numerous countries that spotlight Jewish stories. Whether they are documentaries, dramas or comedies, these films speak to the human spirit and can be enjoyed by all. – Karen Leitner, Board Member
TJFF provides a lens into the rich and diverse Jewish culture with stories from around the world that inspire, inform, and delight. – Talia Rovinski, Secretary & Board Member
I began attending TJFF with my friend Vicki Campbell (z”l) more than 15 years ago. She was a festival Patron and encouraged me to do the same. During my years on the Board of Directors, I organized many Patron Circle events. Going to the Festival is like coming home, seeing all my Festival friends and experiencing films from all over the world. We’re all looking forward to being together again at the theatre. A constant reminder of my dear friend Vicki (z”l). – Barbara Bernstein, Advisory Committee Member, Past Board Member & Secretary
TJFF is an opportunity to tell stories and visually describe the Jewish experience and its place in the world.
Robbie Cooper, Board Member
TJFF is a vital community resource, utilizing film to open our eyes and hearts to the many dimensions of our local, national and global world. Informed through a Jewish lens, its many programs are carefully and professionally curated by the talented TJFF team. With TJFF we laugh, we cry and learn from and about each other. – Ed Segalowitz, Board Member
The TJFF unites, educates and inspires our community. It gives us the opportunity and pleasure of viewing diverse films with Jewish content, from around the world. TJFF is my cultural highlight of the year!
30 years and going strong. – Paula Zivot, Board Member
TJFF has touched each of us in its own unique and special way. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I invite you to join us in embracing everything the Festival has to offer and celebrating our 30th year!
Allison Weiss Martin