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Allison Martin

On behalf of the Board of Directors, welcome to Part 2 of the 28th Toronto Jewish Film Festival – TJFF 2020 Online: Fall Edition!

When I sat down to write the Board Chair’s message in the few weeks leading up to the Spring Festival, we had absolutely no idea how the first online Festival would be received. Now, I am incredibly proud to report that the Spring Festival was a huge success!  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our loyal Patron Circle Members, Sponsors, Donors and other attendees for your continued support of TJFF.  It is because of each of you that we are able to be here once again for the Fall edition of TJFF Online.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the entire TJFF team. What they have accomplished over the past several months is no small feat, in putting on not just one but TWO Festivals, working around the clock and overcoming challenges every step of the way.  I am constantly amazed by the talent, drive and dedication of this small but mighty group of individuals.

Although we still cannot safely gather together in movie theatres, we can join together in sharing enriching and entertaining cinematic moments.  I hope you enjoy the wonderful line-up of over 50 films from Canada and around the world that the TJFF programming team have assembled for us.  I also encourage you to participate in the Zoom Q and A sessions which allow us to feel even more connected as a community.

And after the online festival has concluded I hope you will continue to enjoy the many offerings on J-Flix.

I wish you and your loved ones continued health and safety.  See you “virtually” at the movies!!

Helen Zukerman
Artistic Director
(Credit: Ryan Emberley)

“Thank you for your support and good wishes. I know I speak for all of us that we wish you to be safe, and all being well, we can meet in October at our in-theatre Festival”.

That was the last line of my welcome in May for TJFF2020: Part One.

I guess we all thought (or should I say ‘hoped’) that with any luck, we would be back in theatres by now and that Covid-19 would be a memory. Nobody had any idea how this would play out. It turns out that it (and ‘it’ here being the Festival) will play out in our living rooms again, as we present the 2nd half of TJFF 2020.

Back in March, when the decision was made to move to an online Festival, we had already confirmed a Festival programme of 100 films. After lockdown, the decision was made to split the programme into two parts and this Fall edition is the second part.

I am excited about the selection of films and the interesting Q and A’s we have scheduled. For this fall Festival, the films are accessible throughout Ontario and we hope they will attract viewers from outside the Greater Toronto area.

We have made a delicious lemonade out of the lemons we got.

In this new Jewish year (5781), let us be grateful if we are well and able to enjoy the programme. I wish you a great Festival experience and let’s hope that 2021 will bring us back to the theatres.

And when this (and ‘this’ being Covid-19) is over, I hope we remember how important the Arts were to us all –

We were able to turn on our TV/Computer/radio, and escape to another reality, if only for a short time. Whether with films, conferences, musical performances, or other online artistic deliveries, we could leave reality behind and see that life was still going on but in a different way.

TJFF has always relied on the support of our generous donors. Yet traditionally, fundraising for the Arts is a challenge because it is not about finding a cure for a disease, or growing a university bursary fund — but the Arts manage to nourish our souls.

And during these precarious times, they have helped us to stay safe.

Going forward, let’s keep this in our minds.