An award-winning Israeli writer introducing a comic Israeli film is just par for the course for the Cinametec, an ongoing film series presented by the chapter of the Israeli American Council based at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly.
Luckily, for those of us who are non-Israeli American Jews, the novel has been published in English, the film will be subtitled, and the discussion, as at all IAC Cinametec screenings, will be in English too.
Details as always are in the box (on page 23), and you might want to go online to buy tickets before you finish reading the story because the film series has tended to sell out. Don’t worry, though, about being the only one who needs the subtitles — the series organizer estimates that 30 percent of the attendees at the IAC Cinametec are American as opposed to Israeli Jews.
That number has increased this year, the Cinamatec’s second. Etti Inbal, originally of Israel and now of Cliffside Park, is the founder of the film program. Ms. Inbal’s goal for this year was to forge partnerships with local Jewish organizations, so this next screening will be at Temple Emanu-El in Closter, instead of the usual venue, the JCC.
The point is not just to take in Israeli culture.
“The idea is to make connections and build community,” Ms. Inbal said.
The program begins an hour before the screening. “We have time for people to talk and share and introduce friends,” she said.
Ms. Inbal makes it a point to get new films for the series.
“Our community, the Israeli community in Tenafly, wants to be able to speak with their friends in Israel about what they see,” she said.
Ms. Inbal is a graduate of the IAC’s Gvanim program, which trains American Israelis in leadership and community activism. The Cinameteq is a volunteer project. Her professional background is in educational technology and technology consulting. Working with Jewish day schools, she came to know the American Jewish community.
“It’s very important to make more connections between the two communities,” she said. “The idea of the film series stemmed from my search for a way to bring together Israelis and Americans around the nice aspects of Israel. I want the community to discuss a wide variety of aspects of what is happening now in Israel, by appreciating the work of cinema. Most of the dialogue around Israel is just the Israeli-Arab conflict. I wanted to broaden the discussion.”