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.

ESRA Cinema Club Raanana '‎Operation Wedding'

ESRA Raanana Audrey Goodman Cinema Club


Operation Wedding      מבצע חתונה

Directed by Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov      
Produced in Israel and Latvia by Sasha Klein, Guntis Trekteris, Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov
First screening: Tel Aviv Cinematheque 29 July 2016

Director, Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov will speak after the screening

Leningrad, 1970. A group of young Jewish dissidents plots to hijack an empty plane and escape the USSR. Caught by the KGB a few steps from boarding, they were sentenced to years in the gulag and two were sentenced to death; they never got on a plane. 45 years later, filmmaker Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov reveals the compelling story of her parents, leaders of the group, "heroes" in the West but "terrorists" in Russia, even today.

It started as a fantasy, Operation Wedding, as outrageous as it was simple: Under the disguise of a trip to a local family wedding, the hijackers would buy every ticket on a small 12-seater plane, so there would be no passengers but them, no innocents in harm’s way. The group’s pilot, who once flew for the Red Army, would take over the controls and fly the 16 runaways into the sky, over the Soviet border, on to Sweden, bound for Israel.

They were caught in the airport, a few steps from boarding the plane, and tried for high treason. Among those arrested remained one woman to be on trial: Sylva Zalmanson, who receives 10 years in Gulag. Sylva's newlywed husband Edward Kuznetsov, receives death sentence.

While the Soviet press writes "the criminals received their punishment", tens of thousands of people in the free world demand "Let My People Go!"

As the Iron Curtain opens a crack for 300,000 Soviets Jews wanting to flee, the group members are held back to pay the price of freedom for everyone else.

"Your parents are heroes," Anat had been told ever since she was a child. Every year at school, she was asked to stand up in class and share their story.

Nevertheless, the saga of the family was gradually forgotten. At age 29, Anat decided to do what she had been asked since the first grade. She would tell her parents’ story to the world.

Anat travels with her mother Sylva, to retrace the group's journey from the day of the arrest at the small Soviet airport to KGB prison where 25 year-old Sylva was kept before the trial. Anat's research grows for years and she finds rare archives and interview former key members of KGB trying to understand their point of view.

Through a collage of interviews, discussions over vodka and cigarette smoke, rare archives and reenactment made both in Israel 1980 and in Russia 2010, Anat reveals for the first time the full story of her parents and a group of civilians that changed history and cracked the Iron Curtain.


Yad Lebanim

Please Note: there will be a concert taking place in front of Yad Lebanim, so it will be easier to use the back entrance.
Contact Name: 
09-748 2957
Price for Members: