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

Monthly screening of acclaimed documentary films - 20:00 at Yad Lebanim, Raanana.
Tickets: NIS 60; ESRAcards NIS 50. Reservations in advance from ESRA 09-748 2957.

You can see a list of all the films shown at the ESRA Raanana Cinema Club by clicking on the red highlight, or on the link below.

ESRA's Cinema Club in Raanana re-opened in February 2015, honoring Audrey Goodman ז''ל  who conceived and ran the program for 10 years.

Ellen Kronitz is ESRA's volunteer coordinator for the Cinema Club. If anyone has any suggestions or requests for films please contact her at:

2018 Season

Wednesday 21 March      'Twice Orphaned: Last Battle of the "Teheran Children" ' ‎

Director/Producer: Talila Frank,
Graduate of Tel Aviv University Department of Film and Television, Filmmaker and Drama Therapist

Avraham, Ziggy, Schreiber, and Robinson form the uncrowned governing council of the ‎‎“Teheran Children”. The four, representing 217 aged Polish Holocaust orphans, sue the State of ‎Israel, the State they dreamed of and helped to establish through their own hard work, for monies ‎received from Germany for their rehabilitation.‎
Confronting the State, their “official guardian”, revives their pain of orphanhood. ‎
During their struggle, they find consolation in their closeness.‎

Director Talila Frank will speak after the film.‎

Wednesday 14 February     "In Her Footsteps"
Directed by Rana Abu Fraiha
‎  ‎
“In the dead of night, my parents left our house in the Muslim Bedouin village, Tel Sheva, where I ‎was born,and moved, perhaps 'fled', to Omer, a nearby Jewish town, where I grew up.

For more ‎than 20 years in Omer, we were deeply integrated into Omer's white hegemony, we were ‎convinced that we were like everyone else around us, until my mother became ill with breast ‎cancer. She expressed an unprecedented wish to be buried as a Muslim in the town’s Jewish ‎cemetery. “‎

In the Arab, Muslim world, women are forbidden to attend funerals. She hoped that by fulfilling ‎her wish, her three daughters could walk with her on her last journey. But in Jewish society, ‎there has never been a precedent for a shared burial of Arabs and Jews. Her wish tore the family ‎apart and raised serious dilemmas, about identity, belonging, femininity ‎and the meaning of home. ‎

Director Rana Abu Fraiha will speak after the film.‎

Wednesday 3 January      "WHO’S GONNA LOVE ME NOW?" 
Directed by Barak Heymann

Saar is a gay man from a religious family in Israel. After being kicked out of his ‎conservative kibbutz because of his sexual orientation, Saar flees to London ‎where he enjoys a gay lifestyle denied to him in Israel.

Saar finds himself torn between the two worlds and must make a decision: should ‎he return to Israel and embrace his family once more, or stay in London and live ‎in exile forever. Saar and the rest of the London Gay Men's Chorus provide a ‎glorious soundtrack for this tender, honest and intimate film. ‎

Shot over several years, this documentary is about the power of forgiveness and ‎the power that home has, no matter how far we go.‎

2017 season

Wednesday 22 November        "PARTNER WITH THE ENEMY" 
Directed and Produced by Duki Dror and Chen Shelach

In the midst of the ever-fraught Israeli-Palestinian political landscape, two women, one Israeli and one Palestinian, attempt the seemingly impossible: to build a business together.

The Israeli business partner, Anat Shelach, spoke after the film.‎
Wednesday 25 October 2017   "WEEK 23"  

A gentle, compassionate film made by director Ohad Milstein. In her 23rd week, his wife Rahel learns that one of the fetuses died ‎in utero, with a high chance that the surviving fetus will be ‎born with severe brain damage. . They recommend to terminate the pregnancy.‎ This presents the couple with a critical dilemma. Should they really end the pregnancy ‎by aborting the surviving fetus?‎

The Director of the Film, Ohad Milstein, spoke after the film.‎

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Operation Wedding    Directed By   Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov      
Produced by Sasha Klein, Guntis Trekteris, Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov

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.

Wednesday 12 July 2017   -   HAUTE CUISINE GOES KOSHER      Directed by Noemi Schory

Jerusalem was the site for a gathering of 13 of the world's greatest chefs who toiled for two ‎days to prepare a 12-course feast for the senses. ‎The celebration was for Jerusalem's 3000th birthday and yes-there was a catch. Everything ‎had to be kosher!

The documentary follows the fun as each chef, including New Orleans' Paul Prudhomme (who ‎created an entirely new dish for the event), prepared for the big moment when 350 lucky ‎guests would arrive for dinner. ‎

Director Noemi Schory spoke after the screening

June 2017 -  "Handa Handa 4"‎   Directed by ‎David Ofek & Neta Shoshani

Ronen and Orit have been together for almost three years. Both of them come from ‎highly respected Bukhari families. Ronen is the star of Handa Handa theater troupe, a ‎hit among the Bukhari community in Israel and around the world.

According to the ‎strict Bukhari tradition couples must marry after a brief acquaintance. But Ronen and ‎Orit rebel against their families and refuse to get married. Even making every effort to ‎protect Orit’s “honor” is not enough for her parents, who demand they either marry or ‎break up. Their love is trapped between tradition and modernity‏

Director David Ofek will speak after the screening


May 2017 -   "Dimona Twist"     Directed by Michal Aviad

Seven women arrive in Israel by ship in the 1950s and 1960s and are sent straight to Dimona, a town recently established in the desert. They now open up and share their life stories that have never before been told from their perspectives. What happened during the first fifteen years to the girls and women who arrived with their families from North Africa and Poland and found themselves building a town in the middle of the desert? They talk about the pain of leaving their homes behind, about poverty and the difficulties of adjusting in their new homeland, and about their determined attempts to create rich and meaningful lives.

In the film Dimona Twist, which mixes between conversations with the protagonists and private and public archives, they recount the struggles they took part in and the insights they gained, with humor, sorrow and dignity.

Director Michal Aviad spoke after the screening

March 2017 -  "Tour De Finaly"  Directed by Micha Shagrir

Synopsis:  Grenoble, France, late-1943. Dr. Fritz and Annie Finaly handed over their children – two-and-a-half year old Robert and eighteen-month-old Gerald – into the guardianship of a neighbor. In February 1944, Fritz and Annie were arrested by Gestapo agents and never seen again. Records show they were killed in Auschwitz.

The film “Tour de Finaly” recounts the journey of Robert and Gad Finaly - now adult
s with children and grandchildren of their own – to the geographical milestones of their childhood. The film winds between France, Israel, Italy and Austria, incorporating rare archival footage.

Dr Robert Finaly spoke after the screening


February 2017 -   "Ameer Got His Gun"

Produced by Saar Yogev, Directed by Naomi Levari, Written by Naomi Levari & Saar Yogev

Ameer is about to enlist in the army. As opposed to the majority of eighteen-‎year-old boys in Israel, for whom army service is mandatory, Ameer is exempt ‎from military service under the assumption that his enlistment may endanger ‎Israel’s security. That is because Ameer is a Muslim Arab.‎
All alone, he sets out on a journey of civic and self-definition, while carefully ‎navigating the thin line between Jewish and Arab societies.‎
Ameer, an eternal optimist, wishes to be both a proud Arab and an ‎enthusiastic Israeli, while his only enemy is reality.‎

One of the writers, Naomi or Saar, will speak with us after the screening


Documentary Moroccan-born Muslim filmmaker Kamal Hachkar explores the 2000-year-old Mellah (Jewish quarter) in his family’s village of Tinghir, Morocco, and follows the trail of the town’s once substantial Jewish population to its émigrés and descendants in Israel. In the film, he weaves back and forth between his city’s old Jewish quarter and Israel, where he meets Sephardic Jews who still hold tight to their Moroccan identity.

A fascinating, inquisitive, and deeply humanist work that presents the true story of a long term collaboration between Jews and Muslims that eventually fell apart. As Hachkar tries to understand exactly what happened, he simultaneously seeks a better way forward.
Director Kamal Hachkar spoke after the screening