Kushner Film Festival

A cinematic event as part of a year-long celebration honoring Rabbi Steven Kushner starting on Thursday, October 26 through Saturday evening, October 28.

Registration Information:

  • Film Festival Patron Pass - $100
  • Director Sponsor - $250
  • Producer Sponsor - $500

Sign-up now on the Member Portal. When signing up please mouse over your selection and indicate the events you will be attending. The deadline to sign-up is Monday, October 23. 

Opening Night - Thursday, October 26

Movie: The Women's Balcony

This film was a huge box office hit in Israel last year, garnering five Israeli Academy Award nominations. A film festival and critic favorite. "The Women's Balcony" focuses on an Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem appalled when their synagogue gets a strict new rabbi who preaches rigid gender roles. While lighthearted, this charming film also examines Israel's increasingly tense conflict between ultra-Orthodox Judaism and more liberal factions. Watch the trailer here. An introduction to the film and discussion will be led by Eric Goldman, film historian.

Time: 8:00 pm

Location: Claridge Theater, Montclair

Speaker/Discussion Leader: Eric Goldman, Ph.D, professor of Yiddush, Israeli and Jewish film, historian and critic.

Erev Shabbat Event - Friday, October 27

Movie: Strength to Strength

Temple Ner Tamid's Rabbi Steven Kushner is one of New Jersey's most eloquent religious voices and storytellers. "Strength to Strength" tells the intriguing story of the man behind the cloth. It explores the self-effacing Kushner's unlikely path to the rabbinate. In an intimately candid discussion with filmmaker John Block, the soon-to-retire rabbi reflects on the trials and qualms that he's faced as a spiritual leader, along with refreshing insights gleaned in the course of his 40-year career.

Time: Following Shabbat Services starting at 6:30 pm

Location: Temple Ner Tamid

Speaker/Discussion Leader: John Block is an American documentary filmmaker

Dinner will be provided following Shabbat services.

Shabbat Event - Saturday, October 28

Program: Main Title Sequence Design and Stories" by Dan Perri

Dan Perri is a former TNT member and a close personal fiend of Rabbi Kushner. Professionaly Dan Perri is the force behind many of the most iconic movie title sequences, like Star Wars, Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. With over 400 film and television project credits to his name, Dan has stories and anecdotes galore about his work, the stars, and the movie business. Come join us as Dan displays examples of his craft and regales us with tales of working in the film industry. (May Dan's force be with you!).

Time: 1:00 pm following Shabbat morning services and lunch

Locaation: Temple Ner Tamid

Lunch will be provided following Shabbat services.

Feature Event - Steve's Cafe: Saturday Evening, October 28

What film has been most frequently cited in the Rabbi's sermons? That honor would likely go to the classic film, "Casablanca". Grab your white dinner jacket and take yourself back to the 1940's to a cafe in Casablanca, Morocco as we watch this classic film with Rabbi Kushner and discover new nuggets about the film as guest speaker Noah Isenberg (author of "We'll Always Have Casablanca") shares little-known facts about the Jewish connections in the making of "Casablanca". All of this while enjoying Mediterranean small plates, drinks, and desserts. Our own Ed Alstrom will be "Sam" for the evening and Professor Eric Goldman will be the evening's host and moderator for the discussion. Period attire suggested (i.e. white dinner jackets and other 1940's style dress).

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Temple Ner Tamid

About this Speaker: Noah Williams Isenberg is a professor at the New School and author of "We'll Always Have Casablanca."

The evening will include wine, martinis, hors d'oeuvres, tapas and desserts.