It feels so strange not be having a festival this year, but we hope to be back in 2022. Any updates can be found here, so keep checking back with us! Miss you all!


The Carmel Jewish Film Festival is now entering its tenth year. Through the power and artistry of cinema, the festival seeks to engage the greater  community in meaningful dialogue on important issues of our day. While informed by a uniquely Jewish sensibility, our films communicate themes and messages with universal appeal to a wide audience drawn from the Monterey area and beyond. Our festival's accompanying programs further engage mind and heart through discussion and social interaction. We hope that our festival will help bridge cultural and religious differences and contribute to solidarity and peace.

Special Events 2020 
 For a complete film list, select the Film tab.
Opening Night, Saturday, March 7, to Feature the Film
Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles with Broadway Actor Michael Bernardi

We are so pleased to welcome Michael Bernardi to our festival.  Michael appears in the film and is the youngest person to ever play Tevye on Broadway. He is the son of the late Herschel Bernardi who played Tevye on Broadway in 1971. Michael will participate in a Q & A and entertain us with some music.  Click here to learn more about Michael.

The evening will still begin with a fabulous reception (tickets will be limited) at 6:30 p.m. followed by the film at the Carmel High School Center for the Performing Arts.  Special guest appearances by Reg Huston and Alisa Fineman.                                              To learn more about the film, click here.

CJFF Presents Violins of Hope in Exclusive Area Appearance
on Sunday, March 8, with Violinist Cookie Segelstein

The Violins of Hope is a collection of restored instruments played by Jewish musicians during The Holocaust. These instruments have survived concentration camps, pogroms, and many long journeys to tell remarkable stories of injustice, suffering, resilience, and survival. Please click here for more about the Violins of Hope story.

On Sunday, March 8, several of these violins will travel to Carmel for a performance and Q & A with renowned violinist Cookie Segelstein following the film, Violins of Hope. There will be a reception at 2 PM at the Carmel High School Center for the Performing Arts followed by the film and program. Tickets will go on sale in January. Please click here to learn more about Cookie Segelstein.

The CJFF is honored to be a partner with Violins of Hope San Francisco Bay Area in association with Music at Kohl Mansion, Burlingame, as these violins have their West Coast debut. The CJFF will be the only appearance of the Violins of Hope in our tri-county area. The Monterey County Symphony and Chamber Music Monterey will be partnering with the CJFF for this special event.

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Local Chabad Rabbi & Wife Lead a Talkback on March 12

CJFF is pleased to welcome Rabbi Dovid and Binie Holtzberg to join the discussion following the film 93 Queen, when a group of tenacious Hasidic women who smash the patriarchy in their community by creating the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York City.  Please click here to learn more about Rabbi Dovid & Binie.

The evening begins at 7:00 p.m. at CBI. A special shoutout to the Monterey-Salinas Hadassah chapter for providing goodies for the evening.

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Hungarian-born Film Director Éva Gárdos
Tells Her Story at March 14 Event

Following a reception and the Hungarian crime thriller Budapest Noir on Saturday, March 14, Éva Gárdos will participate in a Q & A. Éva began her career with Francis Ford Coppola as a production assistant for Apocalypse Now.  Her screenwriting and feature film directorial debut, An American Rhapsody starring a young Scarlett Johansson, was based on the true-life events of Éva’s family escaping from Hungary in the 1950s and being forced to leave their infant child (Éva) behind.

The evening will begin with a reception followed by the film and Q & A. To learn more about Éva, please click here.

Local Clergy Lead Panel Following March 15 Film

The film The Accountant of Auschwitz raises many moral issues that still resonate today.

Join Minister Elaine Gerhmann, Father Jerry Maher, and Rabbi Jeff Schulman as they 

discuss the many aspects of this film and why it is so important to "never forget."  A

reception will follow the discussion so that you can continue the discourse. 

For more information about our panelists, please click here.

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Night of Shorts on March 19 to Feature World-renowned Filmmakers Tiffany Shlain, Ken Goldberg, and Michael Horwitz, moderated by Short Film Director and Actress Justine Stock 

Tiffany Shlain is an American filmmaker, author, and public speaker. Regarded as an internet pioneer, Shlain is the founder of the Webby Awards and the co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Her films have been translated into multiple languages and have over 50 million views.

Ken Goldberg is an artist, inventor, and roboticist. He is William S. Floyd Jr Distinguished Chair in Engineering at UC Berkeley. He co-wrote three award-winning Sundance documentary films, "The Tribe", "Yelp", and "Connected: An Autoblogography of Love, Death, and Technology" 


​Michael Horwitz is an award-winning director and film editor and has directed a number of short films that have screened at such prestigious festivals like Cannes (American Pavilion), Chicago and Slamdance. Help us welcome Tiffany, Ken, and Michael to our festival where they will participate in a Q & A about their films. Tiffany and spouse Ken Goldberg will talk about and sign their new book 24/6: The Power of Unplugging.


To learn more about Tiffany, click here, Ken, click here, Horwitz, click here, Justine, click here.

March 22 Closing Night to Include Middle Eastern Food tasting and Talk-back with Rabbi Greenbaum and Abdel Seck

Preceding the delightful film ABE, enjoy a food-tasting of delectable Middle Eastern foods. Two reception tickets and reservations are required. Reception limit 100. Rabbi Bruce and Muslim community leader Abdel Seck will entertain your questions about the many rich issues raised in the film.                      Please click here for more info about our speakers.

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CJFF Engages Local Youth Musicians

The CJFF has been fortunate to have members of the Carmel High School music ensemble play at our Opening Night reception and are pleased they will be returning this year. During the March 8 reception before the Violins of Hope event, we are honored to welcome Nathen Nguyen and Daisy Swanson from York School to perform. You can learn more about these talented musicians by clicking here.

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