Jewish Film Festivals

Jewish film festivals are wildly popular--and for some moviegoers, are a major expression of their Judaism.

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Richard Siegel, executive director of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, asks, "Are we experiencing a different way of being Jewish in America?" Being Jewish, he says, may mean a more selective, "pay-per-view" Judaism, in which people may go to services once a year, may read novels by Jewish writers and may go to Jewish films festivals.

"From the point of view of the Jewish community, it's a revolutionary idea," says Plotkin. "You can be Jewish without belonging to a synagogue and without being married to someone Jewish."

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Renata Polt is a film critic and freelance writer. She is the translator and editor of A Thousand Kisses: A Grandmother's Holocaust Letters.