Film & Food Night features Israeli film

The next Film & Food Night at Congregation Beth Shalom, 820 Russell Road in DeKalb, features "The Women’s Balcony," an Israeli comedy-drama, and a Middle Eastern buffet dinner.

The Sunday, May 20, event begins with dinner at 5:30 p.m., with the movie starting about 6:20 p.m. Those interested are welcome to come just for the film, which is in Hebrew with English subtitles.

This film centers on the members of a small, observant congregation in Jerusalem. During a bar mitzvah, the women’s balcony collapses, leaving the congregation’s elderly rabbi in shock.

The charismatic young rabbi who steps forward to provide leadership turns out to be religiously very conservative. Fractures along gender lines ensue before a happy resolution.

The New York Times describes the film as “a charming exercise in gender politics as experienced via religion.” Clips are available on YouTube.

The sense of community in a small congregation will be familiar to many, as will scenes such as a discussion about who has brought what to a potluck dinner.

A Middle Eastern buffet, catered by the local restaurant Jamrah, is planned before the film. The dinner will feature chicken schwarma, falafel, hummus, salad and various sauces, as well as beverages and dessert.

Advance reservations and payment for dinner are required. Send a check for $11 a person, made out to Congregation Beth Shalom, to Congregation Beth Shalom, 820 Russell Road, DeKalb IL 60115. Payment must be received by Wednesday, May 16.

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