Jewish Center & Federation
of the Twin Tiers
Elmira - Corning - Watkins Glen - Waverly - Sayre
The Women's Balcony
Film explores gender, fundamentalism

When the women’s balcony of a mainstream Orthodox synagogue collapses and the beloved, elderly rabbi retires in despair, the congregation is initially delighted to have attracted a charismatic young rabbi to lead the rebuilding.

Only one problem: the new rabbi is ultra-Orthodox and his plans don’t include rebuilding the balcony. In fact, he wants husbands to force their wives to adopt fully traditional gender roles and practices.

That’s the premise of The Women’s Balcony, a 2016 Israeli film that will be the JCF film for February. 

It should come as no surprise that the women rebel, in ways reminiscent of Lysistrata. Alissa Simon wrote in Variety that screenwriter Shlomit Nechama “establishes an environment where the main characters’ religious observation creates a sense of belonging that is closely tied to the warmth of home and family” and “contrasts their heartfelt practices with the inflexible dictates of Rabbi David and his followers."

We’ll see it on Sunday, February 11, at 3:00 p.m. in the Braunstein Community Room at CKA. It’s in Hebrew with English subtitles.