Ushpizin (Holy Guests)dir. Gidi Dar (Israel), 2004; 90 minutes
(Hosted by David Glassberg and Lisa Kent)
The insular world of Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem comes to the screen (with their blessings) in this warm comedy drama.
Moshe (Shuli Rand) was once a secular Jew, but he rediscovered his faith and became an ultra-Orthodox Jew, and with his wife, Mali (Michal Bat Sheva Rand), he struggles to support their family. (Rand, an ultra- Orthodox Jew in real life, is both the film’s star and script writer.)
With the harvest festival of Sukkot around the corner, Moshe is broke, and asks for help from a yeshiva charitable fund.
Moshe is told the fund has been depleted, and he
and Mali are left with no options but to pray for a
miracle. To their surprise, the next day they’re
informed some money was found in the fund after
all, and they are given 1,000 dollars; Moshe and
Mali believe this is the miracle they asked for, and
they joyously make plans to build a sukkah. Just as
he completes the new sukkah, Moshe is surprised
by the unexpected arrival of Eliahu (Shaul
Mizrahi) and Yosef (Ilan Gannai), two old friends from his restless days before he embraced his current faith. Imagining the Lord has sent him guests as part of the miracle, Moshe takes in his old pals and tries to make peace with their rambunctious ways, but what he doesn’t know is that the two are on the run from the law, having recently escaped from jail.

Please stay for discussion and refreshments after the film.

Please bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Survival Center as part of the JCA Perpetual Food Drive.

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