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Mark Kirchhoff
Community Engagement and Education
The 18th Annual Omaha Jewish Film Festival opens with the showing of Shoelaces on Monday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m., at the Aksarben Cinema, 2110 S 67th St. Advanced tickets will be available online through the Aksarben ticket office (www.aksarbencin ema.com) beginning Oct. 21 at the festival price of $8 per ticket. We anticipate a packed theater and encourage you to obtain tickets early.
We have a special bonus for those patrons who attend all four of this year’s films. Save your ticket stubs and bring the first three to the Nov. 25 showing and your ticket for the final show will be only $5. If you purchase online at the $8 price, we will have a stack of $1 bills and will gladly give you three of them. We will have a record of online purchases for the Nov. 25 film, but bring your proof of purchase just to make sure.
Shoelaces tells the story of a complicated relationship between an aging father, Ruven, and his special-needs son, Gadi.  Unsure how to relate with his son, Ruven abandoned his wife and Gadi while Gadi was still a young boy. With the death of Gadi’s mother, father and son are uncomfortably back together again. As their relationship develops, Ruven learns that his kidneys are failing and Gadi wants to donate one of his own to help save his father’s life. As if life were not challenging enough for him, Gadi learns that he is facing more than one obstacle in making the donation. The story develops with warmth and compassion. Audiences embrace Gadi from the moment he appears on screen. The father/son relationship that unfolds gives pause for all to learn something about themselves.
The additional films and locations for this year’s festival are listed below.All showings are at 7 p.m. Admission is $8 with the exception of the Film Streams movie for which their standard prices apply.
 Nov. 12, Tel Aviv on Fire at Film Streams, Ruth Sokolof Theater
    Nov. 18, Leona at Village Pointe Cinema    
    Nov. 25, The Samuel Project at Marcus Majestic Cinema of Omaha
This year’s film selection committee members are (alphabetical order) Helen and Tuffy Epstein, Jordana Glazer, David Golbitz, Dora Goldstrom, Margie Gutnik, Heidi Needleman, Gloria Kaslow, Ron Lugasy, Ophir Palmon, Amanda Ryan, Marty Shukert, and Nancy Wolf. The Samuel Project, the Holocaust-themed film, was chosen by the Institute for Holocaust (IHE) staff and their film review committee.
We extend our thanks to the generous sponsors of this year’s film festival. They are The Henry Monsky Lodge of B’nai B’rith, and the following Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation funds: Klutznick/Creighton Custodial Fund, Kenneth Ray Tretiak Memorial Fund, Ruth Frisch & Oscar S. Belzer Endowment Fund, Avy L. & Roberta L. Miller Film Fund, Samuel & Bess Rothenberg Memorial Endowment Fund, and Special Donor-Advised Fund.