‘Hava Nagila (The Movie)’ to headline Jewish Film Festival in Scottsdale

The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival and Gesher Disability Resources will co-host a free sensory-sensitive screening of the film “Hava Nagila (The Movie)” at 10 a.m. Feb. 24 at Harkins Shea 14 Theater, 7354 E. Shea Blvd. in Scottsdale.

As part of the 23rd Annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival, running from Feb. 10-24, 2019, a free screening of “Hava Nagila (The Movie)” will be shown for an audience of Jewish teens from Valley synagogues and over 100 members of Gesher Disability Resources and their caretakers, according to a press release.

“Hava Nagila (The Movie)” (Submitted Photo)

Gesher Disability Resources serves children and adults affected by a disability through inclusion assistance in the classroom, resource referral, residential support and social groups.

This sensory sensitive screening will raise awareness and highlight inclusion, while at the same time providing an entertaining and educational cinematic experience for everyone in attendance, a release states.

Numerous performers have performed the tune ‘Hava Nagila” including Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte and Neil Diamond, and the song has appeared everywhere from the 2012 Olympic Games to “South Park.” The song has been a musical staple of Jewish weddings and bar mitzvahs

‘Have Nagila (The Movie)” delves into the song’s two centuries of history, from its origins as a wordless melody in the Ukraine to the countless modern-day renditions that can be found on YouTube.

Filmmaker Roberta Grossman directed “Hava Nagila (The Movie)” has received critical acclaim at over 100 film festivals across the nation, a release states.

There will be a musical portion of the event where Cantorial Soloist Mike Robbins from Beth Ami Temple of Paradise Valley will teach those in the audience that don’t know ‘Have Nagila” the song’s lyrics. He will be accompanied on the keyboard by Lorraine Greenberg, the temple’s musical accompanist.

February is Jewish Disability, Awareness and Inclusion Month. This particular event is closed to the general public, but parents and caretakers of people with special needs wanting to attend the screening may contact Jacquelyn Null from Gesher Disability Resources at Jacquelyn@gesherdr.org.

The screening is funded by contributions in memory of Sheldon Pierson, one of the original founders of the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival.

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