Bal Ej: the Hidden Jews of Ethiopia (Film)
Co-presented by SHIN-DC, Ethiopian Heritage & Culture Camp, and AJC at Washington Jewish Film Festival 27. Screenings: Thursday, May 18, 6:15 pm & Sunday, May 21, 11:30 am
Dir. Irene Orleansky | (96 min, Israel, 2016) | English Hebrew Amharic with English subtitles | Documentary
Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, of blessed memory, advocated for the Jews of Ethiopia. Out of this special connectiuon, SHIN-DC co-presents this film to learn more about Jewish communities of Ethiopia.
Following a hundred-year-old account of the prominent Jewish scholar Jacque Faitlovich, filmmaker and distinguished ethnomusicologist Irene Orleansky travels to Africa to discover and explore a small and secretive group of Ethiopian Jews known as Bal Ej (craftsmen).
Frequently persecuted by their neighbors and deprived of land ownership rights, they outwardly disguise themselves as Christians and practice Judaism in strict secrecy. A fascinating investigation of the history, religious practice, and cultural (especially musical) contributions of this previously unrecorded African Jewish community.
Both screenings followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Irene Orleansky.
Address: 5/18 (E Street Cinema, 555 11th Street NW, Washington, DC) | 5/21 (AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD)