JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival Social Justice Series focuses on documentaries

The JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival, now in its 9th year, is proud to present its second virtual Social Justice Series, featuring 5 films available for at home viewing including exclusive conversations with filmmakers and subject matter experts following many of the films. The series runs from Jan. 14 - 23, and a special Series Pass is available.

As the largest Jewish Community Center in North America, nondenominational and welcoming to all, the philosophy of inclusion serves as a compass for JCC Chicago - and their festival has historically featured dozens of films that address issues of race, religion, orientation, disabilities, differences, and mental health. This year's films were chosen to inform and ignite important conversation.

"Film is a powerful tool to inspire change, and a wonderful way to reach more people. The themes explored throughout this slate of films give a powerful voice to issues of the human experience with raw, emotional, occasionally uncomfortable, real life stories." says Ilene Uhlmann, Director of Arts & Ideas at JCC Chicago.

Highlights of the series include "Once Upon A Boy" about a family's struggle with their son's cerebral palsy, "A Common Goal" where player's loyalties are questioned as half the Israeli National Soccer Team players are Muslim, and "Belly of the Beast," directed by Peabody- and Emmy Award-winner Erika Cohn. Additionally, the short film "Growing Peace in the Middle East," created by a 7th grade student who was inspired by a visit to Israel, will be shown.

The Social Justice Series will officially open on Jan. 14, and films will be available for at home viewing for a 72-hour window through the online viewing platform Eventive. With each rental, households will be given access to exclusive conversations with filmmakers, directors and thought leaders following many of the films.

To see the full film lineup and join the film series experience, please visit

• JCC Chicago is a nonprofit organization inspired by Jewish values, bridging traditions and generations to create a more vibrant, connected community. JCC Chicago is a partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community.

Steven Hoffen Q&A: 13-year-old documentary filmmaker

"Once Upon a Boy" Courtesy of JCC Chicago
"Belly of the Beast" Courtesy of JCC Chicago
"Growing Peace in the Middle East" Courtesy of JCC Chicago
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.