The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF) partnered in 2012 to offer a selection of feature films, documentaries and shorts, screened in the Auditorium of The Magnes once a month throughout the year.
This partnership presents the Berkeley audience with an innovative program that combines attractive titles with short introductions by researchers from the UC Berkeley community. It also renovates the long-standing association between The Magnes and the SFJFF.
The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF) was conceived and founded by Deborah Kaufman in 1980. Her goal was to use cinema to spark a new and open discussion of politics and culture inside the Jewish community and to challenge Hollywood stereotypes of Jews in the public at large. Three institutions—the Judah L. Magnes Museum, the American Film Institute in Washington DC, and the UCLA Film Archives—supported the first Jewish Film Festival (1981), consisting of 10 independently produced documentary and fiction films from around the world. Kaufman was joined in 1982 by Janis Plotkin, who served as Associate Director, Co-Director and Executive Artistic Director during her tenure at SFJFF.