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Israeli Film Festival 2019 - The Essential Link: The Story of Wilfrid Israel


A film by Yonatan Nir | 71 minutes | Documentary English, Arabic, Hebrew

This film sheds light on an oft-forgotten wealthy German Jew who—through a combination of wily negotiations with the Nazis, large sums of his own money and a long series of selfless acts—saved thousands of Jews in the 1930s and 1940s. Wilfrid Israel, the owner of a department store, was one of the great saviors of Jews and played a key role in the Kindertransport operation. The story of one extraordinary man becomes very personal as filmmaker Yonatan Nir takes us on a journey from a kibbutz in northern Israel to Germany in the 1930's. Nir, who was born on the kibbutz where Wilfrid's name was known but his story was kept secret, takes us on an adventure as he searches for the mysterious hero, and for the reasons for his disappearance from history.

Panel discussion with Dr. Leslie Waters, Assistant Professor of History at Randolph-Macon College and Mort Thalhimer to follow. Talkback moderated by Megan Ferenczy, Education Director at the Virginia Holocaust Museum.

View this film's trailer below.

The 9th Annual Israeli Film Festival is sponsored by Weinstein Properties. It will run January 9 – 13 at the Weinstein JCC.

Festival Concessions are sponsored by Risa and Jay Levine

For more information about all of the events happening at the Weinstein JCC, please call (804) 285-6500.