Speakers at 2018 Jewish Film FESTIVAL

Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger

Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger

Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel

Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger are Ironbound Films. Their last documentary THE ANTHROPOLOGIST premiered at DOC NYC, screened at 50 film festivals, hit theaters via Argot Pictures, and enjoys a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. ÉVOCATEUR: THE MORTON DOWNEY JR. MOVIE premiered at Tribeca, hit theaters via Magnolia, aired on CNN, and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Their PBS documentary THE NEW RECRUITS and Sundance hit THE LINGUISTS were both nominated for Emmys.

Alison Chernick

Alison Chernick


In award-winning documentaries profiling major contemporary artists, director Alison Chernick has succeeded in capturing the thoughts and processes of this century’s most prolific visual artists. Creating a bridge between contemporary art and film, Chernick initially conceived a series profiling artists for television with her first feature film, The Jeff Koons Show. The film had theatrical distribution and streams on iTunes. She completed her second feature-length documentary on contemporary artist Matthew Barney, Matthew Barney: No Restraint, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was acquired for theatrical distribution by IFC and The Weinstein Company. The Tate Modern commissioned her to do a film on Roy Lichtenstein for his retrospective in 2012. The Artist Is Absent, a film about artist/designer Martin Margiela premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015 and will show at MoMA in 2018. Her art films have been screened at various museums around the world, including the five Guggenheims, The Smithsonian, SFMOMA, and The Walker. She is the recipient of a NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR HUMANITIES grant in 2017, a NYWIFT (New York Women in Film and Television) grant, a Loreen Arbus grant, Patricia Highsmith-Plangman residency award, a Promax award for HBO and Best Screenwriter award for a short film. She started Voyeur Films, a production company in 2005 that specializes in documentaries and commercial directing. She is currently working on a narrative film.

Alan Feinberg

Alan Feinberg

Bagels Over Berlin
Born in Buffalo, New York in 1946, Alan is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania He continued his studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he pursued color theory and processing as well as fine art photography. “I was a large format fine art photographer for many years and I taught, judged, exhibited and sold my work as well.” Filmmaking soon took over as he exchanged his still camera for video production, presenting stories that are meaningful to him and popular with audiences. He has just concluded production and distribution of 20 film series of educational training films for the fashion design industry.

Lilly Rivlin

Heather Booth: Changing the World

Lilly Rivlin

Lilly Rivlin is an award winning independent filmmaker based in New York. She has produced and directed many documentaries about women who are political activists. Lilly was the 2013-14 recipient of the Miller Distinguished Jewish Woman Filmmaker Award. After living and working in Israel, Italy, and England, she returned to the U.S. in 1973, and joined the Second Wave of the Feminist movement. Before focusing on filmmaking she was the major researcher on O Jerusalem, a best seller by Larry Collins and Dominque Lapierre. In England she was hired by Sanford Liebersohn and David Putnam (of Chariots of Fire fame) to research & write, The Jews, a 13-part television series. She also worked on the much-acclaimed Pillar of Fire, a documentary mini-series for the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

Sam Hoffman

Sam Hoffman

Humor Me

Sam Hoffman is a producer, director and writer who has created content in film, television and on digital media.

He currently produces and periodically directs the hit CBS drama Madam Secretary. He is also developing, with producing partner Frances McDormand, an adaptation of Michael Pollan’s best-seller The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Hoffman created the web series Old Jews Telling Jokes, which has been viewed over 50 million times, released on DVD, and broadcast on the BBC. His book, based on the series, is now in its sixth printing and the off-Broadway play derived from the series currently tours throughout North America.

Feature films he has produced include Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, John Carney’s Begin Again and Richard Loncraine’s 5 Flights Up. Earlier in his career, Hoffman also assistant directed such acclaimed titles as: The Royal Tenenbaums, School of Rock, Donnie Brasco, Dead Man Walking and Groundhog Day.

Hoffman graduated with Honors from the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in New York City with his wife Andrea Crane, a private art consultant and their two children.

Stuart Liebman

Stuart Liebman

Bye Bye Germany
Stuart Liebman is Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. He has written extensively on Holocaust cinema in Germany, Poland and Russia. He edited Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah: Key Essays for Oxford University Press in 2007.

Ricky Riccardi

Ricky Riccardi

Body and Soul
Ricky Riccardi is the Director of Research Collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum and author of What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years. He runs the online blog, “The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong,” at dippermouth.blogspot.com and has given lectures on Armstrong at venues around the world. Thomas Cunniffe of Jazz History Online has written, “Through a combination of intricate research and unbridled enthusiasm, Ricky Riccardi has become the 21st century’s foremost expert on Louis Armstrong.”

Carol King

Carol H. King, LCSW

Let Yourself Go
Carol has been affiliated with Rockland Jewish Family Service as a therapist and social worker since l991. In addition to individualized counseling, she has designed and runs the RJFS Jewish Family Life Education programs. Carol facilitates groups dealing with marriage, second generation, loss and bereavement. She strives to bring the wisdom of Jewish text and tradition to address contemporary and lifecycle situations. Carol has completed a Masters Dual Degree Program from the Jewish Theological Seminary in Jewish Studies and an MSW in Social Work from Columbia University. In addition, she has an MEd from Teachers College of Columbia University in History & Education and has completed graduate studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Carol has also taught in the Melton Program and serves as an adjunct instructor for Rockland Community College.

Harriet Cornell

Heather Booth Honoree Harriet Cornell

Heather Booth
Harriet Cornell, was elected to the Rockland County Legislature in 1983 and re-elected every four years since. She was elected Chair of the Legislature in 2005 and re-elected each year through 2013—the only person to be elected Chair for more than four consecutive years.

During her first year on the Legislature, Mrs. Cornell founded the Legislature’s Commission on Women’s Issues and invited community leaders to participate in the formulation of public policy. The ambitious work of this Commission included the creation of the Rockland Housing Action Coalition to address affordable housing issues; the Child Care Coalition to focus on quality, affordable child care; the opening of the county’s AIDS Clinic as a direct result of the Commission’s public hearings on HIV/AIDS in Rockland; gynecological care for uninsured and under-insured women; youth employment programs; care for the aging; outreach for breast cancer detection; education about heart disease; and the formation of STOP F.E.A.R., a coalition to stem the scourge of domestic violence. Mrs. Cornell was a founder of Rockland Schools of the 21st Century, also known as Rockland 21C, which she has chaired for 21 years. The goal of this collaborative not-for-profit organization is to ensure the best possible future for every child by building a comprehensive support system that links family, school and community. It has instituted 46 Family Resource Centers in the public schools of eight Rockland school districts and runs a literacy-based home visiting program for toddlers.

As a Legislator, Cornell’s priorities have included the protection of our environment, enhanced educational resources, arts in public places, improved health services for women and children, providing much-needed assistance to Rockland’s aging population; homeland security, Rockland’s transportation system and the future of the Tappan Zee Bridge-I87/287 corridor.

Reports she has produced with recommendations for public policy action include: Project Tomorrow: Aging in Place, on how to make Rockland more senior friendly; Access to Health Care–the reality and recommendations/; Report on Women, Drugs & Alcohol; Healthy Bodies & Healthy Minds: A Vision for the Children of New York State; Rockland’s Voices Making the Case for Amending the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. Her initiation and development of a County Comprehensive Plan for use by county, towns and villages was done with community input and adopted by the County in 2011—a major achievement.

Legislator Cornell chairs the Rockland County Task Force on Water Resources Management, which was created by resolution of the Rockland County Legislature and signed by the County Executive in 2014 to reflect Cornell’s proposal to the NYS Public Service Commission that Rockland County was capable of planning its own water future and did not need a desalination plant on the Hudson River as proposed by United Water NY. Subsequently the PSC ordered SUEZ (UWNY) to abandon its proposed plant.

Harriet’s long record of accomplishments, her life-long interest in the well-being of children and families, and her forthright and outspoken beliefs have resulted in recognition by a number of prestigious organizations and institutions, including: The Journal News, which named her as one of 25 people who made the greatest impact on Rockland County during the 20th Century and the first-ever Good Housekeeping/Ford Foundation Award which was presented to Harriet in Washington, D.C. for her efforts which demonstrate how government can improve people’s lives.

Mrs. Cornell is a graduate of Swarthmore College and received her M.P.A. degree from N.Y.U. Wagner Graduate School of Public Policy. She was married for 48 years to attorney J. Martin Cornell until his death in 2002. They have four children and three grandsons.

Pamela Dubin

Last Poker Game
Pamela graduated from Bates College with a BA in theatre and from the New Actors Workshop. She has had extensive training with the Moscow Arts Theatre, the Berliner Ensemble, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre of the Deaf, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and Interlochen to name but a few. Pamela has worked and trained under the direction of the likes of Mike Nichols, Gene Hackman, Paul Sills (of Second City/ Story Theatre fame) and Larry Moss.

Her stage credits include: Helena in “All’s Well that Ends Well” at The Sun Valley Shakespeare Festival , Shelby in “Steel Magnolias” opposite Valerie Perrine at TheatreFest, Mrs. Cratchit in “A Christmas Carol; A Ghost Story of Christmas” directed by Michael Wilson at The Hartford Stage Company, and worked with a wide variety of other companies including Ensemble Studio Theatre, Bread & Puppet Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre and Second City in NYC.

Pamela’s television credits include “Scrubs,” “Family Law” and “The Practice”. A veteran of studio films, her favorite film roles tend to be the ones in independent films that range from quirky to quirkier from Glinda in “Ozfest” to Nina in “The Long Road to Gary” to Vivian in “Continua,” to her most treasured role as Sheryl in “Abe and Phil’s Last Poker Game” working opposite Martin Landau in his last film.

Susanna Styron

Out of My Head
Susanna most recently wrote and directed the short film, HOUSE OF TEETH, starring Deborah Hedwall and Amanda Kristin Nichols. Her career as a director began with Columbia Pictures’ SHADRACH, starring Harvey Keitel and Andie MacDowell, which premiered internationally at the Venice Film Festival. Her other directing credits include A&E Television’s 100 CENTRE STREET, created by Sidney Lumet, for which she also wrote; and the web series ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE. Susanna has written several award-winning television movies for Hallmark Hall of Fame and Lifetime; and written for the TV series BORGIA, created by Tom Fontana. Susanna’s previous documentary, the award-winning 9/12: FROM CHAOS TO COMMUNITY about the volunteer effort at Ground Zero, was also a collaboration with Jacki Ochs. She has published nonfiction prose in The Yale Revue, Spin Magazine, Real Simple Magazine and The New York Times. Susanna teaches Screenwriting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Stephen Schaefer


Film critic and entertainment reporter Stephen Schaefer is a regular for The Boston Herald and a contributor to Variety. He has also appeared as commentator and critic on Access Hollywood, A&E’s Biography series, E’s True Hollywood Story and other TV programs and regularly covers film festivals in Cannes, Venice and Toronto.

As host/producer of the half-hour interview show “Beyond the Subtitles” on Art on Air (Art International Radio) Schaefer covers world cinema with filmmakers and actors from around the world, including upcoming shows with Christophe Barratier and Nora Arnezeder from “Paris 36,” as well as Michel Gondry and Leos Carax for “Tokyo!” and Martin Provost for the Cesar winning “Seraphine.” He is the author of a well-regarded 1985 Hollywood spoof, “Marla’s Truth! The Autobiography of Marla Del Marr as told to Stephen Schaefer”

Fleming Meeks

Fleming Meeks is an award-winning financial journalist whose 30-year career includes a stint at Forbes in the 1980s and ’90s. where he interviewed Hedy Lamarr, as well as scores of CEOs, billionaires and con men. (Several of the CEOs were billionaires, only a few were con men.)

Meeks worked at Dow Jones for 20 years, principally at Barron’s where he served as Executive Editor for six years. He currently works in public relations.

In addition to journalism, Meeks is a poet, whose work has been published in the Yale Review, the Kenyon Review and the American Poetry Review.

Eran Polishuk

Eran Polishuk is the Director of Film and Media at Israel’s Office for Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel, New York.
In his previous role as producer of the Jewish and International Jerusalem Film Festival at the Jerusalem Cinematheque-Israel Film Archive, he collaborated with numerous cultural organizations in Israel including the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, the Tel Aviv Museum of Arts, Cinema South International Film Festival and many more.

One of his greatest sources of pride has always been to represent the very best of Israel arts to the Israeli and international public.

Elliott Forrest


Elliott Forrest is a Peabody Award winning Broadcaster, Producer & Director. He’s heard on WQXR, New York Classical Radio. elliottforrest.com

Laurence Holland

Body and Soul

Laurence has been playing bass guitar since he was 14 years old. Although he began his music journey by learning the piano at age 8, he quickly realized that he would not be the next Leonard Bernstein or Bud Powell. So at the at the beginning of the British invasion and the birth of Motown he turned to the bass guitar as the best way to make it into his neighborhood band. The band was an ambitious combination of tastes from Blues to Motown that provided enough material to play in local venues.

Over the years he has stayed true to the spirit of music and creativity by playing in several different types of music projects. He began playing with local guitar legend DannyToan and The Rogues back in the ‘60’s. The band was managed by John McAvoy who would became the owner/manager of The Turning Point in Piermont, one of the most notable music clubs the area. He even has had the opportunity to play in a battle of the bands that featured the Isley Brothers and had as their lead guitarist a man named Jimmie James who would later to become Jimi Hendrix). Some other musicians he has had the pleasure of playing with include Chuck Setzer, Valerie Simpson, Bobby Brown, Pete Seegar, BB King, Frankie D, Les Goodson, Buddy Guy, Leon Boddie, Bryan Post, Patti Labelle and Dylan Kelahan to name of few. He is currently the bass player/music director for Sam Waymon and the Magic Band featuring Sam Waymon on keyboards and vocals, Mario Giampaglia on guitar, Colin Pohl on saxophone.

Laurence Maslon

Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me

Laurence Maslon is an arts professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts,as well as associate chair of the Graduate Acting Program, with an affiliation in the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.  He is the host and producer of the weekly radio series, Broadway to Main Street, broadcast on the NPR-affiliate station WPPB-FM. His most recent projects are a history of recorded music from Broadway, Broadway to Main Street: How Show Music Enchanted America, to be published in 2018 by Oxford University Press and the American Masters documentary, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me, currently playing in film festivals around the world and scheduled for broadcast on PBS in 2018. He edited the two-volume set American Musicals (1927-1969) containing sixteen classic Broadway librettos, published by the Library of America in 2014 to national acclaim. He is also the author of the companion book to the recent PBS documentary series, Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle and cowrote the series with producer/director Michael Kantor. Also with Kantor, he cowrote the PBS series Make ‘Em Laugh (Emmy nomination) and two episodes of the Emmy-winning Broadway: The American Musical as well as the companion volume. Maslon wrote the acclaimed American Masters/Thirteen documentary Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest Sounds and is the editor of Kaufman & Co., the Library of America edition of George S. Kaufman’s plays. He served on the nominating committee for the Tony Awards from 2007 to 2010.