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Pinner Synema : Women's Balcony

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 8:15pm

Pinner Synema is back ... with an Israeli season

Films made in and/or about Israel

You could call “The Women’s Balcony” a battle-of-the-sexes comedy set in an Orthodox community in Jerusalem. But the film goes deeper, looking at how conservative religious views can clash with more moderate ways.

The plot is set in motion in the first 10 minutes. During a bar mitzvah, a balcony designed for women collapses. The rabbi, suffering from dementia, is unable to function after the incident. With nowhere to pray, the congregants wander around helpless and confused, waiting for a miracle.

It arrives in the form of Rav David. Handsome, bearded and charismatic, David learns of the community’s misfortune and immediately volunteers to help. Before long, he secures the necessary permits and oversees the renovation of the shul. And soon enough, he sets out to repair the community’s hearts and minds as well, delivering fiery lectures and insisting that its members grow more observant. He sees the destruction of the balcony as a sign from G’d. And when he decides that the community’s limited funds should be invested in a new Torah, rather than rebuilding the women’s balcony, the women take charge.

If you are one of those Jews who consider shul a central part of life, come and see this film which has a striking relevance to today. It teaches us that we should never forget that Judaism regards Ahavat Yisrael, or kinship among Jews, just as highly as scholarly excellence or religious observance. When the women finally triumph and their balcony is erected anew, they’ve patched up more than just an old building—they’ve rebuilt their community.

Synema Snacks included

Tickets are £6