by Susan Weidman Schneider

Fearless Friend of Film

When Carole Zabar created last year’s Other Israel film festival, she says her brother-in-law worried that customers of Zabar’s, the renowned family food business on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, might complain about the festival’s focus on Israeli Arabs. Hardly. The festival, under the auspices of the JCC of Manhattan, was so successful that a second run opens this fall. Zabar, a longtime supporter of Israeli culture, particularly documentary film, spent her college years, in the early 1960s, at Hebrew University. She speaks fluent Hebrew, and says this unique festival grew out of her observation that though Israel’s Arab citizens (Christian, Muslim, Bedouin and Druze) are about onefifth of the country’s population, American Jews “have no awareness of what’s going on in these communities.”

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