Scary Movies Made by Jews

by | Oct 4, 2018 | Hillel Ontario | 0 comments

October is here, which means it’s time for a night (or several nights) of classic Halloween movie marathons. We’ve rounded up this list of our top five films by Jewish filmmakers that are perfect for the countdown to Halloween.

 

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Paranormal Activity – Oren Peli

Although the Israeli film director is known for his Paranormal Activity series, Oren Peli has made his mark in the horror genre by producing some seriously scary movies including Chernobyl Diaries, Insidious and Area 51. He is known in Israel for being a leader in not only “homemade horror”, but cinema in general. If you’re a fan of the supernatural, the six Paranormal Activity films can be a marathon on their own.

 


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The Poltergeist – Steven Spielberg

Spielberg, one of the most notable Jewish filmmakers, may not be listed as a director of The Poltergeist, however he did write the story and produce the film while also directing another one of his classic films, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.  Spielberg was raised as an Orthodox Jew by a Ukrainian-Jewish family, and has spoken a lot about his experience growing up in the religious world.

 


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Big Bad Wolves – Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado

This Israeli duo of directors are frontrunners in the Israel film industry. After attending film school at Tel Aviv University, Aharon teamed up with Navot to produce two of Israel’s most popular horror films, Rabies and Big Bad Wolves, which was featured at Tribeca Film Festival.

 


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Ghostbusters – Ivan Reitman

The iconic action/comedy Ghostbusters by Jewish director Ivan Reitman is a Halloween staple for fans of lighthearted and festive films. Reitman is also known for producing Space Jam and working together with Jewish director David Cronenberg earlier in his career. Reitman was born in Slovakia and his parents have told their stories from the Holocaust, before his family came to Canada.

 


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The Addams Family – Barry Sonnenfeld

The Addams Family may not be known for being particularly scary, but it’s a perfect Halloween-themed movie for the faint of heart. After establishing himself as a cinematographer, Barry Sonnenfeld made his debut as a director with this film-adaptation of the popular Addams Family TV series, and is also known for Men in Black. In his early life, Sonnenfeld was raised by his Jewish mother in Washington Heights, New York City.

Hillel International Student Cabinet 2021-2022

Hillel International Student Cabinet 2021-2022

Jordan Goldenberg, Ryerson University ‘23 and Leah Goldschmidt, York University ‘22, are representing Canadian Jewish students on Hillel International’s global stage. Here’s how they’re enhancing the Canadian Jewish campus experience for years to come:

This year I was fortunate enough to be selected to participate on  the Hillel International Student Cabinet, as one of two Canadian representatives. I am honoured to join the board of  22 students from the United States of America, Israel, Russia and Brazil. 

Over the years, I have been very active in Hillel at York University, and was thrilled when Hillel York’s staff approached me about the opportunity to bring my enthusiasm and passion for Hillel on an international scale. 

Hillel has always been a safe space for me — somewhere I could go to feel comfortable about my Jewish identity, but also a place where I could meet other Jews on campus; some who have become my best friends. Although I only recently joined the Student Cabinet, I can genuinely say I have met some of the most incredible students and staff who are so passionate about the Hillel movement.

I am constantly amazed by the work Hillel students are doing around the world to support and connect the next generation of our community.. We have members who have founded their own Hillels at colleges with barely any Jews, members who are advocates for the LGBTQ+ community and have launched successful international LGBTQ+ cohorts, and members who are doing tremendous work in combating antisemitism. Being around such passionate and motivating students has inspired me to go after my own aspirations within Hillel; creating space for Jews with disabilities. 

As a student with a disability, I am very passionate about expanding space for Jews with disabilities, and while Hillel has taken great strides to increase accessibility and inclusivity; there’s lots more we can do. Hillel has given me incredible resources and support to launch my own projects within this space.

I am thrilled to be representing Canada in this incredible opportunity, and am looking forward to the year ahead.

Leah Goldschmidt, Hillel York

My name is Jordan Goldenberg, and I am a third-year student at Ryerson University studying business management. I am also the President of Hillel Ryerson. The Cabinet is made up of students from around the world, working towards the common goal of engaging Jewish university and college students worldwide. The role of the Cabinet is to serve as a voice for Jewish students and a means of connection to the worldwide Hillel movement. Being part of the collective voice means everything to me, and I am excited to be that voice for Jewish students amplifying Canada and Hillel Ontario’s role on the global stage. 

At the beginning of October,  I had the opportunity to go to DC with the Hillel International Student Cabinet. It was an incredible experience to collaborate with and learn from a variety of leaders in the Jewish community and the Hillel movement. I learned so much from our two student co-chairs, fellow cabinet members and Hillel professionals. We had the chance to get to know the greater Hillel movement through meetings with staff members from various departments and positions within Hillel International; including, but not limited to, the communications teams, board members, the CEO, Adam Lehman, and many more. We spoke at great lengths about the role each of our local Hillels play on our campuses and what we can learn from one another. Since the summit, we have already hit the ground running, with many students taking on various projects at both the local and international levels. I learned so much about the global Hillel movement and how to be a better leader for Jewish students on campus and in the community.

I have always been passionate about bringing people together and there is no better way to do so than collaborating with Jewish students and Hillel’s internationally. This international collaboration allows us to share our common values while celebrating our differences in order to create the best Hillel atmosphere and programming possible.

Jordan Goldenberg, Hillel Ryerson

 

Something New

Something New

The fall post-holiday period is always a good time for launching new things. To the extent we’re not completely exhausted, our five-day work weeks are back (instead of five days of work crammed into three-day weeks), and we’re able to get into something of a rhythm and build momentum in moving toward specific goals.

Adding to the sense of newness and adventure, the third post-holidays Torah portion of Lekh Lekha, which was read this past Shabbat, begins with Abraham receiving divine instructions to leave his home and begin a journey to a new land.  Commentators highlight the uncertainty inherent in the command’s wording: instead of being directed to a specific place, Abraham, at least initially, is told to go “to the land that I will show you,” a vague and undisclosed destination. While he is promised blessings galore for his obedience, setting out requires an element of faith and quite a bit of trust as he leaves his home land and father’s house for somewhere new.

While it’s certainly several orders of magnitude smaller than the journey Abraham undertook, Hillel Ontario is trying something new this week: we’re introducing a new section to our regular newsletters and will be including a d’var Torah to showcase our students’ and staff’s skills and present our readers with a bit of Jewish learning. We hope you’ll find these commentaries inspiring and meaningful and that they’ll provide a glimpse of the Hillel Ontario community that spans our nine campuses.

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