About Seattle Jewish Film Festival

 The Seattle Jewish Film Festival (SJFF) is one of the largest and longest-running film festivals in the Pacific Northwest and one of the largest Jewish film festivals in the country. A cornerstone program of the Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC), SJFF brings people together from across Washington—and virtually around the globe—to celebrate and showcase the vibrancy and diversity of global Jewish life through cinema to build connections, illuminate perspectives, increase understanding, and offer experiences that amplify profound Jewish experiences for everyone.

Program Highlights

In 2024, the Seattle Jewish Film Festival presents films from nine countries over two weeks. With both virtual and in-person screenings and events, this festival offers the best of both worlds. SJFF welcomes global Jewish and Israeli talent and stories from around the world to bring us together—whether you watch from the comfort of your home or meet your friends at the theater for in-person screenings and events.

SJFF features a variety of fan-favorite, in-person events as well as new programs that delight audiences, including Opening Night Festivities, Sunday Brunch, Sephardic and Israeli Spotlights, a Silent Film + Live Score, and Gay Gezunt! LGBTQ+ Spotlight. We have a liquor license and at our 370-seat, state-of-the-art venue, we offer programs with food, fanfare, and happy hours. We provide free and low-cost tickets for seniors 65+, including our Half-Price Matinee, and we provide free tickets to nonprofits that serve the Survivor, senior, and special needs communities. No one is turned away for lack of funds, but we ask that you go through one of our partner agencies that distribute tickets on our behalf, such as Kline Galland | The Summit, Social Services, or Jewish Family Service.


In addition to screening films at our state-of-the-art Dolby Digital Barco cinema on Mercer Island (370+ seats), we screen films throughout the greater Seattle region, in downtown Seattle, Queen Anne, and on the Eastside. During COVID, SJFF pivoted to a virtual format, screening a full lineup through an online delivery platform, allowing for broader opportunities to engage from a wider geographic region.

SJFF Awards

  • Audience Choice Awards: Attendees cast ballots to decide Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Shorts.
  • REEL and REAL Difference Awards: Every other year, SJFF honors a distinguished filmmaker with the REEL Difference Award and an arts advocate/leader with our REAL Difference Award. The first REAL Difference Award recipient was Festival Founding Chair Deborah Rosen. Other past recipients include Academy Award-nominated German director Michael Verhoeven, Israeli filmmaker Eran Riklis, documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner, filmmaker and Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain, producer Michael Benaroya of Benaroya Pictures, Israeli filmmaker Dani Menkin, and longtime festival champion/former presenting sponsor Martin Selig.
  • Golden Or (“Light” in Hebrew) Jury Prize for Best Independent Film: Every other year, starting in 2020, a distinguished panel of jurists (past awardees and industry professionals) will watch and select one film from our lineup for this award. The jury will also select a local nonprofit to receive a complimentary community partner film sponsorship (value $400) and free tickets to share with their constituents as a way to engage and benefit their constituents. For example, in 2020, the first Golden Or Award was presented to PICTURE OF HIS LIFE, and the nonprofit Youth in Focus was selected as the community partner.