The Boston Jewish Film Festival Staff & Board
The Boston Jewish Film Festival Staff
Executive Director Jaymie E. Saks
Artistic Director Ariana Cohen-Halberstam
Festival Producer Nysselle Clark
Director of Marketing Shayna Worby
Development Officer Lauren Scharf
ReelAbilities Director Mara Bresnahan
Festival Associate Natalie Rees
Festival Production Contributors
Print Traffic/Tech Support Laurann Black and Wesley Hicks
Web Tech Support Rajiv Manglani
Web Maintenance Bouvier Consulting
The Boston Jewish Film Festival Board of Directors
Barbara Resnek, President
Lawrence S. Feinberg, Treasurer
Lee K. Forgosh
Judith L. Ganz
Nancy L. Gossels
Judy Lappin, Vice President
Bette Ann Libby
Taren Metson, Vice President
Joyce F. Pastor
Nancy S. Raphael
Paul G. Roberts
Ken Shulman, Clerk
Festival Honorary Committee
Doug Block is a documentary filmmaker based in New York City. His work includes the critically acclaimed HBO film, 112 Weddings (2014), and 51 Birch Street (2005). Recently, he started a podcast, The D-Word, which focuses on art and social impact of documentary film.
Kevin Bright is one of the creators of the Emmy award-winning TV series, Friends (1994-2004) and the founding Director of Emerson College, Los Angeles. An Emerson alumnus himself, Bright has served in a variety of roles at Emerson including professor and a Board of Trustees member.
Robert Brustein is a theater critic, playwright, and educator. He is the founder of the Yale Repertory Theater and the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA. Brustein is the recipient of many honors and awards including the National Medal of Arts presented by President Barack Obama. Over the course of his career, he has written and adapted several plays and has authored sixteen books on theater and society.
Lisa Gossels is an Emmy-award winning documentarian. Her films Children of Chabannes (1999) and My So-Called Enemy (2010) have screened in over 100 film festivals and earned twenty awards and honors. She is currently on the Steering Committee of New Day Films, a distribution company that focuses on films in the educational and institutional markets.
Barbara Wallace Grossman
Barbara Wallace Grossman is a theatre historian, director, educator, and author. Professor of Drama at Tufts University, she has been Vice Chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a gubernatorial appointee since 2007. In 2016 she received the Mayor Thomas M. Menino Memorial Award for Inspired Support of the Arts in Boston.
Alice Hoffman is a best-selling novelist. Her young adult novel, Practical Magic (1995), was adapted into the 1998 film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Over the course of her career, she has written and published thirty novels and short stories.
Wendy Kout is a writer and producer for theatre, film, and television. Her credits include writing for Mork and Mindy, creating and co-executive producing the hit TV show, Anything but Love, creating the romantic comedy film, Dorfman in Love, and creating the award-winning play, We Are the Levinsons.
Jackie Liebergott is a retired professor, dean and the first female President of Emerson College. Appointed in 1993, she oversaw the strategic move from Back Bay to the historic Boston Theatre District, which resulted in unprecedented growth for the college.
Joni Levin is an Emmy award-winning film and television producer. She produced the recent adaptation of Ben-Hur, as well as the Oscar-nominated film The Way Back. She received an Emmy Award for the TV mini-series When The Lion Roars about the history of MGM.
Joan Nathan is dedicated to preserving Jewish culture by documenting its cuisine. Her ten cookbooks include Jewish Cooking in America and The New American Cooking, were both recipients of the James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook. She later produced and hosted the PBS series Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan. Joan is a regular contributor to The New York Times.
Robert Sage is a businessman, entrepreneur, and founder of the Sage Hotel Corporation. The recipient of several industry awards, he founded the Back Bay Hilton and has served as the national director of the American Hotel & Motel Association
Jenny Slate is an actress, stand-up comedian, and the NY Times best-selling author of the children’s book “Marcel The Shell with Shoes On: Things About Me.” In 2014, she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for “Best Female Lead” and won a Critics’ Choice Award for “Best Actress in a Comedy” on behalf of her performance in “Obvious Child.” She voiced the character of “Bellwether” in Disney’s Academy Award winning film “Zootopia,” as well as “Gidget” in “The Secret Life of Pets.” Her television credits include “Girls,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “Saturday Night Live,” and her films include “Obvious Child,” “Gifted,” and “Landline.” She recently finished filming “Hotel Artemis” opposite Jodie Foster, and is currently filming the Marvel movie “Venom” with Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams. Jenny is a graduate of Columbia University.
Nancy Spielberg is a film producer. Over the course of her varied career she has overseen productions of some of the most widely acclaimed Jewish documentaries including On the Map and Above and Beyond. Her upcoming documentary, Who Will Write Our History?, reveals recently-discovered documents from the Warsaw Ghetto.
Ron Suskind is an award-winning journalist and author. A recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1995, Ron is the former national affairs writer for The Wall Street Journal and author of the memoir Life, Animated, which was adapted into an Oscar-nominated documentary.
Ed Symkus has been reviewing films and writing about the arts since 1975. A Boston-based Emerson College graduate, he was a film critic for The Boston Phoenix, and is currently a contributor to The Boston Globe and GateHouse Media, as well as a radio host.
Festival Artistic Director Emerita
Sara L. Rubin