One of the largest and most respected Jewish film festivals in North America, the Washington Jewish Film Festival (WJFF) is an international exhibition of cinema that celebrates the diversity of Jewish history, culture and experience through the moving image. In addition to the annual festival, the WJFF presents an ongoing, year-round film series, in our home venue at the DCJCC.

The WJFF annually serves over 15,000 people through 80+ screenings, nearly all of which are regional, US or world premieres.

Most screenings are followed by discussions with guest filmmakers and subject matter experts.

The 2014 Festival will light up screens throughout the DC metropolitan area from February 27-March 9, 2014.


Ilya Tovbis became the director of the Washington Jewish Film Festival Director in September 2012. He has extensive programming experience in both the Jewish and broader film worlds, having previously worked with the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), The Picture House, The JCC of NY’s Israel Film Center and the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Prior to coming on as the WJFF Director, Ilya was the Director of Programming at The Picture House, a historic arthouse cinema located in Southern Westchester. The theater annually attracted over 25,000 people to a varied selection of programming with a focus on international, documentary and independent film.Complementing an ongoing series of theatrical runs, the cinema routinely hosted in-depth panels, filmmaker Q&As and community screenings.

Before his tenure with The Picture House, Ilya worked at two of the nation's most prestigious Jewish film programs -- the SFJFF and The JCC in Manhattan's Israel Film Center (IFC). The SFJFF is the country's oldest and largest Jewish Film Festival, while the IFC is the preeminent US body focused on the promotion of Israeli cinema.


Sara Loeb graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and a minor in English Literature. After graduation she worked as the Event Coordinator at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix for two years, coordinating a wide range of events including fundraising galas, corporate functions, birthday parties, weddings and more.

In 2011 Sara decided to move to DC to further her career. Most recently she was the Box Office Manager for the 23rd Washington Jewish Film Festival. In February, Sara became the Coordinator for the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

Ariella Lebowitz is the Festival Associate for the 24th Annual Washington Jewish Film Festival. She comes to film from a background in live theater and has worked in costume shops for performing arts companies across the country including but not limited to the Guthrie Theater, Washington National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Boston Ballet. Most recently, she worked on the 25th Annual Boston Jewish Film Festival. A former WJFF volunteer, Ari is thrilled to be back in DC for this year's festival!


Dina Gold, Co-Chair

Sid Moskowitz, Co-Chair

Ed Cohen

Sara Cohen

Alan Malasky 

Joy Midman

Diane Wattenberg


Aviva Kempner, WJFF Advisor