In 1988, Neal Gabler published “An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood.” One of the themes running through the book was that, despite most of the original studio heads being Jewish, their urge for acceptance by a gentile public led them to avoid overtly Jewish themes and subject matters.
We have certainly progressed beyond those times and now have many cinematic representations of the Jewish experience. Though considering how many high profile Jews work in the industry, not as many as you’d think.
This list is a collection of those Jewish films covering subjects as varied as religion, Biblical stories, Jewish family life, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and Israel. Really, any work that explores the Jewish experience.
I’m not including every film staring a Jewish actor or with a Jewish character. Likewise, this will not be a comprehensive list of every Holocaust film or the full output of the Israeli film industry. I hope instead to focus on themes and ideas that make a film particularly Jewish.