Presenting films with Jewish themes from all over the world to the Greater Phoenix Community.

Our Mission


To present films and provide associated programming with Jewish themes from all over the world to the Greater Phoenix Community.


To increase the sense of community and cohesiveness among all Jews in the Valley of the Sun. To increase awareness of the variety and richness of Jewish culture among all residents of and visitors to the Valley of the Sun.


We believe in and value our Jewish heritage. We believe in and value the contribution the film festival continues to make to our entire community. We believe Jewish films reflect these values. We believe Jewish films add to the enrichment, understanding, and perception of these values.


By presenting films reflecting past, present, and future themes of Jewish life worldwide. By encouraging the participation of all Jewish organizations in the Festival. By sharing the benefits of the Festival with the entire community.

Our Story

The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival (GPJFF) resulted from a merger of the Phoenix Jewish Film Festival (PJFF) and the East Valley Jewish Film Festival (EVJFF). The PJFF was founded by Phyllis and the late Sheldon Pierson who, in 1996 decided that Phoenix, the capitol and largest city in Arizona, needed a Jewish film festival; in 2004, the EVJFF was born from an idea of the late Gloria and Sid Israel. The two festivals merged five years later, and, thus, the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival as we know it now was created. This is our 27th year of providing entertaining and compelling international films with Jewish themes to audiences across the metropolitan Phoenix area.

Who We Are

GPJFF is a wholly independent, volunteer-run 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. Sources of funding are ticket sales, donations, advertising and grants. In the past, we have received grants from the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, City of Scottsdale, City of Chandler, West Valley Art Council and the Arizona Commission on the Arts/National Endowment for the Arts. Almost 13,000 people attended our films in 2020, a continuation of our year to year growth, and we expect to attract many more each year. Many out-of-towners who spend time in the Valley during the winter regularly attend and generously support the festival.

Film screening committees begin the hard yet rewarding work of selecting films as soon as the current festival ends. The GPJFF strives to bring to the big screen a variety of excellent films produced in different countries, and to offer different genres, including drama, comedy, documentary and Holocaust.

The GPJFF also continues to hold special screenings throughout the year, often in conjunction with other groups.


Sue Adatto & Tricia Beran
Tali Brosh & Virginie Polster

Assistant Executive Directors

Ricki Light


George Goffman
Nyles Gradus

Board of Directors

David Adatto
Ilene Blau
Sheri Bretan
Melissa Gulinson
Cheryl Hammerman
Laurie Herman
Bill Kram
Amy Mastbaum
Jerry Mittelman*
Linda Mittelman
Robert Nagle
Richard Reinkall
Shelly Reiss
Lois Rubin
Barry Singer*
Suzanne Swift
Merle Tarnow
Joseph Widoff
Bonnie Wieder
Daniela Yellan


Gloria Israel (זייל)
Phyllis Pierson
Sid Israel (זייל)
Sheldon Pierson (זייל)

* Immediate Past Executive Directors


Past Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festivals

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Special thanks to our most generous donors, Barbara and Robert Murray and the Morris and Gertrude Furman Foundation.

Thank you also to our generous and longtime donors, Sheila Schwartz and the Chulew family.

Our 2024 Business Sponsors

Partially funded by grants from