The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival wishes everyone a happy, healthy Rosh Hashanah, plus a heartfelt thank-you to our AJFF fans, who join us in fostering dialogue and community connections through cinematic storytelling.

Your passion for movies and Jewish culture is reflected in manifold ways: in the large and enthusiastic audiences that attend AJFF programs; through the continued growth of AJFF as a valued community asset; and via the thoughtful feedback we frequently receive from you.

Collectively, this deep engagement between AJFF and our audiences, donors and volunteers is what fuels our efforts to provide a meaningful, transformative experience at the movies.

As Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed remarked at the 2017 AJFF opening night, “The rapid ascent of the Jewish Film Festival is a testament to Atlanta’s belief in the power of art as a unifier of people, at a time when we really need to be focused on being unified.”

We couldn’t agree more. Film has the unique ability to reveal what lies within ourselves and at the same time connect us with the larger world and everyone in it. Movies with a purpose provide an opportunity to settle into theater seats not just to be entertained, but also to ponder our shared humanity and expand our worldview.

Just as the High Holidays offer a time for purifying reflection and soul-searching, film sometimes imparts a time for serious thought and contemplation. We look forward to continuing that with you in the “temple” of movies, when the annual festival returns Jan. 24 to Feb. 15, 2018.

In the meantime, this new year has brought new chances for audiences to partake of AJFF activities, thanks to our expansion into year-round programming.

We hope you have enjoyed our AJFF Selects screening series, which began in May. There’s more on tap in the coming months, including a mini-festival coming to the Emory campus, another Icon Award to be bestowed on a film industry leader, and engagement initiatives with diverse religious, ethnic and cultural groups.

You can always stay in the loop at AJFF.org or through our social media channels.

As we prepare to celebrate our chai year with the 18th annual edition of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, we wish you only good things in the new year. L’shana tova!

Kenny Blank is the executive director of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (ajff.org).