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Boston Jewish Film Festival Inc.

 1001 Watertown Street
 West Newton, MA 02465
[P] (617) 244-9899
[F] (617) 244-9894
Jaymie Saks
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3414850

LAST UPDATED: 05/30/2018
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

The Boston Jewish Film Festival celebrates the richness of the Jewish experience through film and media.  Throughout the year, the Festival engages and inspires the community to explore the full spectrum of Jewish life, values and culture.

Mission Statement

The Boston Jewish Film Festival celebrates the richness of the Jewish experience through film and media.  Throughout the year, the Festival engages and inspires the community to explore the full spectrum of Jewish life, values and culture.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $767,450.00
Projected Expense $793,027.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • The Boston Jewish Film Festival

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The Boston Jewish Film Festival celebrates the richness of the Jewish experience through film and media.  Throughout the year, the Festival engages and inspires the community to explore the full spectrum of Jewish life, values and culture.

Background Statement

The Festival was founded in 1989 by local filmmaker Michal Goldman as a special project of The Filmmakers Collaborative, a 501(c)(3) umbrella organization. In 1998, The Boston Jewish Film Festival incorporated as its own nonprofit organization. Now in our 28th year, we are the second-oldest continuous Jewish film festival in the United States. From a once-a-year event, we have grown into a year-round organization, screening films not only in our nationally-recognized annual Festival each November, but also through a wide variety of venues throughout the year. Altogether, since 1998, the Festival has shown almost 800 films from around the world, and welcomed over 150,000 viewers. Additionally, we have presented more than 250 films and welcomed over 71,000 audience members to our screenings presented outside the annual Festival.

Collaboration with other film festivals and arts organizations is a key aspect of our work, as well. Partnering with other organizations helps the Festival to further its mission of exposing Jewish film works to wider audiences and fostering dialogue among different, even divergent, communities.

Impact Statement

Accomplishments in 2015-2016:
1.  Over 11,000 tickets sold to our annual November Festival, at 16 different venues across Greater Boston.
2. Over 1,000 attended the ReelAbilities Boston Film Festival.

Needs Statement

1.  Additional artistic, fundraising, and administrative support staff ($100,000)
2.  Updated branding to reflect new programs and create accessible communications for people with disabilities ($50,000)
3.  Strategic plan ($25,000)
4.  Additional programming for adults in their 20s-30s ($20,000)
5.  Additional board members who are comfortable with fundraising

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
The Boston Jewish Film Festival's programming takes place throughout the Boston area, including the North Shore, South Shore, and MetroWest regions.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Film & Video
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development


The Boston Jewish Film Festival

The annual eleven day November Festival is the largest project of The Boston Jewish Film Festival, Inc. Last year's Festival featured more than 40 films from 16 countries and almost 50 guests, including 21 guest artists and an even greater number of film introducers, panelists, musicians, and comics. In keeping with its staunch independence of vision, BJFF showcases many films that would not otherwise be seen in Boston. "What is the definition of a Jewish film?" is a challenging question and is the subject of open, ongoing debate. BJFF doesn't shy away from challenging its audience's assumptions and expectations by presenting films that push the boundaries of what is traditionally considered a Jewish Film Festival film. BJFF tries to open a window onto perspectives, ideas, and cultures that may not be explicitly Jewish but are likely to be of significant interest to a Jewish audience.
Budget  $370,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Film & Video
Population Served Adults Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Attract new audiences, including young adults in their 20s-30s, less-involved Jews, and non-Jews.
Program Long-Term Success  25,000 people attended Boston Jewish Film Festival events throughout the year
Program Success Monitored By  We measure Festival attendance by ticket sales.  Each year, we conduct an internet-based survey of our attendees, asking questions to determine attitudinal change and impact on Jewish identity.
Examples of Program Success 
1.  Each year, 5-10% of Jewish survey respondents say that the Festival is the only Jewish activity in which they participate.
2. Last year, 59% of Jewish respondents agreed with the statement "The Festival makes me feel more connected to my Jewish identity."
3.  Last year, 81% of non-Jewish respondents agreed with the statement "The Festival makes me feel more positive about Jewish culture."
In 2005, a local woman attended the BJFF screening of Live and Become, the story of an Ethiopian boy who immigrates to Israel and subsequently becomes a doctor, returning to provide medical care to the village of his birth. She was so inspired that she went on to become active in the issue of Ethiopian Jewry, traveling to Ethiopia and Israel to assess the needs of the local Ethiopian Jewish populations. She also frequently speaks to groups in the Boston area about the status of Ethiopian Jewry. “My involvement could only have happened because of this festival,” she says.


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Jaymie Saks
CEO Term Start Apr 2009
CEO Email
CEO Experience Jaymie Saks joined The Boston Jewish Film Festival in 2009 as Managing Director, and was promoted to Executive Director in December 2011. She is responsible for all financial and operational aspects of the organization, including organizational development, marketing, and accounting. Her background includes 15 years in management consulting, strategic planning, and business development for companies including Fidelity Investments and Computer Sciences Corporation. Most recently, she was the Chief Operating Officer of the Jewish Women’s Archive, where she was responsible for facilitating the production of Making Trouble, a documentary depicting the experiences of six Jewish female comedians, in addition to her oversight of finance, human resources, and technology. She holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School.


Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Ariana Cohen-Halberstam Artistic Director

Ariana Cohen-Halberstam joined The Boston Jewish Film Festival in April, 2015. She is responsible for creating and implementing the artistic direction for the organization, including program development and festival curation. After a decade in film, television, and media production, Ms. Cohen-Halberstam became Associate Director of Film Programs at the JCC Manhattan, where she participated in curating the Other Israel Film Festival, Israel Film Center Festival, ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival, and Cinematters, the JCC’s year-round film program. Ms. Cohen-Halberstam holds a B.A. in Cinema Studies from Oberlin College and completed coursework at the Tisch School for the Arts in New York City.


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Mass. Creative

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


The BJFF collaborates with other local film festivals, local arts and culture organizations, and a variety of other local organizations, to present a full array of options to all of our audiences.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 4
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 50
Number of Contract Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate % 87%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 6
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Exempt

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Barbara Resnek
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Chair Term Jan 2016 - Dec 2018
Board Co-Chair Taren Metson
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Co-Chair Term Jan 2016 - Dec 2017

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Debra Ankeles No Affiliation Voting
Beverly Bavly Retired --
Doreen Beinart Retired Voting
Jill Cohen Retired Voting
Jill Cohen Community Volunteer Voting
Lawrence S. Feinberg Retired Voting
Judith L Ganz No Affiliation Voting
Nancy L. Gossels No Affiliation Voting
James Gould No Affiliation Voting
Judith Lappin Retired Voting
Bette Ann Libby Artist --
Mark Lowenstein Mobile technology consultant Voting
Cynthia Marcus Community Volunteer --
Taren Metson No Affiliation Voting
Joyce Field Pastor No Affiliation Voting
Nancy Raphael Retired Voting
Barbara Resnek No Affiliation Voting
Adam I. Riemer Pickwick Properties Voting
Paul G. Roberts The Interface Group Voting
Ken Shulman Freelance Writer --
Dana Volman Community Volunteer Voting
Denise L. Widman No Affiliation Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 21
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 15
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 66%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 0%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Nominating
  • Program / Program Planning

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $762,387 $678,837 $664,005
Total Expenses $712,666 $685,764 $669,943

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$153,964 $138,541 $128,740
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $283,213 $256,368 $256,989
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $191,823 $192,497 $159,197
Investment Income, Net of Losses $1,628 $1,539 $1,020
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $111,425 $64,712 $97,614
Revenue In-Kind $20,334 $25,180 $20,445
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $612,528 $582,158 $561,223
Administration Expense $51,706 $55,258 $60,249
Fundraising Expense $48,432 $48,348 $48,471
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.07 0.99 0.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses 86% 85% 84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 9% 11% 10%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $426,295 $373,329 $388,287
Current Assets $411,818 $353,129 $370,591
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $39,735 $36,490 $44,521
Total Net Assets $386,560 $336,839 $343,766

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 3.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 10.36 9.68 8.32

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's audited financials. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?