by Amir Bogen for YNET News

While Israeli cinema has been a prominent presence at the film festival over the years, you won’t find any Israeli films in the 2024 edition; however, in the documentary competition, the film ‘Sabbath Queen’ will be screened, dedicated to Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, who is openly gay.

Despite the absence of Israeli films this year due to the current war, there’s still an Israeli connection with the documentary “Sabbath Queen,” dedicated entirely to Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, a social activist and a cousin of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau and former Chief Rabbi Israel Lau. As a Conservative rabbi, he leads the Lab/Shul community in New York, which identifies as LGBT.

American director Sandi DuBowski is entrusted with telling the story he’s presenting in the documentary competition, which blends Lau-Lavie’s early life as a young Israeli, a yeshiva student, and his social activism within educational organizations and various study halls in Israel, with his later life as a prominent figure in the LGBT Jewish community in New York and his efforts to integrate his heritage with his openness as an openly gay individual.

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