Congregation Beth Shalom kicks off first film screening of the year with ’93Queen’

Members of Congregation Beth Shalom watch 93 Queen, a documentary about Hasidic women trying to make their own ambulance corps in New York. Cory Rubin/The Signal
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Congregation Beth Shalom kicked off their first film screening of the year with the documentary “93Queen” on Sunday.

Each month, Congregation Beth Shalom (CBS) holds a film public film screening each month featuring independent films not shown in either of Santa Clarita’s Regal theaters. Suzannah Warlick, CBS Film Series director, said she’s been able to share her love of cinema with the community with the help of the screenings.

Sunday’s film told the story Rachel Freier as she and other Hasidic Jewish women struggle to create the first all-female ambulance corps in New York City. Warlick said the story appealed to her because it was very relevant to the current social climate that women facing women in America

“What really interested me about this film is that it was like a Me Too movement within the Jewish community,” she said. “Plus it got a 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and it did very well in Jewish film festivals.”

Warlick views all the films she selects before screening them and said that she likes to select movies that have an educational and cultural aspect to them. Another one of Warlick’s main criteria is that she likes for the films to have some sort of tie back to the Jewish community.

“I pick films that have a Jewish theme to them, but not in a religious sense,” Warlick said. “I don’t want to preach religion, I just want to help teach tolerance and social tenets, so if maybe one character in the film is Jewish, that counts for me.”

Jody Liss-Monteleone has been a patron of the film series since its inception and said she enjoys the opportunity to see a wide variety of films so close to home.

“The film Suzannah shows are always contemporary and some of them she shows even before they come out in theaters,” Liss-Monteleone said. “I particularly enjoy the Holocaust films that she shows, but she also balances that with a lot of funny films or biopics so that we’re not  crying every month or laughing every month.”

In the next five years, Warlick hopes to expand her viewership to 500 people and become more established and well-known in Santa Clarita. She also hopes to partner with the Laemmle Theater, which is known for showing smaller and independent films, when it opens and hold screening events.

“I want all of Santa Clarita to know about us and come to the screenings,” Warlick said. “You don’t have to be Jewish, and I actually prefer non-Jewish people come so that hopefully they can learn something.”

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