Mission, Vision, and Values

The Jewish Film Institute (JFI) is the premier curatorial voice for Jewish film and media around the world. Founded in 1980 as the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), the world’s first and most revered event for independent, Jewish-themed storytelling, JFI’s programs illuminate the full diversity of Jewish experiences. 

Our Mission

The Jewish Film Institute champions bold films and filmmakers that expand and evolve the Jewish story for audiences everywhere.

Our Vision

We envision a more informed and empathetic world where vital Jewish-content films are made, watched, shared, and treasured.

Our Values

We believe in the transformative power of film and media to entertain and engage us, to
turn conversation into action, and to reframe understanding of Jewish cultures and identities.
We support film’s evolution on big and small screens as an indispensable form of cultural
communication that inspires personal and societal change.

We ask questions of ourselves, of each other, and of the world around us. Inspired by
the inquisitive spirit of the Bay Area and Judaism’s tenet that learning is a lifelong pursuit, we
probe the unexpected and nuanced corners of history, identity, and artmaking to create
opportunities for audiences and filmmakers alike to look closely at the complexity all around us.

We cherish the right of all artists to freedom of expression, experimentation,
and innovation. Informed by our founding history as the world’s first Jewish film festival, we
empower independent voices in the films we show, the filmmakers we support, and the
communities we serve.

We create lasting impact through collaboration and partnerships in the Bay Area
and beyond. We invite the participation of others who complement our belief in the universal
language of film and our commitment to sustaining independent voices in art and culture. We
seize opportunities to expand our horizons by expanding our networks.

We honor the complexity of our increasingly diverse communities and the world
around us. We connect Jewish and non-Jewish communities alike to foster discussion and
dialogue. We develop filmmaker and artist networks to create learning opportunities and
champion originality. We spark moments of joy and wonder that only come from watching films
together, in theaters and elsewhere.

We value the unique perspectives offered by people of every race, ethnicity, gender
identity/expression, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, age, physical appearance,
language spoken, immigration status, and socioeconomic background. We prioritize continuous
learning of anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-discriminatory practices in our organizational culture
and programs. We strive to reflect our communities’ complexity in our Board and staff

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