Ma’Abarot: The Israeli Transit Camps

Dir. Dina Zvi Riklis | 84 min
Documentary Israel 2019
Hebrew with English subtitles

The transit camps of 1948–1952 were a temporary housing solution to accommodate Israel’s surge of immigrants following World War II. Over 300,000 immigrants lived in tents and tin huts in this controversial initiative, contributing to the divide between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews in Israel.

The impact of the camps on the lives of immigrants resonates into contemporary Israeli culture, yet has largely been forgotten in the public consciousness. Ma’abarot takes a close look at life inside the camps through interviews with former residents, research, and archival footage, shattering misconceptions and offering stark insights into the racial divides that still permeate Israeli society.

Rental includes a moderated conversation with producer Arik Bernstein which will automatically play after the film.

Presented in partnership with SHIN-DC.


Arik Bernstein has been a leading force in the Israeli film industry for the past 15 years. With over a decade of production experience and expertise as a CEO and producer of Matar Production (a former company owned by Bernstein), he founded Alma Films in 2003. He has initiated and overseen numerous productions: documentaries, documentary series and drama series, most of which as international co-productions. These films and programs have been screened in major film and television festivals worldwide, and were awarded many Israeli and international prizes.

Shy Ashkenazi, born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel, is the Senior Community Shaliach for the Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia through The Jewish Agency for Israel.

Shy has been working in Israel and Jewish education for the past 14 years, holds a B.A in Education and Theater from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and in now pursuing a master’s degree in Israel Education in GW university.

Coming from the world of performing arts, Shy uses cinema and music as key texts for an opening to Israeli society and its history.



Film rentals are $11 per household ($9.50 for the film and $1.50 additional platform fee). All programs are accessible through Eventive, JxJ’s virtual cinema platform. For unlimited access to all JxJ Festival events, purchase a JxJ All Access Pass ($90 with no additional fees).


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