About The Film
What started as a fable of Jewish major leaguers traveling to Israel to discover their roots snowballs into something unexpected when, against all odds, Team Israel exceeds all expectations at “the Olympics of Baseball,” the World Baseball Classic. Following a rather amusing recruiting process, the mostly American team is granted Israeli citizenship by tracing Jewish grandparents. They quickly coalesce on a pilgrimage to the Western Wall, Yad Vashem, and Masada; they also help break ground on a new baseball complex where they practice in front of hundreds of locals. Along the way, they discover the pride of representing Israel on the world stage, come to understand a piece of their identity, poignantly discuss stereotypes surrounding Jewish athletes and Jews in general, and become newly minted Jewish heroes to a generation of Israeli kids.
The underdogs advance for the first time to compete among the top 16 teams in the world in South Korea and Japan, their astounding performance upends their has-been reputation. Even the team mascot, “the Mensch on the Bench,” becomes an international celebrity. Edge-of-your-seat tournament moments, punctuated with behind-the-scenes looks at the players’ antics on and off the field, dramatize this stirring story of sports, patriotism, and personal growth.
Winner of the Best Documentary Film award at the Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival.
About the Event
This film screens as part of our Sunday Klezmer Brunch and Sports Film Special event, featuring a 9:30am spread of delicious Jewish comfort foods from Mangia Bene Catering (learn more). Film only tickets are also available for the 11am screening.
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