social twitter box blue 24 social facebook box blue 24 youtube 48

The Spy Behind Home Plate

  • the spy behind homeplate still1
  • the spy behind homeplate still2
  • the spy behind homeplate still3

Screenings & Events


Sunday, March 22, 2020 | 11:00AM - 12:45PM |AMC Pacific Place 11

The Stroum Jewish Community Center announced the decision not to proceed with the Seattle Jewish Film Festival scheduled for March 19 – 29 and April 4 – 5. Options are being explored for a rescheduled film festival to take place in the summer or early fall of 2020.

More information:

About The Film

In the Golden Age of baseball, Morris “Moe” Berg was an elite catcher in the major leagues. But his impressive accomplishments were not limited to the baseball field; Berg’s Ivy League degrees, love of travel, and fluency in over ten languages helped the major league baseball player live a double-life, double-header if you will, of athletics and espionage. Award-winning filmmaker Aviva Kempner portrays the dual heroism of the enigmatic catcher turned American spy, and the captivating, hardball world of sports and spy craft he balanced in this largely unknown story. Intro by Rick Rizzs, voice of the Seattle Mariners.

Special Event

Sunday Klezmer Brunch: 9:30am (11am film). At bat, a delicious spread of soul-filling, homemade Jewish comfort food set to the sizzling live klezmer sounds of The Klez Katz! paired with a film about Morris “Moe” Berg, an enigmatic Major League Jewish American catcher during baseball’s Golden Age who also spied for the U.S. on the Nazis’ atomic bomb program. This home-run event covers all the bases and knocks it out of the park! Film only tickets also available.

Washington State Jewish Historical Society Lobby Exhibit: "Distant Replay! Washington's Jewish Sports Heroes." From baseball and horse racing to basketball, boxing, football, tennis and more, the exhibit captures the stories of Washington's Jewish athletes. You can also purchase the hardcover book Distant Replay! at the festival.

Director Bio

Aviva Kempner is an award winning American filmmaker known previously for ROSENWALD (SJFF 2016), TODAY I VOTE FOR MY JOEY (2002), YOO-HOO, MRS. GOLDBERG (2009), and THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HANK GREENBERG (SJFF 2000). Kempner is the founder of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. Her many accomplishments include: membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; a 1996 Guggenheim Fellowship; 2000 DC Mayor’s Art Award; 2001 Women of Vision award from D.C.’s Women in Film and Video chapter; 2001 Media Arts award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture; 2009 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival’s Freedom of Expression Award; and in 2016 the Seattle Jewish Film Festival’s REEL Difference Award.

spy behind homplate poster

Film Details:

Director: Aviva Kempner
Country: USA
Language: English
Running Time: 101m
Year: 2019
Genre: Documentary
Official Website


  • Baseball
  • War
  • Spy craft
  • WWII intelligence
  • Biography
  • Immigrant Experience

Rating/Warning: PG