San Francisco Shorts Help sought for Israel fest

Documentary on Jewish Brigade to screen Thursday

The West Coast premiere of the full-length documentary "In Our Own Hands, The Hidden Story of the Jewish Brigade in World War II" will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., S.F.

The film reveals the true-life exploits of the Jewish Brigade — some 5,500 Palestinian Jews — who prevailed upon Winston Churchill to let them fight the Nazis in their own Jewish unit during the war.

In the late winter of 1945, the brigade went into action against the German army in the Senio River Valley near Bologna, Italy. After two months of fighting, sustaining heavy casualties, the brigade emerged victorious.

In the first year after the war, brigade soldiers masterminded one clandestine operation after another throughout Europe. They formed secret vengeance squads to assassinate Nazi officers in hiding, engineered the rescue and illegal movement of Holocaust survivors to Palestine and engaged in widespread arms theft for Israel's future War of Independence — all under the noses of the occupying Allied armies.

Emmy Award-winning director and co-producer Chuck Olin will introduce his film an answer questions following the screening. The 85-minute film was recently accepted into the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

General admission is $15; $10 for students, seniors and children 12 and over. For information, call (415) 751-2541, ext. 12.