S.F. nonprofit plays role in movie

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Bay Area partisans aren’t the only ones with a connection to “Defiance,” the new film directed by Edward Zwick.

Mitch Braff, founding director of the Jewish Partisans Educational Foundation, was tapped to be a consultant on the film, a first-time experience for him.

The S.F.-based JPEF is the only organization solely dedicated to documenting the stories of Jewish partisans from World War II and distributing educational materials to schools about their experiences.

Braff viewed the film a year ago while in production and offered feedback to the production crew and screenwriters.

JPEF has produced a study guide about Tuvia Bielski, the leader of the partisan group (played by Daniel Craig). The nonprofit also created a special page dedicated to the movie, www.jewishpartisans.org/ defiance, with information, videos and photos of the Bielskis and other members of their armed resistance group, as well as the movie trailer and images of Craig.

In addition, JPEF provided historical information, videos, photos and other materials for the movie’s Web site, www.defiancemovie.com.

“We get contacted by many people who are trying to make films or write books about Jewish partisans, so it’s exciting that a film has actually been made,” Braff said. “From our perspective, a feature film is an incredible way to get the word out about the partisans.”

Stacey Palevsky

Stacey Palevsky is a former J. staff writer.