There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Of all the places where large numbers of Jews took refuge in the 20th century, Shanghai may be the most incongruous. But Tijuana comes a close second—the brawling Mexican border town that offered sex, gambling, booze, and drugs to visiting Yanquis was a pretty strange place for Ashkenazi Jews from Europe to meet Sephardic Jews from the Middle East. Yet that’s what happened in the community documented by Tijuana Jews, a 52-minute film directed (and narrated) by Isaac Artenstein. The Sephardics had the advantage of speaking Ladino, a language derived from Spanish, but both groups made their fortunes and brought up their children in Mexico. “Mexican history made me an anti-imperialist, and Jewish history made me an anti-fascist,” notes Artenstein of his early education. Then the American dream made him a suburbanite; today many Tijuana Jews live across the border in San Diego’s sprawl. The film shows at 7:30 p.m. at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center’s Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, 1529 16th St. NW. $10. (800) 494-8497. (Mark Jenkins)