There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.

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monday

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)