Though the Summer Olympics are sadly not taking place this year, we are using this moment of pause to reflect on previous Olympics and stories of Jewish athleticism.

In this film discussion*, Israeli film director Yaron Zilberman will be joined by Professor Raanan Rein of Tel Aviv University for a conversation about the film Watermarks (2004), which was Zilberman’s directorial debut.

Watermarks tells the story of the champion women swimmers of the legendary Jewish sports club Hakoah Vienna. Hakoah was founded in 1909 in response to the notorious Aryan Paragraph, which forbade Austrian sports clubs from accepting Jewish athletes. After the Anschluss in 1938, the Nazis shut down the club, but the swimmers managed to flee the country before the war broke out. Sixty-five years later, director Yaron Zilberman meets members of the women’s swim team in their homes and arranges for them to have a reunion in their old swimming pool.

Advance registration recommended >

*Program registrants will receive an email with a link and password to the film upon registration; the film should be watched in advance of this program.


This program is co-sponsored with The Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York. We thank Kino Lorber for their generous support in facilitating this event.