JCC Rockland 21st International Jewish Film Festival

Israel Swings for Gold

Expired June 8, 2023 3:59 AM
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Film Sponsors: Atlantic, Tomorrow's Office; Crowne Plaza Hotel, Suffern-Mahwah; Ilse & John Lang

In 2021, Israel’s baseball team competed in the Olympics for the first time. With no media allowed in Tokyo’s Olympic Village, the players are given cameras to record their own experiences. The majority of Team Israel is American-born. Bombarded by Hamas rockets, they become citizens of Israel. Harassed by anti-Israel protesters, they play exhibition games in the States. When Team Israel finally reaches the Olympics, they discover a competition absent of the goodwill it is intended to promote. The Munich massacre is memorialized during the opening ceremony, but for the first time in fifty years. Heightened security measures are supposed to prevent a similar tragedy, but provide no shelter from the anti-Semitism that still thrives. The players get the cold shoulder from fellow athletes and death threats from spectators. Victory for Team Israel arrives on the playing field, even if not on the Olympic podium. Israel Swings for Gold follows the 2018 hit Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel, about Israel’s Cinderella run at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Israel Swings for Gold will be immediately followed by a panel discussion featuring Jeremy Newberger, Seth Kramer, and Eric Holtz.

Please note that this discussion is exclusively taking place at the in person screening on Wednesday, April 26th. It will not be available virtually.

Jeremy Newberger (left) and Seth Kramer (right) will be attending the JCC Rockland International Film Festival Panel Discussion. Along with their third co-director, Daniel A. Miller, they make up Ironbound Films. Headquartered in an old inn on the Hudson River opposite West Point, Ironbound creates documentaries for theaters, television, streaming, and the web. They produced and directed Israel Swings for Gold. In addition, Daniel wrote, Seth edited, and Jeremy field produced the film.

Their past work includes Their extensive catalogue of award winning and Emmy nominated work includes Yung Punx: A Punk Parable, The Anthropologist, Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie, The New Recruits, and The Linguists

Their documentary Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel won eight film festival awards, was a huge hit in theaters, and is now available on all digital platforms. “It’s hard to imagine a true-life underdog tale more engaging than Heading Home,” raved the Los Angeles Times, “a winning David vs. Goliath baseball documentary that covers all the crowd-pleasing bases.” 

Seth is an Artvark (University of the Arts in Philadelphia, 1996), Daniel a Brunonian (Brown University, 1994.5), and Jeremy a Great Dane (SUNY Albany, 1995). They are all dads: of Lillian, Sander and Asa, and Samson and Annabelle, respectively. They live within play-date proximity in the Hudson Valley, New York.

Eric Holtz, to some, maybe the Montefiore YES Network guy, to others, the former Manager of the Israeli National Team who made it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. To those around him, more often than not, he is either running his premier baseball/softball training facility, Game On 13, or at some game, whether playing or coaching. The man does not stop when it comes to the game of baseball. He has coached all talent levels from three different continents to a mile away from his house over the last 20 years, spanning from five years old to former big leaguers.

That makes Eric appealing to so many; he does not care how good you are or what experience you bring to the table. If you give him your all and attempt to match his unwavering passion for the game, he will do the same for you but in a fun, relatable and constructive way. This is what has gotten Eric on billboards and international televised sporting events.

Eric Holtz is someone who is his most authentic self at all times. “What you see with me is what you get” is a famed expression of his. He leads with honesty, passion, and a constant desire to improve himself and those around him. Holtz Bats is a direct reflection of how Eric feels about the game. Playing at the pro level and now for countless men’s teams at 55, he refuses to give in to old age. He scratches and claws for every inning in front of him because he does not want it to be the last time he steps up to the plate. This is the type of hitter we want using our product, and this is whom we want to be part of the Holtz Bats family.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    75 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, Jeremy Newberger