Honoring Excellence

Posted on 06/21/2024 @ 06:00 AM

Tags: Miami Jewish Film Festival

The Miami Jewish Film Festival Team: Douglass Gavilan, Judith Vigil, Igor Shteyrenberg, Mercy DeLoach

On June 6, Igor Shteyrenberg, the Executive Director of the Miami Jewish Film Festival, was presented with the Rabbi Solomon Schiff Jewish Communal Professional of Excellence Award by JPro Miami, the local branch of the national Jewish professionals’ organization. This award recognizes a mid-career Jewish communal professional who has made an exceptional contribution to the field and community.


In the 12 years since Igor Shteyrenberg took the helm of the Miami Jewish Film Festival, his transformative leadership has been nothing short of extraordinary.


With a clear vision for the festival's potential, Igor single-handedly expanded his position from a part-time job into a full-time role.


Under Igor’s guidance, the Miami Jewish Film Festival has evolved into a world-class Jewish cultural event.


The festival's audience has grown exponentially, from a modest 4,000 attendees in 2014 to an impressive 47,500 in 2024. Each year sets a new mark: the largest audience or the greatest number of films.


This phenomenal growth is a testament to Igor's ability to curate a diverse and engaging selection of films that resonate with audiences. His critical eye for unique films and his deep understanding of the filmmakers' perspectives have set the festival apart.


As a result, the Miami Jewish Film Festival has earned a spot on MovieMaker Magazine's prestigious list of the "50 Best Film Festivals in the World" for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022) and was called “The Best Jewish Film Festival in the US” by the renowned publication The Forward. (View more press coverage.)


Igor Shteyrenberg is highly regarded by his industry peers and is deeply respected by colleagues and friends alike.


He collaborates with everyone and has several year-round film series with the Holocaust Memorial, Miller Center for Judaic Studies at UM, the Miami Beach JCC, the MARJCC, as well as non-Jewish organizations like the City of Miami Beach.


Since October 7, Igor has had to addresses the pain and challenges faced by the Jewish community and the festival itself. He has actively supported Israeli filmmakers by providing platforms for their voices and stories, including presenting screenings of the documentary film SuperNova: The Music Festival Massacre.


Igor’s ability to balance professional excellence with a deep sense of community responsibility makes him a role model for many. His passion for his work and his drive to do the best job possible set a high standard for others to follow.


When asked about the award, Igor noted: “It fills my heart with tremendous appreciation to be chosen by my peers to receive this JPRO award. After a dozen years working on making the Miami Jewish Film Festival the largest Jewish cultural event in the world, it meant so much to achieve the community’s respect. It validates that stories matter and that storytelling through cinema educates how people understand Jews, Judaism and Israel. Plus being surrounded by my CAJE colleagues and the Festival staff in addition to representatives from the entire Jewish professional community— all of this was particularly meaningful. I’m so deeply grateful for this recognition.”


Through his visionary leadership, dedication to the arts, and caring response to community needs, Igor has not only elevated the festival to new heights but has also embodied the spirit of Jewish communal service. His achievements and the respect he has earned are a testament to his hard work and the positive impact he continues to make.


As his CAJE colleagues, we are so proud of Igor and wish him a huge MAZAL TOV!

JPro Miami, the local chapter of the JPro national, brings together Jewish community professionals in Miami looking to engage with their peers and expand their knowledge and skills. JPro connects, educates, inspires and empowers professionals working in the Jewish community sector.