There Was No Silence movie logo

There Was No Silence is a documentary about JCC Rockland’s efforts to get a minute of silence for the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Timed to premiere on the 47th anniversary of the Munich massacre and less than a year before the Tokyo Olympics.

There Was No Silence celebrates the power of never giving up, the importance of communities standing up for what is right and how JCC Rockland’s effort made a world-wide impact and created change

The story behind the movie

In 2012, JCC Rockland and its leadership led a world wide effort in a quest for a minute of silence, alongside Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of Andrei Spitzer and Josef Romano, respectively. The effort was motivated by JCC Rockland hosting the JCC Maccabi Games, an Olympic style weekly event for Jewish teens from around the world. At every opening ceremony there is a tribute to the memory of the 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and referees who were murdered by Black September terrorists during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

Although the ultimate goal was not achieved, inroads were made in other ways. Governments from around the world stood up in support of the effort. An online petition received 110,000 signatures from 156 countries. A press conference was held outside the Olympic stadium in London. And the petition was delivered, with Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, to the offices of International Olympic president Jacques Rogge where he told Ankie and Ilana in person that he would not agree to a minute of silence.

Joe Allen, who originally chronicled the story in his film 20 Million Minutes (2013), is now editing the original movie about the effort and its impact post-2012. Much has transpired since 2012. The new president of the International Olympic committee, Thomas Bach, has offered compromises, but still no minute of silence at the start of the games. A growing wave of anti-Semitism around the world is clouding the issue more than ever. In addition, the new film focuses on education relevant to communities throughout the world.


Joe Allen traveled to Israel with JCC CEO David Kirschtel to film With Ankie Spitzer in July 2019. Following up on all of the activity that has taken place since 2013.

There Was No Silence will debut in Rockland County
on September 5, 2019.


We thank our sponsors

Mary & Paul Adler
Phyllis & Ken Benjamin
Rabbi David Berkman
Mitch Brill
Jill & Jeffrey Degen
Rabbi Paula Mack Drill
Bonnie & Alan Elkin
Shari & Alan Feldstein
Susan & Arnie Garelick
Helene & Steve Gold
Ruth & Karl Hess
Good Samaritan Hospital
Nina & Steve Iser
Shelly & Marc Jacobs
Cantor Marcy & Paul Kadin
Devra & Ken Kanter
Koenig Family
Ilse & John Lang
Micki & Jim Leader
Brooke Malloy
Adrienne & Scott Milich
Hara & Michael Pucci
Linda & Larry Weiss, Atlantic, Tomorrow's Office
Gwen & Steve Rosenzweig
Rabbi Craig Scheff
Sharon & Howard Schneider
Laurie Siegel & Gary Siepser
Ellen & Arthur Wagner
Judi & Lenny Weiss
Anne & Joel Zbar
Mary & Joe D'Urso

Non profit sponsor

Holocaust Museum & Center for Education & Tolerance
Reform Temple of Rockland
Congregation Sons of Israel - Nyack
Hillel of Rockland
Orangetown Jewish Center
Temple Beth Sholom
Beth Am Temple
Montebello Jewish Center
Nanuet Hebrew Center