Punk Jews

If you are interested in funky, creative ways to turn Judaism into a personal mission, you’ll want to see the new documentary, “Punk Jews”.    Here’s the producer, Evan Kleinman, talking about the project, and how it shaped his own sense of Jewish identity:

Among the six Jews featured in the documentary are:

  • Moshiach Oi, Hassidic Punk Rock band
  • The Sukkos Mob, Yiddish street performance group/li>
  • Yitz Jordan (Y-Love), African-American Jewish hip-hop artist
  • The Amazing Amy Yiddish Yoga, yoga contortionist

Kleinman observes:

In the past we’ve always classified Jews in America between Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Unaffiliated. And a lot of Jews today in their 20’s and 30’s happen to fall into the category of unaffiliated. Personally, I feel like the word unaffiliated should be completely done away with because it puts a complete negative connotation on the current generation and how they express themselves. I think we should change the word unaffiliated to exploratory…. We want to express our Jewish identity on the street, or in a bar, at a club, at an event, or at a concert.

Many of the Jews in the film were met through Cholent, a weekly gathering of Jews from all walks of life, religious and non-religious. As one participant described it, “It’s Jews from the fringes of everywhere”.

Director Jesse Zook Mann told Heeb n’ Vegan “”I want to turn people on to the idea that people can be creative inside of their heritage and can create what their religion means to them and that freedom and honoring your heritage are not mutually exclusive”.

The feature length film has just finished production and is being submitted to film festivals for the 2012 season.

The project was funded with help from Kickstarter, and various fund raising events. Producer Evan Kleinman developed the business aspects of the project with the help of Present Tense‘s CEP program.

Feature articles on the project have been published in Cool Hunting, the Jerusalem Post , Jewcy, and
the Jewish Week.

For more information, see:

Categories: To Be a Jew | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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