Rochester Witness Palestine Film Festival
Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 3:00 pm ET/2:00 CT
Co-writers/directors: Erin Axelman and Sam Eilertsen
Run Time: 1:34
- Best Documentary, Arizona International Film Festival 2023
- Documentary Audience Award Winner, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2023
Projection medium: DCP
Tickets: free with registration
About The Film
Our guides through this movie are two young American Jews:
- Simone Zimmerman attended a “Jewish state school”, took part in a high school program in Israel, is a 2013 UC Berkeley grad, former Hillel member, and co-founder If Not Now
- Eitan grew up in a conservative Jewish family in Atlanta. Took his first Israel trip at age 8. After school graduation, volunteered for the IDF, speaks of a beating, which he didn’t report
When they witness Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinian people with their own eyes, they are horrified and heartbroken – the Jewish institutions that raised them not only lied but built their Jewish identity around that lie. They join the movement of young American Jews battling the old guard over Israel’s centrality in American Judaism, and demanding freedom for the Palestinian people. Their stories reveal a generational divide in the American Jewish community as more young Jews question the narratives their synagogues and Hebrew school teachers fed them as children.
Co-writer/director Erin Axelman
By video conference
Erin is a trans Jewish filmmaker, based out of Somerville, MA. Israelism is their directorial debut. Erin and co-director Sam Eilertsen founded Tikkun Olam Productions, a nonprofit filmmaking collective that focuses on documenting and supporting movements for justice. Erin has produced videos for Senator Ed Markey, as well as Congressman Jamaal Bowman. They’ve also produced a series of short videos with Jacob Blake, who was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In addition to Israelism they are currently producing the upcoming feature documentary Generation Green New Deal.