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The Rabbi Goes West

Watch the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/34904217

 

Dates to view film: Monday-Wednesday, August 2-5, 2020

Live Zoom Discussion: Thursday August 6, 2020

How to join:

Send us an email (office@marinashul.com) indicating that you are interested in viewing this film.

We will email you the password protected screening link on Monday morning.

The link will be available for 72 hours to watch the film. 

On Thursday, we will join together virtually to discuss and share our thoughts about the film.

THE RABBI GOES WEST focuses on one Chabad rabbi, 34-year-old Chaim Bruk, who moved from Brooklyn to unlikely Bozeman, Montana, to bring his brand of Judaism to the American West. Part of his Chabad mission is to place a mezuzah, an encased prayer offering, on the doorpost of every Montana Jew. That’s less than 2,000 families spread across a state fourteen times larger than Israel.

As he travels across this “big sky” landscape, Chaim confronts a terrifying neo-Nazi threat. He also faces objections to his proselytizing from some skeptical Jews and the state’s rabbis, both Reform and Conservative, though they all acknowledge that he is beloved by his congregants. If you liked the Israeli TV series, Shtisel, this one’s for you!

 

 

Key Cast

Rabbi Chaim Bruk
A Chabad-Lubavitcher, Chaim Bruk endorses a Torah-prescribed form of Orthodox Judaism.
His Bozeman congregants, educated and often liberal, look past any ideological differences with their Hasidic rabbi, who came to Montana from Brooklyn. They embrace his goal to connect all Jews, observant and unaffiliated, to their Judaism, and they are impressed that Chaim and his wife, Chavie, have adopted five children.

Rabbi Francine Roston
In South Orange, New Jersey, Francine Roston broke the “stained glass” ceiling as a
Conservative woman rabbi to a huge Jewish congregation. In 2014, she moved West to
Montana’s Flathead Valley to start over as rabbi to the small, diverse Jewish community.

Rabbi Allen Secher
When Allen Secher moved to Whitefish, Montana in 2000 in order to retire, he discovered he
was the only rabbi in the state, motivating him to perform Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, funerals,
wherever he was needed. With the arrival of other rabbis in Montana, Allen managed to
semi-retire while retaining his status as the state’s senior rabbi. He is a friend of Rabbi Chaim.

Rabbi Ed Stafman
Formerly a trial lawyer in Florida, Ed Stafman began a second career when he moved west to
Bozeman to become the rabbi at the non-Orthodox temple, Congregation Beth Shalom. Ed is an unabashed liberal activist and, in a debate shown in our film, he articulates his very different religious and political beliefs from the Hasidic tenets of Chaim.

Crew Bios

 

Co-Director/Writer - Gerald Peary

Gerald Peary is the director-writer of two acclaimed feature documentaries, FOR THE LOVE

OF MOVIES: THE STORY OF AMERICAN FILM CRITICISM (2009) and ARCHIE’S BETTY

(2015), both of which played at film festivals, museums, universities, and were televised on the

Documentary Channel and WGBH-Boston. He was a film studies professor at Suffolk University,

a veteran film critic for THE BOSTON PHOENIX, and acted in the 2013 feature film,

COMPUTER CHESS, which premiered at Sundance. Currently, he writes reviews for the

website, THE ARTS FUSE, and is the programmer of the Boston University Cinematheque.

 

Co-Director/Producer - Amy Geller

Amy Geller is a long-time producer whose credits include: the PBS/BBC broadcast docudrama

MURDER AT HARVARD (2003), the Sundance Institute-supported narrative STAY UNTIL

TOMORROW (2005), the four-hour PBS mini-series, THE WAR THAT MADE AMERICA (2006),

and the documentary feature, FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES: THE STORY OF AMERICAN FILM

CRITICISM (2009). From 2012-2014, Geller served as the Artistic Director of the Boston Jewish

Film Festival, where she received a young Jewish leadership award. Her feature-length

directorial debut THE GUYS NEXT DOOR (2016), co-directed by Allie Humenuk, has won jury

prizes and audience awards at film festivals across the country. She currently teaches

production and fundraising classes at Boston University.

 

Cinematographer/Co-Editor - David Reeder

David Reeder is an award-winning filmmaker who has worked as an assistant director, editor

and cameraman on feature films such as DRIVING MISS DAISY, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES,

ROBOCOP 3, ACE VENTURA 2 and nationally broadcast public television documentaries. He

has been a professor at Suffolk University and Emerson College, where he has taught a variety

of digital filmmaking and post-production courses. He co-edited and did the graphics for Gerald

Peary’s feature documentary, ARCHIE’S BETTY.

 

Co-Editor - Lucia Small

Lucia Small is an award-winning independent filmmaker best known for her daring,

boundary-pushing first person non-fiction work — MY FATHER, THE GENIUS (2002), THE AXE

IN THE ATTIC (2007), and ONE CUT, ONE LIFE (2014). She also works as an editor and story

consultant. Her credits include Brittany Huckabees’ AFTER FIRE (2016), Gerald Peary’s

ARCHIE’S BETTY (2015), Lyda Kuth’s LOVE AND OTHER ANXIETIES (2010) and Fiona

Turner’s EAT UP (2019), for which she won an editing award at the Independent Film Festival

Boston.

 

Composer - Rob Jaret

Rob Jaret has contributed music and orchestrations to over fifteen PBS productions and

independent films, including EDGAR ALLAN POE: BURIED ALIVE, HENRY FORD and

episodes of American Experience. Feature films he’s scored include the documentaries

TOUCHDOWN ISRAEL! and THE WAY HOME: TIBET IN EXILE. He’s a recurring collaborator

with Urbanity Dance, and has provided music, sound design and audio production for video

games such as Children of Liberty and the upcoming Earplay release, The Orpheus Device.

http://robjaret.com/

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