Punk Jews, photograph, 2010 Jesse Zook Mann, director of the film “Punk Jews” (2012), with documentary subject Yishai Romanoff, lead singer for the Hassidic punk band “Moshiach Oi!” This shot was taken during the production of the film. Punk Jews explores an emerging movement of provocateurs and committed Jews who are asking what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. Jewish artists, activists and musicians from diverse backgrounds and communities are defying norms and expressing their Jewish identities in unconventional ways. In the process, they are challenging stereotypes and breaking down barriers.
Gateway to the West, film still, 2012 Over the last 111 years, the Nusach Hari B’nai Zion Congregation in St. Louis, Missouri has reflected the greater story of Midwestern American Jewry in its many forms. Recently, the synagogue underwent a transformation as it moved from its home of the last sixty years, now falling to disrepair, to a new building- reflecting both a shrinking in congregation size and the migration of members to progressively more western suburban neighborhoods. Filmmaker Saul Sudin grew up attending Nusach H’ari B’nai Zion, and he weaves a portrait of how every inch of the now dilapidating older structure vibrates with history
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