Please join us for the screening of the new discovery+ original Dreaming of Jerusalem followed by a Q&A with the director, Peter Decherney and associate producer Rachel Greenberg. This 25-minute short documentary follows the lives of four members of the Falash Mura community living in Gondar, Ethiopia, and dreaming of Zion. Most of us are familiar with the Beta Israel Ethiopian airlifts that took place during the last quarter of the 20th Century and early 21st Century. However, the Falash Mura, members of Beta Israel who converted to Christianity during the late 19th and early 20th centuries out of fear and persecution, are not accepted as Jews under the Law of Return.
They remain in limbo in war-torn Ethiopia, continuing to fervently practice traditional Judaism and dreaming of the day they can kiss the ground at Ben Gurion airport. Just over the last few months Operation Rock of Israel was activated, bringing 2,000 Falash Mura to Israel as part of a 2015 promise. However, there are no plans yet for those remaining. Many people in Israel, including Pnina Tamano Shata, Israel’s Minister of Integration and Absorption and an Ethiopian immigrant herself, continue to fight and advocate for this group of disenfranchised people.
Click here for the Zoom link to join us for Havdalah Together, April 24 at 7:00pm Pacific time.
Click here to register for the private video link to view Dreaming of Jerusalem.
Peter Decherney is an award-winning author, filmmaker, and teacher. He is Professor and Director of Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and has been an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scholar, a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, and a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy to Myanmar. He has directed documentary and virtual reality films in Asia, Africa and the U.S. His docuseries THE HEART OF PUERTO RICO (do-directed with Jean Lee), about artists after Hurricane Maria, won the AT&T award for Best Virtual Reality film. His most recent film, DREAMING OF JERUSALEM (co-directed with Sosena Solomon), about the Jewish community in Gondar, Ethiopia, is a Discovery+ Original. He is also the author or editor of six books including Hollywood’s Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet and Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, and Inside Higher Ed among other places. His open online course on the history of Hollywood has enrolled more that 60,000 learners.
A few years ago, Rachel Greenberg transitioned from the corporate world to work on a passion documentary project in pursuit of telling a meaningful story. One thing led to another, and Rachel got involved in three film projects in various capacities — from producer to archive researcher to raising funds. In addition, Rachel recently worked with a well-known global celebrity and writer to build out their nascent production company creatively and operationally. What’s important for her is to be part of the telling of thought provoking stories that generate conversation. Rachel has a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in marketing and strategy from the Yale School of Management.