Culture, Global, Identity, Justice

This Hanukkah, Shine Light on a Dark Place

When most of us think about the institutions that define the typical American
Jewish experience, we think of synagoguges, summer camps, JCCs and youth groups.
Not Sing Sing prison in New York or death row in Texas.
Boston-based filmmaker Rhonda Moskowitz has asked me to compose an original musical score for her upcoming documentary, American Prison: The Forgotten Jews. The film explores the lives of Jews who are serving long sentences in American prisons (including Sing Sing and others).
How do these prisoners relate to their spirituality? What role does Judaism play in their lives? How do the prison system and the Jewish community relate to these inmates?
This is an important film that will explore these subjects. As interest in Jewish-themed documentaries surges, American Prison: The Forgotten Jews is destined to make its mark alongside films like Trembling Before God; it will illuminate a segment of our community that, until now, we’ve largely swept under the rug.
This documentary needs your help. Watch the clip below, and please consider making a tax deductible donation–even a small one.


You can make a secure tax-deductible donation on-line, or if you prefer, send a check by mail. Click here to support Rhonda’s film.

4 thoughts on “This Hanukkah, Shine Light on a Dark Place

  1. I hope that she will also be checking into the work (not to mention the history) of Rabbi Mark Borovitz who runs the fabulous Beit T’shuvah in Los Angeles and who wrote The Holy Thief
    Good luck

  2. From Rhonda:
    Rabbi Mark Borovitz’s story is amazing and his book, ‘Holy Thief,’ is inspirational. Beit T’Shuvah is the only program in the re-entry program in the country for Jewish prisoners. I am currently planning for a February shoot there to film one former prisoner who is in one of their great programs.

  3. what about aleph institute. I personally have arranged and visited numerous prisons as part of chabad and the aleph institute

  4. Hi Yisroel- The Aleph Institute is fantastic. They’re one of the only Jewish organizations in the country that help Jewish prisoners and their families. They have helped me a great deal and actually led me to two of my film’s characters. There needs to be more Jewish programming for Jewish prisoners and I hope my film will raise awareness for this need. I applaud you for volunteering in prisons. Jewish prisoners badly need people like such as yourself.

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