Virtual: Streams March 4 – 17

Tamar Manasseh, an African American rabbi and activist from the South Side of Chicago, wants to bridge the gap between African Americans and American Jews. The 2016 Chicagoan of the Year, she is a community organizer who tirelessly pursues social justice and created Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings (MASK), a coalition of Black and Jewish volunteers helping to nourish and sustain at-risk communities. Manasseh was first profiled in director Brad Rothschild’s THEY AIN’T READY FOR ME (SJFF 2021 Audience Award winner); in RABBI ON THE BLOCK she has grown into a transformative and visionary leader whose new style of activist Judaism takes faith out of the synagogue and into the streets. Manasseh believes in “Jewing” or Judaism as a verb, counseling and caring for her neighbors from a street corner. However, she faces numerous challenges to become ordained, in the process exposing racism and misogyny within Jewish spaces. Her desire for greater recognition and acceptance of Black Jews within the broader Jewish American landscape is palpable. This moving portrait reminds viewers of the Jewish imperative to repair the world. 

Director Bio: View on IMDB 

Brad Rothschild is a writer, director, and producer based in New York City. His focus is telling compelling stories about the human condition. This is his second documentary featuring Tamar Manasseh. The first, THEY AIN’T READY FOR ME, swept up many film festival awards, including SJFF 2021 Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature.