Rabbis as Directors, Jews on the Cutting Room Floor

Publication Date: July 2009

Publisher: National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (U.S.)

Author(s): Robert Rabinowitz

Research Area: Culture and religion

Keywords: Jewish Values; Rabbinic Leadership; Tolerance; Social Problems

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


During the CLAL Rabbinic Leadership Retreat held from March 12 -15, 2001, 31 Rabbis from across North America and Israel were gathered to watch and discuss "Trembling Before G-D," a documentary about Orthodox Gays and Lesbians. With a specific focus on religious pluralism, the Rabbis also respectfully discussed the values behind their refusals to perform intermarriages. They also spoke of the discrimination that almost any individual experiences based on race, beliefs, or sexual orientation. In his review of the discussion, the author analyzes the process of making a documentary in terms of "editing out" individuals and footage who do not fit the storyline and compares it to how people "edit out" from their lives those who don't fit their set of values.