Repairing The World: Stories From The Tree of Life Film and Discussion

Dec 20, 2023 6:00PM—8:00PM


Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine 1342 Congress St Portland, ME 04102

Cost $9 suggested admission

Event Contact Ilana Gilg | Email

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The JCA, the Maine Jewish Museum, and the Maine Jewish Film Festival are very pleased to present a screening of Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life. Please stay for a deep and meaningful panel discussion following the film, with Umaru Balde, Director of the Department of Justice, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the City of Portland; Mandy Levine, former employment attorney who is now a DEI consultant and workplace investigator; and Rabbi Andy Bachman, founder of Water Over Rocks, the Center for Midwestern Jewish Communities, and a Senior Consultant to the Jewish Community Legacy Project,  to discuss ways to combat hate in our community. Bagels, lox, and other tasty refreshments will be served, courtesy of our friends at Rose Foods.

Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life (80:00) documents Pittsburgh, PA’s powerful community response to hate and antisemitism in the aftermath of the deadly attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018 that killed eleven people. For three years the film follows survivors, families of the victims, diverse community members, and civic leaders as they examine their vulnerabilities and the impact of rising antisemitism, racism, hate speech, and gun violence. Against the backdrop of a tumultuous period in the country, a local community that has faced violence and trauma works to heal and grapple with what it means to be stronger than hate.

Produced by Not in Our Town, the globally recognized team behind the public television films Waking in Oak Creek and Light in the DarknessRepairing the World explores many of the same factors that are evident in this latest deadly manifestation of hate in Pittsburgh, including hate speech, gun violence and the spread of hate online and on-air. The story that unfolds in Pittsburgh reveals signs of hope, ways to bridge deep divisions and build resilience, and shows a determined community in the process of addressing some of the deepest challenges facing humanity.

“Racism and antisemitism are intertwined in the messaging that fueled recent mass hate crime killings, but the diverse communities that are working together to counter this hate in Pittsburgh are beginning to define what it means to be stronger than hate” said NIOT founder and documentary filmmaker Patrice O’Neill.

“We can do something to stop the spread of hate, and our local communities are places where we can effectively make a change that can be felt in people’s lives,” said O’Neill, who has chronicled successful hate crime response in communities facing violence and bigotry since 1995.  “We have to find new ways to mobilize the vast majority of people in our cities and towns who don’t want the spread of hate speech and violence to harm themselves, their children or their neighbors,” O’Neill said. “The fear and insecurity caused by hate violence is creating incalculable harm. These attacks have a devastating effect on entire communities, driving decisions about where to live and work, or how often to participate in community and civic life.”

Presented in partnership with the Maine Jewish Film Festival and the Maine Jewish Museum

The JCA’s highest priority is the safety of our community. Please note that you may be asked to show ID and that bags may be searched on admission. If you have security questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to speak to staff anytime so we can ensure you are comfortable in our space.

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