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Skirball Cultural Center

Rabbi on the Block (2023)

Directed by Brad Rothschild

Public Programs | Film

Rabbi Tamar Manasseh stands before a podium and microphone addressing a group of people out of frame. She is wearing all white attire at her ordination.

Courtesy of the filmmaker

Join us for this feature-length documentary film that shows how the visionary Rabbi Tamar Manasseh brings together Jews of all colors, then stay for a discussion between the director, Brad Rothschild, and rabbi.

Date and Time

Sunday, May 5, 1:00 pm

Doors at 12:00 pm

Pricing and Details


  • $15 General
  • $10 Members, Seniors, and Students

Magnin Auditorium

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About the Film

Rabbi on the Block is a feature-length documentary film that shows how Rabbi Tamar Manasseh brings together Jews of all colors and builds bridges that will serve as the foundation for a revitalized alliance of African Americans and Jews while creating a new style of activist Judaism that takes the religion out of the synagogue and into the streets. The film showcases Tamar Manasseh's unique abilities to address the challenges facing both the Black and Jewish worlds. Rabbi on the Block charts the course for the American Jewish world to become more inclusive to non-whites and more responsive to the changing needs of its members.

Rabbi on the Block is especially topical and vital, with antisemitism and other forms of racism on the rise in America; it is at this moment that a better understanding of Jews of color and their impact on healing the rifts in the African American-Jewish alliance is most urgent.

Run time: 88 minutes. Not rated.

“If the Jewish community ever wanted to have a relationship with the Black community, I am the bridge that they will want to cross to get there.” —Rabbi Tamar Manasseh

Stay for a discussion between the director, Brad Rothschild, and rabbi.

About the Participants

Rabbi Tamar Manasseh is a transformative and visionary leader who will alter the dynamic in the American Jewish world and who is having a particularly strong impact in American Judaism today. The charismatic rabbi and community activist from the south side of Chicago wants African Americans and Jews to become closer allies. With one foot firmly in each of these two communities, Black Jews like Tamar are the natural bridge to help overcome decades of fear, misunderstanding, and lack of communication. For nearly a decade, Manasseh, 2016 Chicagoan of the Year, has been leading the fight against gun violence on the south side of Chicago. The organization she created, Mothers and Men Against Senseless Killings (MASK), has become internationally recognized for its commitment to protecting the vulnerable and for building and nourishing at-risk communities. Manasseh credits her activism to her Judaism, and MASK attracts Jewish volunteers from Chicago and beyond. This partnership that has been forged between Blacks and Jews on the ground in this challenged neighborhood can serve as a model for communities around the country.

Director Brad Rothschild is an award-winning producer and writer with both a creative and a business background. He received a Masters in International Affairs and a Masters in Business Administration, both from Columbia University. From 1995-1997, he served as the Speechwriter and Director of Communications for the Mission of Israel to the United Nations. Brad produced the award-winning documentary feature, Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald. The film has screened in the Jerusalem Film Festival and in over twenty festivals in the United States and around the world. Brad directed the documentary film African Exodus, about the plight of Israel’s African refugees, and the documentary film Tree Man, about the people who come to New York City to sell Christmas trees every holiday season. Tree Man won the Audience Award at the St. Lawrence International Film Festival. He currently has several feature-length and short documentaries in development.

Watch an Official Clip

Rabbi On The Block - Official Clip

Mother holding young daughter dancing and smiling outside during a festival

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