I’m the director of the first documentary on the Jewish poor, who are more numerous than most think. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one who wants to talk about this subject so openly.
I’m not Jewish, and neither are the cameraman and editor I recruited via Google. It was just a project that seemed interesting to us.
3 years ago, I was happy to have on camera Malcolm Hoenlein, one of the most influential Jewish people in the world, giving examples of the work of charities taking care not only of Jewish people but also of Bedouin populations in Israel.
So here I was with a subject rarely if ever depicted in the media.
Only 3 Jewish media outlets around the world talked to us, and 0 in the US, which is where we shot our documentary. In the mainstream media, theHuffington Post was the only one to give us an opportunity to explain our work in the US.
In the UK, only this blog mentioned it. I’ve been completely snubbed by all Jewish media and associations who are constantly complaining on the rise of antisemitism…
In my home country, France, where 18% of the Jewish population lives in poverty, our work started to get better coverage following dramatic attacks against Jews. As you may remember, 4 people were killed by a terrorist in a kosher grocery store last January, while Jews had been assaulted in Créteil one month earlier.
To highlight Jewish poverty and question stereotypes seems to me one of the best ways to fight antisemitism.
After the Paris attacks, politicians pledged to work harder against the rise of antisemitism. However, whenever I contact politicians and subsidized associations, they remain silent. I guess they prefer to sponsor sterile meetings around themes such as “Racism is bad, let’s do something, by the way where are my croissants.”
In the film industry, French actress Audrey Dana was the only one who mentioned our work. That’s it. I constantly read personalities complaining on the rise of hate. Yet they never get back to me. Meanwhile, writing op-eds against hate from Beverly Hills or Saint Germain des Prés never reduced racial tensions in the real world.
In the meantime I’m trying to find support elsewhere. Since my documentary is in English and was shot in New York, I thought it would be easier to find support in the US.
I was lucky enough to have one of the most influential people in the world to tweet about my work: Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter and Medium:
My friend Sasha has made a documentary film about Jewish Poverty. http://t.co/Tig5nQUn5t— Biz Stone (@biz) April 18, 2014
After years of struggling, we decided to put our documentary online.
Another tech legend, Guy Kawasaki, kindly tweeted our trailer and a link to our work:
Have you ever heard of Jewish poverty? First documentary about it is now online: https://t.co/aqTJuzFNUM 99c with discount code SHANATOVA— Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki) September 24, 2014