statc J£w$ Got Mon€¥: First Documentary of Its Kind Tackles Issue of Jewish Poverty

mardi 1 novembre 2016

First Documentary of Its Kind Tackles Issue of Jewish Poverty

by Menachem Rephun

One in five Jewish New Yorkers live in poverty. This problem is tackled in the 2012 documentary Jews Got Money which also seeks to debunk the myth that all Jews are wealthy.
“Jews without money have always existed, and they still do,” Anna Heim, the documentary’s producer, wrote in a 2013 Huffington Post article. According to Heim, “It’s not only about members of the Jewish Orthodox community: in New York City, which has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, the Jewish poor also include elderly Holocaust survivors who lost their relatives and Soviet Jews who emigrated to the U.S. after the fall of the USSR, as well as families who, like many of their fellow Americans, deeply suffered from the financial crisis.”
Sasha Andreas, the film’s director, said the documentary received the greatest media attention in Andreas’ native France, where anti-Semitism is a growing problem. Andreas told JP he was disappointed that the film was greeted with relative indifference in the United States. Although he is not Jewish himself, he believes the issue is important and worth tackling.
“We are deeply saddened to see that the first documentary on this topic is welcomed with indifference, skepticism and silent hostility,” Heim wrote in 2013. “Not only does ignorance fuel anti-Semitism, but it also deprives dedicated charities from donations they need as much as ever. While ‘tzedakah‘ and philanthropy are deeply entrenched in the Jewish culture, many Jews don’t know that invisible members of their community also need help.”

"Jew$ Got Money" - a documentary on the myth that all or most Jews are wealthy. | Reelhouse 

“Only a dozen of media in the world talked to us,” Andreas told JP, adding that he feels the issue of Jewish poverty remains taboo. Andreas noted that the documentary was supported by Professor Steven Pinker, a linguist, psychologist, and popular science author, who serves as a psychology professor at Harvard University.
“Professor Pinker is one of our rare supports,” Andreas said. “Despite great supports like him or Guy Kawasaki or Biz Stone, 0 US media showed any interest… That’s sad because in the same time, they complain on the rise of antisemitism regularly.”
The 40-minute documentary, produced on a budget of $2,000, is the first to tackle the issue of poverty in the Jewish community.
“A documentary on this subject has never been done before and I believed people would be happy to see someone finally address this issue, but most want to keep it that way,” Andreas said in 2013. “I only expected the title to pose some problems, but in the end it was the least of their concerns.”

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