Film Fest to hold virtual film event in September

By Reporter staff

The Jewish International Film Fest of Greater Binghamton will hold a virtual showing of the film “They Ain’t Ready for Me” directed and produced by Brad Rothschild. “They Ain’t Ready for Me” is a full-length documentary about Tamar Manasseh, an African American rabbinical student who is leading the fight against senseless killings on the south side of Chicago. It explores the challenges and motivations of the community leader as she works to prevent more people from being killed by gun violence. A discussion on the film with Rothschild will be led by Ben Kasper, professor emeritus of social science at SUNY Broome and a member of the Temple Israel Executive Board.

People will be able to register on the Federation website, The film will be streamed free for up to 100 computers. After Shabbat ends on Saturday, September 12, a link to the film will be sent to those who sign up in advance. The film will be available for viewing on personal devices for 48 hours. On Monday, September 14, at 7 pm, Kasper will facilitate the online video discussion of the film.

“As isolation due to COVID-19 continues, we wanted to do another film screening as a way to stay connected to community members,” said Shelley Hubal, executive director of the Federation. “‘They Ain’t Ready for Me’ is an inspirational film that shows the power of one person deciding to make a difference in this world. It is the perfect film to reflect on before the High Holy Days.“

“Tamar and the organization she founded, MASK, Mothers and Men Against Senseless Killings, are proving that violence can be prevented,” said organizers of the event. “With just her presence on the block – talking, joking and hanging out – she is making the forgotten members of the neighborhood believe that there are people who care whether they live or die. But she is more than just a concerned mother of two children – she’s also a rabbinical student. Her unique background and upbringing give her a perspective that few people can claim. Both authentically Jewish and authentically Black, she brings an understanding of both communities, even as she struggles for acceptance in the Jewish world.”

In his review of the film on the website Unseen Films, Nate Hood wrote, “Whether she’s cruising the streets blaring Lauryn Hill, saving a group of terrified 4-year-old boys from the cops, or visiting the graves of her enslaved ancestors, Manasseh is a mesmerizing presence, a living embodiment of tikkun olam for Black America, both Jewish and otherwise.”

Rothschild is an award winning producer and writer with both a creative and a business background. He received a master’s in international affairs and a master’s in business administration, both from Columbia University. From 1995-97, he served as the speech writer and director of communications for the Mission of Israel to the United Nations. Rothschild produced the award-winning documentary feature “Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald,” which was screened at the Jerusalem Film Festival and at more than 20 festivals in the United States and around the world. He 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. Rothschild is currently directing a documentary film about Raoul Wallenberg.