NJ PAC’s community engagement offers “Black-Jewish Allyship Through Creative Expression,” a free PSEG True Diversity film series, on Monday, January 23 at 7 p.m. It’s in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed on January 27. The film selection will be “Petit Rat,” an award-winning documentary about a French Jewish girl’s dream of becoming a ballerina, cut short by World War II. She and her parents are hidden by French Christians in a small town in Vichy, where they survive the war. “Petit Rat” is a portrait of a mother and her daughters, bonded by the intergenerational trauma of war and uplifted by the resilience of familial love.
Vera Wagman, the film’s director and producer, will join the program for a panel discussion, along with other multicultural leaders who are combining social justice and the arts. It will be moderated by Isaiah Rothstein, rabbinic scholar and public affairs advisor at Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the founder of JFNA’s Initiative for Jewish Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; the Jewish Youth Climate Movement; and Kamochah, a community for Black Orthodox Jews.
Jewish and Black people have experienced a history of intolerance and discrimination and both groups have used the arts as tools of resistance. In a climate of growing antisemitism in the United States, it is vital that people form allyships to combat hatred because intolerance of all kinds is a threat to humankind. The PSEG True Diversity film series explores how creativity is a resource for building unity and positively shaping the future.
After you register at www.njpac.org, you’ll receive a link to “Petit Rat”; it is also available for streaming on PBS Passport.