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Hello Jewdas readers. My name is Evan Kleinman. I recently posted about the complexities of Jewish identity and in that post I mentioned a documentary that I am working on called “Punk Jews.” I would like to share with all of you what it’s all about.

I’ve been working on this film with my friend and Emmy award winning director, Jesse Zook Mann for the past two years. We’ve been following a community of Jewish musicians, artists, and activists in New York, who are creating a new and unconventional culture around their heritage and religion. Originally we were going to produce a full length documentary but along the way we heard so many amazing and moving stories from the likes of fashion designer Levi Okunov, MC Y-Love, mixed-media artist Rivka Karasik, punk band Moshiach Oi!, and author / philosopher Yoseph Leib aka “The Cannabis Hassid,” that we realized we couldn’t fit them all into a single film. So we recently made the decision to instead produce an online documentary series where we will present various mini-documentaries via the internet. We thought this would be more effective in creating a community around the project by making it an on-going event where people would be able to watch a new segment on a regular basis rather than a one-time 90-minute event.

What excites us about Punk Jews are the stories of people owning their heritage, and having fun with it – and doing so at any cost. We want to show how people are creating a place where honoring who you are and where you come from is not mutually exclusive from free expression and creativity. Included in the series will be some the most captivating music, art, fashion, philosophy, and religion, all in an emerging Jewish movement. We want to share their light, and inspire others around the world to create community, acceptance and inclusiveness around their culture and religion-whatever it may be.

We are currently fundraising for this project on Kickstarter is a very unique and innovative way for independent artists to fund a project through the internet. The way Kickstarter works is that you set a fundraising goal that you must meet within 90 days by having people donate through your kickstarter profile in exchange for gifts. If the goal is met within the time frame than everyone’s credit cards get charged and the project is funded and ready to be put into action. If the goal is not met in time than no one’s cards get charged and everyone walks away. What sets Kickstarter apart is that it creates a venue for the audience to decide what gets funded and what they want to see. So the “Punk Jews” online documentary series has a goal of $10,000 that has to be met within the next 78 days in order to cover the cost of producing it and launching the site. It would be great if everyone could go to WWW.PUNKJEWS.TK where you can watch the trailer and have the opportunity to donate to the cause any amount that is comfortable for you to give. Gifts we are giving away range from CD’s, t-shirts, keffiyehs, and concert tickets courtesy of Shemspeed and to throwing a shabbos dinner in your honor. This is going to be a one-of-kind-documentary series of cutting edge Jewish artists that I think many of you will appreciate. Thank you!

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