Congregation Shaara Tfille presents "They Ain’t Ready for Me" – A documentary film
Congregation Shaara Tfille will live stream the documentary They Ain’t Ready for Me on Sunday, July 12 at 7:00pm. Open to the entire community, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the live streaming link. This film is sponsored by a generous grant from Jewish Federation of Northeast New York.
They Ain’t Ready For Me, directed by independent filmmaker Brad Rothschild, follows a 41 year old, African American rabbinical student and Mothers Against Senseless Killing (MASK) founder Tamar Manasseh, over a 2-year period of her anti-violence activism and fight against senseless killings on the south side of Chicago.
Tamar’s daily efforts of sitting on the corner of 75th Street and Stewart Avenue in the Englewood neighborhood focus on reducing the relentless gun violence, racial tensions, poverty, homelessness, joblessness, addiction and inequality. Her faith is a catalyst for change as she emphasizes that Judaism’s concept of Tikkun Olam clearly recognizes we must repair the world. Tamar says, “This film is not just about me as a black woman or a mother, it’s also about me as a rabbinical student and how I use my brand of Judaism to fix the world. And, I believe all of these things are cracks that can be repaired.”
They Ain’t Ready For Me explores the challenges and motivations of this fearless community leader as she works to prevent more people from being killed. Tamar's complex identity and magnetic personality combine to make her a force to be reckoned with, and she hasn't even hit her stride yet. The vivacious, self-assured mother of two is unyielding in one of the worst areas in the city as politicians’ rail against the depressing myriad of problems yet fail to offer real solutions. When a young mother was shot in 2015 while trying to break up a fight, Tamar had had enough. Tired of waiting for someone else to do something, she took the situation into her own hands. Tamar did something simple yet revolutionary – she sat down and has not left since. Each day she sits on the corner, barbecuing, playing music and bringing games for kids to play with.
As a result, there has only been one shooting on the block in five years. Tamar and MASK are proving all of the naysayers wrong; something can be done as the situation is not hopeless. She is trying to restore the traditional role of the family back into the community. With just her presence on the block -- talking, joking, and hanging out -- she is making these forgotten people believe that there are others who care whether they live or die.
Tamar’s unique background and upbringing gives her a perspective that few people can claim. Both authentically Jewish and authentically black, she brings an understanding of both of these communities, even as she struggles for acceptance in each one. For years, Tamar has been trying to get ordained as a rabbi, but the powers that be are resistant; after all, she is a woman and there has never been a woman rabbi in her stream of Judaism. They Ain’t Ready For Me shows Tamar’s struggle for acceptance in the Jewish world as well as feature how Tamar’s Judaism influences her activism.
Sponsor: Jewish Federation of NENY