In partnership with: Temple Jeremiah and Congregation Or Shalom
Community presenter: The Loop Synagogue
The scourge of gun violence has reached epidemic proportions across the United States. After every mass shooting, people point to gun violence in Chicago as an example of how gun regulation doesn’t work. After all, they say, Chicago’s gun laws are among the strictest in the country, yet it has one of the highest murder rates in the US. What this argument fails to address are the underlying causes of murder in Chicago’s inner city – poverty, joblessness, mass incarceration and institutionalized racism.
They Ain’t Ready for Me shows how Tamar Manasseh, a black, rabbinical student, is combating gun violence on the South Side of Chicago with magnetic, self-assured energy through her organization MASK, Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings. Tamar and MASK are proving daily basis that something can be done to reduce gun violence when there is the will to do so. This message needs to get to a wider audience, quickly. Tamar has become a well- known figure in Chicago, and she is poised to become a national figure – in the past several months, The New York Times has published four opinion pieces that she wrote. They Ain’t Ready For Me will play a big role in establishing her as an important voice not only for the black community, but for an increasingly multi-ethnic America as well.
In the film, Tamar addresses the challenges facing both the black and Jewish worlds. The story exists within the context of the larger issues that are playing out in today’s America – increasing racial tensions, rising inequality levels and a growing sense of atomization and alienation. Within the Jewish world, Tamar is looked at as an outsider, someone whose identity is constantly questioned even as her approach to fighting gun violence is lauded. They Ain’t Ready for Me explores the complex identity and motivations of an extraordinary person who is Jewish and black, and how these intersecting identities offer her a road map for addressing one of America’s most urgent crises.
• 2020, USA
• 88 minutes
Sunday, April 25 | 4:00pm CDT
Moderated by Rena Rosen, JCC Chicago Inclusion Coordinator
Join us for a discussion with subject of the film Tamar Manasseh and Director/Producer Brad Rothschild. Your ticket includes the discussion. You will use the same link to watch the film and join the discussion. Questions in advance may be sent to email@example.com
Brad Rothschild is the Director/Producer of They Ain’t Ready for Me. Brad 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 1995-1997, he served as the Speechwriter and Director of Communications for the Mission of Israel to the United Nations.
Brad produced the award-winning documentary feature, Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald. The film has screened in the Jerusalem Film Festival and in over 20 festivals in the United States and around the world. Brad 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. He is currently directing a documentary film about Raoul Wallenberg.
Tamar Manasseh, the Subject of the Film, is the Black, rabbinical student who is leading the fight against senseless killings on the south side of Chicago. Every day, Tamar, the vivacious, self-assured and magnetic mother of two, sits on the corner of 75th Street and South Stewart Avenue in the Englewood section of Chicago, where poverty, unemployment, addiction, and violence are rampant.
In 2015, a young mother was shot and killed trying to break up a fight. For Tamar, this was one senseless killing too many. Tired of waiting for politicians to do something, Tamar took the situation into her own hands. She did something simple yet revolutionary – she sat down on the corner and hasn’t left since.
Each day she sits on the corner, barbecuing, playing music and bringing games for kids to play with. In over four years, not one person has been killed on the block while MASK has been present. Tamar and the organization she founded, MASK, Mothers and Men Against Senseless Killings, are proving that something can be done, the situation is not hopeless. 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. Both authentically Jewish and authentically Black, she brings an understanding of both communities, even as she struggles for acceptance in the Jewish world.
You will use the same link you receive from Eventive for watching the film and for joining the discussion
How to Watch the Film
Thursday, April 22 at 7pm CDT – Sunday, April 25 at 7pm CDT
The film will be available to watch beginning at 7:00pm CDT on the day listed above. Once it becomes available, you can access your streaming media via your Eventive account. Once you begin watching the film, you will have 24-hours to complete.