Films That Matter


   

Welcome to Films That Matter and the home of Ariella Films & Video.

We produce and distribute thought- provoking documentaries, educational films, oral histories, and video coverage of live events and seminars.


 

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God & Allah Need to Talk:

A Film for Healing and Reconciliation by Ruth Broyde-Sharone

Following the devastating events of 9/11, filmmaker Ruth Broyde-Sharone saw an urgent need to document the efforts of courageous Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Los Angeles who are determined to bring healing to a fragmented nation. At the Islamic Center of Southern California, strangers are invited to share food, ritual, and prayer honoring the Muslim holiday of Ashura. A month later, the fimmaker documents a Muslim-Jewish Passover Seder at Kol Tikvah in Woodland Hills, California, which the organizers hope will serve as a model to break the silence between the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael, the estranged children of Abraham. The film illustrates how interfaith dialogue, community outreach, and even dinner conversation can be harnessed to dissolve fear and suspicion and, ultimately, to create a path towards true reconciliation. God/Allah is always talking to us, but are we talking to one another?

Running Time: 25 minutes (Available both in DVD and VHS format)  $36.00 plus S&H


 


Shir Ecstasy!

Integrating Ecstatic Prayer into Jewish Worship

Filmed and directed by Ruth Broyde Sharone


A masterful and inspiring exploration of how the Judeo-Christian worship service is actually designed to lift the entire congregation to an ecstatic experience. Featuring a lecture presentation by Sharon Alexander and performances by her Shir Ecstasy! Kallah Jospel Choir

Writes Rabbi Zalman-Schalomi Schacter: " . . an important mission to recover the joyful aliveness and religious ecstasy that we were designed to experience in our congregational worship."

A FilmsThatMatter production.

View the trailer on Youtube:



Running Time: 60 minutes. Available in DVD format: $25 plus S & H



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Peace Building as an Art and a Practice,Reflections by Rabbi Meyer Schiller
A film by Ruth Broyde-Sharone


Rabbi Mayer Schiller, an ultra-Orthodox Rabbi from Muncie, New York weighs in on the challenge of interfaith engagement. This is a distillation of Rabbi Meyer Schiller’s talk, which was offered at Peacebuilding As An Art & Practice, a six-day intensive training for community and religious leaders, educators and rabbinical students, activists and artists held at Elat Chayyim in Accord, New York

Created to inspire and prepare future Jewish peace builders, this innovative workshop taught participants to organize and facilitate interfaith dialogue, presented sources from the Jewish tradition that support a universal peace point of view, and addressed the tensions around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Five guest lecturers, including , were invited to present their views on peace building, among them Rabbi Schiller.

Running Time: 25 minutes (Available both in DVD and VHS format)
Price: $36.00



Listening with a Heart of Mercy




Listening with a Heart of Mercy
Reflections by Rabbi Mayer Schiller
A distilled version of the 25-minute video, Peacebuilding As Art & Practice.

Rabbi Mayer Schiller highlights the importance of listening deeply to every aggrieved individual, no matter how much you may disagree with that person, because in the space of that deep listening, he believes, lies the solution to making peace with your enemies. This DVD is ideal as an introduction to interfaith and intrafaith dialogues, setting the stage for initiating small group discussions about difficult and controversial topics.

Running Time: 4 minutes (Available in DVD format only)
Price: $18.00


MID-EAST PANEL:
I Disagree with You and... I Acknowledge Your Point of View

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Mid-East Panel: I Disagree with You and...I Acknowledge Your Point of View
Since Jews are often known to argue all sides of an issue, "there is no such thing as a Jewish position on the Middle East," says Mid-East Panel Moderator Arlene Goldbard. Goldbard emphasizes that in the Middle-East there are multiple co-existing truths, "but the fact that there are multiple co-existing truths does nothing to obviate the requirement that we continue to struggle and search for justice."

Four Jewish panelists - Rabbi Mordechai Gafni, Eyal Levinson, Rabbi Naomi Oren, and Rabbi Arthur Waskow - tackle the thorny and provocative subject of Middle-East peace. Though their views contrast sharply, they all present their case with passion and conviction, and respect for the other point of view. Filmed on location at the Aleph Kallah on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, this video is a superb teaching tool, not only for discussing current events in the Middle-East, but also as a model of respectful dialogue. An added benefit: user-friendly visual cues which say "Stop Video for Discussion," following each of the panelists' presentations.

Running Time: 60 minutes (Now available in DVD format)
Price: $36.00

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ASKING THE HOLY QUESTIONS:
Reflections on Passover, Peace, and Freedom
Featuring Rabbi David Zeller & Stan Levy

ASKING THE HOLY QUESTIONS:
Reflections on Passover, Peace, and Freedom
Featuring Rabbi David Zeller & Stan Levy

ASKING THE HOLY QUESTIONS: Reflections on Passover, Peace, and Freedom, a film by Ruth Broyde-Sharone

At the third annual Interfaith Seder of the Festival of Freedom in Jerusalem, Rabbi David Zeller, an internationally known teacher, singer, and counselor, takes a mystical approach to the four questions that are asked each year at Passover. He plumbs and then reverses the roles of the “wise son” and the "wicked son” as they are traditionally described in the Haggadah. Rabbi Zeller emphasizes the need to consider the deepest and holiest questions of our lives, questions that at times cannot even be articulated.

Active in the interfaith movement and peace initiatives to resolve the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Rabbi Zeller also addresses the need to change our language as well as our attitude to achieve true peace--not just a "ceasefire of the mind." The video concludes with Rabbi Zeller’s moving rendition of “For the Sake of My Brothers and Friends,” a well-known and much loved song.

Discussing other aspects of Passover is Seder leader Rabbi Stan Levy, founder and spiritual leader of B'nai Horin, a Jewish renewal community in Los Angeles.

Festival of Freedom, co-founded by Jewish filmmaker Ruth Broyde-Sharone and African-American Delores (Ahuvah) Gray, was established in 1992 to bring people of diverse religions and cultures together to retrace the steps of the Exodus and share their faith stories along the way.

In Memoriam, 2007:
Rabbi David Zeller (z”l), a pioneer in Jewish spirituality, meditation and transpersonal psychology, was the director of Shevet: Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation, at Yakar, in Jerusalem. A well-known Jewish bard and teacher who made his home in Israel and also traveled widely around the world, David’s angelic voice and gentle spirit will be greatly missed. May the wings of the Shechina spread over him. Baruch Dayan Emet.

Running Time: 25 minutes (Available both in DVD and VHS format)
Price: $36.00
Proceeds will be donated to Rabbi Zeller's family.


Today I Am a Rabbi


 A Film by Ruth Broyde-Sharone

One was born in Morocco, one in Israel, and one in America.  All three are women fulfilling their life-long dreams of becoming a rabbi.

When she was six years old, her father asked her:
What do you want to be when you grow up, Tsipora?
   
And she said:
A rabbi, like you, Abba.
  
And then, as gently as he could, her father said: Even though I think you would make a great rabbi, it is not possible, because women cannot be rabbis.*

All in their fifties, Tsipora Gabai, Miriam Hamrell, and Alicia Magal are the first rabbinical graduates of the Academy for Jewish Religion/California, a transdenominational rabbinical and cantorial seminary, where --in a radical departure from thousands of years of Jewish tradition--Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist faculty members all teach side-by-side.

On the day of their ordination, we become witnesses as Tsipora, Miriam and Alicia receive the blessings of their teachers, take their vows as rabbis, and recount their struggles in a world that until recently has recognized only men as spiritual leaders.

TODAY I AM A RABBI is an inspiring ode to Jewish women, and to women of every religious background, who have longed to become spiritual leaders for their communities.

*A quote from Tsipora Gabai, a descendant of nine generations of rabbis from Morocco who, in June of 2003, became the first Moroccan-born female rabbi in the world when she was ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion/California.

Running Time: 28 minutes (Available both in DVD and VHS format)
Price: $36.00

 
Menschen

Mentshn, A staged reading in Yiddish of a Sholem Aleichem play (narrated by Ed Asner)
Yiddish version of the English manners comedy Upstairs, Downstairs, performed live at UCLA. Sholem Aleichem opens a door to a world unknown and, with laughter and tender pathos, shows us the spirit of our forebears and their heartbeat, which has been the key to our survival." (Curt Leviant)

Running Time: 40 minutes (Available both in DVD and VHS format)
Price: $36.00


 

On the Erotic and the Holy, The Mystery of Love, The Exile and the Redemption of the Shechina
Lectures by Mordechai (Marc) Gafni filmed at the 2001 Aleph Kallah. A 10-part lecture series, available as a set of five 2-hour VHS tapes. A passionate and illuminating examination of Eros and its relationship to holiness. Click here to read testimonials about Rabbi Gafni's work.

Running Time: 8 hours approx. (Available in VHS format)
Price: $150.00 for the 10-part set  (S&H for this item is $19.95)
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